Friend and fellow blogger and gun nut
Major Caudill Marko Kloos, aside from writing thoughtful essays that get ripped off and disseminated widely round the internet, is quite a talented novelist as well.
I purchased the first of Marko's novels, Terms of Enlistment a few days ago, and spent the next two nights on an ambulance, eagerly devouring it.
Like, seriously good. As Tam said in her review, the biggest beef is that there isn't enough distance between the front and back covers. When you're reading a book and don't want it to end, that speaks well for the plot and the character development.
My book was my first serious writing endeavor. The blog came well after the book. And after a couple of years of blogging and honing my craft, I cringe a bit at reading what I was so proud of back then. I've improved a lot as a writer since I wrote my first book, and I'd be pretty confident in saying that most fledgling novelists feel the same way. Marko deftly avoids those stumbles right out of the gate. His writing is polished, right from the start.
Terms of Enlistment has all the features you'd expect in a military sci-fi novel – dystopian future, space travel, cool weapons, battle scenes – but unlike many of the genre, Marko's characters are not thinly drawn stereotypes. They've got depth and backstory, and you find yourself becoming emotionally invested in what happens to them.
And that's not just because the protagonist and I happen to share the same last name.
Actually, it was rather fun to spot the shout-outs to other bloggers in the book; subtle, but you could recognize who was who.
The battle scenes are realistic, and while it may rise to the level of all-out mayhem as Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series, it's not that kind of book, anyway. Marko captures battle and military comaraderie at least as well as Correia and Mike Kupari do in Dead Six, in my opinion, and the sci-fi parts require no more active suspension of disbelief than any other well-written book that includes faster-than-light travel and space aliens.
It's a good book. You oughta read it, especially if you're a fan of military sci-fi.
Two thumbs up!