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Terms of Enlistment

Frontlines, Book 1
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

The debut novel from Marko Kloos, Terms of Enlistment is a new addition to the great military sci-fi tradition of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi.

©2014 Mark Kloos (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not bad for a first novel.

it was a bit too conventional but arnt they all. im interested in the idea of the 80 ft aliens. thats cool.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great read

This is a story that is simple in structure but great in execution. Worth a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • 30-04-2016

Good solid military sci-fi

Good simple book. There are no ideas that will blow your mind but i t is a good read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well spoken story

audio was nice and easy to follow with good generic voices for different charecters.
has no technical information when describing ships, tech, history ect but otherwise just a clasic underdog type story about his rise to greatness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

interesting story uses a lot of tropes

interesting story but I felt it borrowed too much from other known SciFi series. But it did find it's feet and start making its own pace eventually.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S
  • 21-07-2017

might be a good text story

narrator was very ordinary. only 2 character voices so could be confusing which characters were being played.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a really good read.

great listen. the story was very engaging which built at a good pace making it hard to stop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

awesome!

great book, great narration! bit of a slow start but gets interesting pretty quick after a bit. can't wait to listen to the next one!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book

left me looking for the next book in the series can not wait to see what is next

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  • Ron T
  • 14-11-2016

Good, not great Military Sci-Fi

Kloos has a written an enjoyable book that is performed well by Luke Daniels. It is not in the same category as Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series (at least the first ten books of that series), but the characters are likable, and the plot line believable. This strictly a setup for the ongoing series, there is no attempt to reconcile any of the threads. But the price was right, and it was good enough that I'll get the second book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • DAVE
  • 11-02-2014

Solid military sci-fi.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book. It was a solid showing for a first book and a good lead into a series. The author has an interesting view point of humanity and the future. Kloos does a good job of balancing the tech. So many authors go over the top on tech to the point of drowning out the story. There is enough tech here to keep you interested. The characters were not over the top. I like books that make almost ordinary people into the center of the story. They were believable and I was able to relate to them easily. I enjoyed the boot camp part and it brought back a lot of memories for me. The narrator was easy to listen to and different characters were distinguishable. I would be interested in other books this narrator performed in.

61 of 67 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayho74
  • 01-09-2016

passable, standard scifi tropes... blah

Not very compelling. but it was worth what i paid for it. on sale. if you commute a lot, it will do. But if you want the best, if you want feels, keep searching.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 16-11-2014

TICKET PUNCHER

This came within a hair's breath of getting a 5th star from me. If I was a military sci-fi lover it would have, but I am not a fan of endless shoot-em ups, which is what chapters 10-13 are. Other then that it is a pretty good story, certainly entertaining. It has good character development and I have already bought the sequel. It does not really have anything new, but some old favorites done well.

It's a dystopian future, were most of the country is on welfare. There is the beloved boot camp chapters, a sort of love story, a reenactment of Black Hawk Down, and even Godzilla. It is worth your credit.

Narrator is good.

68 of 77 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 23-02-2014

Right On Target

What made the experience of listening to Terms of Enlistment the most enjoyable?

Good Story combined with excellent narration.

What other book might you compare Terms of Enlistment to and why?

Marko Kloos is as good or better than John Ringo or David Weber. I hope this is a start of a series.

Which scene was your favorite?

I was a Marine and a D.I. and the boot camp scenes were pretty good. There was a lot of difference between our ultra controlled boot camp and the one in Mr Kloos's book, but I can see how his would have been effective, plus his had the advantage of "washout" which meant going back to a life of extreme poverty and desperation. Those with nothing left to lose make the best recruits.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was disappointed that the book ended. Been a while since that happened.

47 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joki
  • 14-06-2014

Enjoyed The Story

Terms of Enlistment is by no means a perfect book but it was one I enjoyed immensely: a non blustery military sci fi that isn't in love with its tech, its military, or right wing politics. Rather, we have an everyman navigating the military as a way out of a dead end life on welfare, who won't suddenly end up captaining a ship or becoming an insta-leader. As well, I appreciated that we didn't have a gender-specific army but instead had capable roles for male and female characters. I read the second book in the series, Lines of Departure, first and liked it enough to buy this first book.

Story: Andrew Grayson joins the military as a way out of an untenable life in the welfare system of the North American government. He will go through training school and then end up tackling the problematic situation of the deteriorating social structure on Earth. But what is happening on Earth is only one problem in a universe that is about to expand rapidly - and the military is suddenly going to become very needed.

What I liked about the books is that we have a very ordinary guy. Although he sounds far too educated to have come from a welfare system in which he didn't get higher education (there are no colloquialisms, slang, dialects, etc.) I actually preferred that simple talk for a simple man. Both this first book and the second book start slowly but really pick up steam by midway through. And then, when the action kicks in, Kloos really knows how to escalate it - his characters don't have bad days, they have *really* bad days.

This is the type of story that isn't about kick butt marines, balls out action, or being macho. It's about being lucky to survive, a feeling of futility but also hope, and living in a world on the brink of falling apart on many levels.

I listened to the audible version of this and enjoyed the narration.

45 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julius
  • 31-10-2015

Terms has a Starship Troopers feel to it

Not that I am saying that Terms of Enlistment and Starship Troopers are all that similar, it's just the feel of the stories. I especially enjoyed the boot camp chapters.

As for this book itself, the author focuses on the story and not the tech. Granted there are cool gadgets. but he doesn't get bogged down in describing every little thing. He emphasizes the story. And this story is about Andrew Grayson. He wins the lottery and that allows him to leave the projects and join the military. He makes his way through boot camp, but (no spoilers) things don't all go his way. Grayson is just a regular guy put in extraordinary circumstances and that is very enjoyable and refreshing to read. He deals with few bump in the roads. The battle scenes are good and there are more than a few.

The down side, some of the characters are 2D cardboard cutouts, and much of the dialogue is cheesy and stereotypical. I have heard dialogue like this in bad movies, likely written by people who's never spent time around military officers actually doing their jobs. Luke Daniels does a good job narrating. That aside I think Marko Kloos does an alright job with this one, but it falls short of great.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darrell Moore
  • 01-09-2016

Fantastic Narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend the narrator to a friend. The book was generally good, especially the first 15 chapters or so. It takes a twist into an area that I didn't care for towards the end.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not satisifed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • goofyfoot
  • 08-06-2016

ok i guess

it just never got me deep into the character for some reason. it could be me though. the ending was way too abrupt. when it was over i wasnt left wanting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • BS Reviewer
  • 07-05-2016

good but generic

The narrator is great. Story is ok. Writing is pretty solid. If you like military scifi you will like but it is not that deep of a story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew John Rae
  • 09-02-2014

Military SciFi in Classic Style

Terms of Enlistment is a newly written but old-school military science fiction novel. It follows the protagonist, Andrew Grayson, from high-rise slums through book camp, a combat infantry posting, and then out into space. The tone and style are similar to Robert Henlein's Starship Troopers or Jerry Pournelle's Co-Dominium. The action is up-close and personal, set in a universe where government isn't perfect, conflict isn't clean, and the military gets to play hero on a small scale whilst the overall morality of the conflicts they take part in is constantly questionable.

At least in this first book of the series, the action is well above average for the genre. In any fire-fight it is easy to visualise where everyone is and what is happening. The technology is plausible, and is never used as a get-out-of-jail-free card by the author.

The main character is likeable without being super-human. He is no author-avatar with perfect military skills and likeable flaws. He is just a young, impulsive enlisted soldier.

The secondary characterisation is below par for a novel. Whilst Kloos does a fantastic job of "show, don't tell" with army life and the background political unrest and intrigue, friendships and even romances just appear out of nowhere. After a major plot-turning firefight, most of the casualties are really just names to the reader despite their importance to the main character.

The plot arc isn't well structured either - although I think this is really an artefact of the way the series was written. I get the impression this is an episodic series broken arbitrarily into novel length portions, in which case the first half of the novel is really establishment of the series plot rather than the novel. If considered as a single novel the initiating event comes around 3/4 of the way through the book. Up till then it's a good read, but it comes as a surprise to find that it's all really just scene setting.

These issues aren't enough to spoil the book. Go into it imagining that you're listening to the first 10 episodes of a 5 season audio show, and they become style rather than problems. I'm certainly going to give the second book a try based on the first.

The audio performance by Luke Daniels is okay, but I imagine it might irritate some people. He has an overly-dramatic tone which rolls consonants and stretches vowels. This suits the book, but is a bit wearing on the ears. He does voices prettty well, at least for the main characters. It's hard to imagine him as actual voice of the first-person narrator though, which takes it a star down from the really top notch audio book performances.




8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 05-10-2016

Sci-fi hoorah at its best.

This is a set up book. It start how you would expect. But the universe the book paint is pretty cool. I like it. A lot of sci-fi you have to have a good amount of suspension of disbelief for how the earth gets to it current situation. This one you could see it happening on a way. Other than the aliens the size of a three stories building or where they bigger? If you read all four of the current books you will find that you forget about this book in a good way. So much happens in the next three. This is a good book but a better series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tallorders
  • 26-02-2017

could not stop listening.

For a sci-fi fan like me, i can't reccomend it enough. Likeable characters and a great story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Touchstone
  • 03-07-2016

Entertaining

Enjoyable story although in my opinion the story ended abruptly.
But all in all it was entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ADBerry
  • 26-04-2016

First dip in to Sci-Fi

Really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next one in the series. Well narrated and kept me interested throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chantal Perez
  • 27-11-2015

Very fun, by-the-book military SF

If you could sum up Terms of Enlistment in three words, what would they be?

Fun, well-written, believable

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It felt like the beginning of the real story but not in a bad way. I still wanted to know more so I got the next two books.

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

He's a very good narrator who really performs the book rather than just read it. His reading feels very natural and he really brings out the humanity in the characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There's a scene in hospital with a certain Master Sergeant that gave me many feels.

Any additional comments?

This book is not the most original military SF out there except for the fact that the main character is a regular guy getting through basic training, doing his job, trying to stay alive. He's not a naturally gifted super-soldier type, which is very refreshing. The writing is also particularly good and makes up for the predictability of some of the plot.

The sequels advance the plot a lot more and are also very enjoyable if you're reading this and wondering whether it's a good idea to start reading a series :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. R. Chvapil
  • 13-04-2014

from fatface to badass

If you could sum up Terms of Enlistment in three words, what would they be?

how a young boy was transformed into a confident soldier and how he followed his heart's dreams despite all difficulties. Sounds familiar? Always works for me! Nicely written by Marko Kloos. The story flows easily. Characters are well defined and Mr Luke Daniels is easy on the ears which helps :)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Terms of Enlistment?

Andrew's last combat experience in TA. It felt like Black Hawk down all over again. Only difference being that some of his squad actually survived...just

Which character – as performed by Luke Daniels – was your favourite?

I liked all characters. None stood out. Very balanced performance by Luke Daniels. 5stars

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Against all odds

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger Newton-Darby
  • 19-09-2018

good story

Narration is top quality and keeps you poised and excited for more, keep the story coming

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  • Graham
  • 14-05-2018

Starts like Starship troopers

Starts like Starship troopers and it's none the worse for that. Didn't have the hopeless lonely feeling that starship troopers gave, of loved ones left behind long dead due to the long distance travelled. I liked this book and look forward to where it takes me next

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. S. P. Campbell
  • 03-02-2018

lucky man

Great space opera looking forward to more in the next volume. Joining up to escape poverty as a soldier and ends up in the navy!