The not too distant future has humans looking down the barrel of extinction.

“The Commonwealth— humanity —is in deep shit, and we’re the people with the shovels. The trouble is that its a huge pile of shit, and they’re very small shovels.”

Extreme unrest on the ground in the PRC’s, welfare rats in revolt, the Sino-Russian conflict showing no signs of stopping, and the Lankies proving themselves to be an almost unbeatable foe, set on claiming terraformed planets in the colony.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Kloos, a graduate of Viable Paradise SF/F Writer’s Workshop, has a good handle on writing in his chosen genre. He also has some real life experience; soldier, tech support, corporate IT administrator were among some of his past lives according to his bio, which help provide fluidity to the story.

Lines of Departure was a finalist for the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, but the author declined his nomination.

Rating (4 stars)

The slow start that almost lost me in Terms of Enlistment wasn’t an issue in Lines of Departure.

After a quick recap of the events that have transpired over the last five years, Kloos drops you right into the middle of the action.

The only problem with this tactic is that you seem to run out of book rather quickly. I felt the last half of the book could have been stretched out a tiny bit more, but as it stands, it leaves you anxiously awaiting the upcoming Angles of Attack, book three in the Frontlines series.