Finally had a moment to start Marko's freshman novel this weekend. It was rainy, we got errands out of the way on Saturday, so Sunday afternoon I sat down on my family room couch and started reading.
Sunday evening I was a quarter of the way through his second book, "Lines of Departure."
If you haven't read it yet, what the bloody hell are you waiting for? It's Heinlein without all the icky incest stuff. There's certainly some RAH influence, with elements of Emerson Scott Card tossed in, but it's definitely all Marko. Perhaps the most frightening part of the novel is the depiction of urban US cities - it is, sadly, spot-on as to where we're heading, and I fear Marko may be a bit of an optimist.
I couldn't help but compare "Terms of Enlistment" to the other big military sci-fi novel most everyone knows, "Starship Troopers" (and no, that was never a movie). Andrew Grayson's progression from hood rat to seasoned Navy veteran flows well, from the futuristic bootcamp set in the desert to the urban firefights, it is obvious that the writer knows his stuff. And yet, at no point does it seem like Marko is showing off - there's just enough military regimen to establish that he knows of which he writes, but not enough so the eyes start to glaze over.
If you're looking for a frolicking good ride, this is it. I'm looking forward to finishing Lines of Departure, and then bugging Marko mercilessly for more books. The fractured, broken North American Commonwealth, the Sino-Russian Alliance, and the omnipresent danger of the new alien menace are all compelling stories, with the interesting twist that ... Nope, gonna make you read it to find out what the twist is.
Marko's got a seriously big hit here, and I'm glad to see him achieving success with this franchise. This is the kind of writer and writing we want more of, trust me on this. If you're interested in sci-fi, military sci-fi, or just a rockin' good story, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of "Terms of Enlistment." I won't even tell you to get the whole series - I'm confident enough that it'll hook you in on its own.
Given that I'll most likely finish "Lines of Departure" by the end of the week, when can we expect the next installment?
That is all.