Angles of Attack is the third book in the military science-fiction series, Frontlines. It is written from the first person perspective of now seasoned veteran combat soldier, Andrew Grayson. For those who haven’t read the first two books, stop reading this, go read that and then come back.
For those who have read the first two books, this is another great installment in the series, but I am sure I don’t have to say it as you guys are probably not here reading this review, but have already finished reading the book.
Who am I writing this review for? Someone like me two weeks ago. I had just finished an epic fantasy novel and was looking for a good military science fiction series I had not read yet. Terms of Enlistment, the first novel in the series, ticked all the boxes.
I started reading it, finished it, read the second, Lines of Departure and as I finished the last chapter over a late dinner, I asked my husband on his laptop next to me to send over third book because I wasn’t ready to put down my Kindle, it was just getting good. It wasn’t available yet, he said. I shot him a murderous glare. It had to be available, it was coming out in April, it’s April, it’s, oh… It’s coming out in three days.
It was a long three days. I read the two short stories set in the same universe. That took about twenty minutes. I waited. I pondered. I imagined what I would do with the plot and characters if the title was Angles of Attack. I gave up waiting, but could not bring myself to start another book by a different author. Three days is a short infinity without a book in my hands.
“Earth. I never thought I’d ever miss the place.”
That is how it starts in the Prologue. It is a great opening and once I had read it, there was no putting down Angles of Attack either. I finished it a little under 12 hours after reading that opening line and sat looking at the last page, knowing there would be another book, but Marko Kloos is still writing it and I don’t think he would appreciate me asking him how much longer it’s going to be before I get to find out what happens next. I still seriously considered asking.
It’s just that good.
Top-notch military sci-fi
Military sci-fi doesn’t get much better than this. It is tense, engaging, personal and expertly written. I cannot offer an even slightly objective opinion as this book has all the things that I love in the genre.
It has a strong protagonist and the story unfolds from his perspective, it is even written in first person. It has great combat and tactical scenes, both shipboard and planetside, it is set in a future earth that I had no trouble buying into and is filled with strong ideas about government, power, the military, survival and individual choice.
It is written for adults and anyone who enjoys military sci-fi, will love not only Angles of Attack, but I think it also stretches beyond this genre and anyone who enjoys an action driven plot, a character driven story or a well thought out world where the system is in the process of chewing up its citizens and spitting them out in pieces, will enjoy the series.
It is not a standalone novel and although there are brief summaries of the back story of the previous two books, this is not a good place to start reading. Begin at the beginning. Enjoy the universe and get to know the characters and who doesn’t want more to read rather than less?
Format: Kindle Edition, Paperback, Audio Download (Audible), MP3 CD Audiobook
File Size: 1694 KB
Print Length: 350 pages
Publisher: 47North (21 April 2015)
Word Wise: Not Enabled
About the Author
Marko Kloos is a science fiction and fantasy novelist.
“In the past, he has been a soldier, a bookseller, a freight dock worker, a tech support drone, and a corporate IT administrator. Born and raised in Germany, Marko now lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.”
From Marko Kloos’ blog, “the munchkin wrangler”
There is an audio book that is well-reviewed so far and highly accessible to the blind. The Kindle version has text-to-speech enabled and the e-ink screen, adjustable text and high contrast background makes this highly accessible for anyone with a visual impairment, photophobia or colour blindness. There is no use of colour, it is text only and on its dimmest setting or lighting turned off, anyone with photophobia (light sensitivity) is accommodated as well.
Angles of Attack is available in printed and digital format. Both are highly accessible to deaf readers, as well as anyone with a hearing impairment, tinnitus or Auditory processing disorder. Books and eReaders are quiet and a great choice for anyone with hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound). I would recommend the eBook for severe hyperacusis if the rustling of book pages is a problem.
Input and Touch
The paperback version is 350 pages and should not be too difficult to hold. I would recommend the audio or e-book for anyone unable to turn pages. For those unable to use touch screens, there is an MP3 CD version.
Cognitive, language and math
It is book with 350 pages and a series that is already over a thousand pages, written in one of the more complicated sci-fi genres. It contains some difficult concepts and following both space terminology and combat tactics requires an advanced level of reading skill.
For regular military science-fiction readers, neither the complexity or language will be difficult. I found the Frontline series easy to follow. There is only one main plotline and it follows the one main character. Concepts are introduced clearly and like all good fiction, the story unfolds through well-written and well-timed sequences. It’s the kind of book that is a great read when the world is made fuzzy by strong pain medication or lack of sleep. It has enough detail and complexity to keep me interested, yet with a clear outline and progression it is hard to get lost or confused.
Trigger warnings and age ratings
Warning: Plot spoilers in the information below
There is no explicit sex scenes, sexual violence, bad language, derogatory terms, drug use or addiction. Gender equality is a strong theme with women and men treated and viewed the same.
Violence is a strong theme, military combat is described and discussed extensively, both ship-to-ship and ground forces combat as well as the consequences, implications and aftermath of battles and a long-term at-war state.
There is some mention of pain medication and those mixed with alcohol. Drinking and getting drunk is depicted in a generally positive light as an accepted practice particularly as a soldier and part of military life.
The Frontline series has a strong underlying political theme. Bureaucracy abounds, administration is totally at of touch with reality and serves only its own interests. There is a strong welfare component with unemployed citizens ostracized and oppressed with little opportunity to escape the dire circumstances of their lives. The military is presented similarly, with little choice and life-and-death decisions being made with stupidity and ignorance.
This might present a significant trigger for anyone dealing with a lot of government involvement or bureaucracy in their own personal lives, however it is also a story about good people doing their best to navigate the system not only to find fulfillment in their lives but to improve the lives of others.
Angles of Attack is another great read from Marko Kloos. Descriptive language is sparse, but as I read all three books in the series within a week, I didn’t need a recap on what the characters and places looked like and hardly noticed. It is one of those books were not only impossible to put down, but I finished it within hours. I just could not wait to see what would happen next throughout and as a result, read faster and faster. It is a brilliant novel by a gifted author. Go read all of his books.
The Frontline Series
Book 1: Terms of Enlistment, published May 2013
Book 2: Lines of Departure, published January 2014
- Lucky Thirteen, April 2013 (Short story, 14 pages)
- Measures of Absolution, October 2013 (Novella, 63 pages)
Book 3: Angles of Attack, published April 2015
Book 4: Chains of command (being written now)
Product: Angles of Attack | Author: Marko Kloos | Genre: Military Sci-Fi | Language: English | Publisher: 47North