Gary's Reviews > Terms of Enlistment

Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos
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Terms of Enlistment offers a pretty depressing vision of the future, where most of the people on a vastly overpopulated earth are herded into massive welfare project housing and are forced to live on subsistence rations. The only way out for these "welfare rats" (aside from winning the lottery for off-planet colonization) is to join the military, which is then deployed against the very neighborhoods they grew up in, in order to keep the population in line.
Kloos is a very talented writer, a gifted visual storyteller with a good grasp of both character and action. I especially liked how quickly (and tragically) his protagonist's moral compass is reset by his first combat experience. I like Kloos' sense of humor, too - mostly made up of dramatic irony and visual contrast, rather than the relentless snarking that passes for comedy in genre fiction these days.
For all its merits, Terms of Enlistment never quite lives up its potential. The book is consistently pretty good, but never great. The last act takes a sharp ninety degree turn from everything that came before, and while I am okay with what happens in theory, in execution it left me out in the cold a little. Again, the character development and action are all perfectly convincing from start to finish - adequately engrossing but never really enthralling. I'd like to read more works by this author but as of this moment I'm not sure if I want to continue with this particular series.
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Reading Progress

February 12, 2016 – Shelved
February 12, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 16, 2016 – Started Reading
March 27, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by William (last edited Sep 27, 2018 04:16AM) (new) - added it

William Thank you for the review. Bleak futures are far too easy and depressing to imagine these days, with the Global Warming tipping point now past, and Hothouse Earth a certainty.


Gary William wrote: "Thank you for the review. Bleak futures are far too easy and depressing to imagine these days, with the Global Warming tipping point now past, and Hothouse Earth a certainty."

True. People complain that SF doesn't imagine "bright" futures anymore, but honestly it's hard to look at the reality of the situation (climate change, corporate greed, etc.) and think positive thoughts.


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