“Chains of Command (Frontlines #4)” by Marko Kloos

05/30/16

I really like this series. It’s what I would like to do if I could do anything at all. It’s completely military and it’s totally science fiction. We, once again, join Andrew Grayson or rather, PLATOON SGT: SFC [Sergeant First Class] Andrew Grayson, as it states on the door to his office. Last time we were with SFC Grayson, he and his wife had just helped a bunch of PRC (Public Residence Cluster) militia known as the Lazarus Brigade fight off an attack by several Lankies, 20+ feet tall aliens bent on taking over Earth.

The Lazarus Brigade militia is made up of former military from all branches who have tried to organize into a quasi-police/military force to keep crime and gang-related activities to a minimum within the PRC. The local cops are all on the take and the Homeworld Defense (HD) soldiers are too afraid to come into the PRCs. SFC Grayson and his wife Captain Halley are NACs (North American Commonwealth) military members and not usually welcomed by the PRC civilians or the militia. But, they saved the day for the PRC and the militia so much so that they were offered jobs within the Lazarus Brigade. The both turned them down, but not necessarily permanently.

The NAC is responsible for the overall protection of Earth and its colonizes in the Solar System. Unfortunately, the Lankies are almost indestructible and have taken Mars. It’s just a matter of time before they come to Earth in serious numbers. With what’s left of the NAC, the Homeworld Defense and the PRC militia, the Lankies won’t have any problems. Still, the Lankies, for some unexplainable reason have not come in force. Their last attack has been a while now and they seem to be settling in on Mars.

One of the reasons the NAC and the rest of the Earths military haven’t been too effective against the Lankies is due to a shortage of men and material. It seems that a very large contingent of the NAC high command and the NAC civilian command decided it was better to evacuate Earth and not try to stand and fight. They secretly took a large fleet of very much needed space assets and a large contingent of civilian politicians and scientist and fled to a far away system which they thought those remaining on Earth or in the NAC wouldn’t know about. But, they did know their location and a Special Operations Task Force is coming together to take back those assets one way or another. SFC Grayson is known as a smart operator and leader. He’s offered a commission to 2nd Lieutenant, which he accepts so he can get back in the fight. It just so happens that his wife, Captain Halley gets called out for the same mission. This husband and wife team are going to kick some you know what, but what will it cost them?

A very good book to read if you like military science fiction. I really like the interaction between a young mustang Lieutenant and his senior sergeant. It’s kind of the way it should be if you both know what they hell you’re doing. So go read about what happens. And don’t blame me if the end, isn’t the end!

“Angles of Attack (Frontlines #3)” by Marko Kloos

05/14/16

We’re back with Staff Sergeant Andrew Grayson, Combat Controller, who seems to always be where the action is. As we last saw him, Master Sergeant Fallon and Grayson were involved in a mutiny against orders from HQ directing them to assist in taking over all the food supplies from the Colony of New Svalbard. If they had followed orders, the Fleet ship might have had enough food to last a few more months, but the civilians in the colony would have quickly starved to death. So, Master Sergeant Fallon decided that was a bad order and refused to follow it. Grayson was kind of caught up in the mutiny and really didn’t have much input anyway. Read about all that in “Lines of Departure (Frontlines #2)”.

Now he and Master Sergeant Fallon are kind of chilling’ on New Svalbard. That’s a play on words because this tiny moon, they are on is really one big hunk of rock, snow and ice. It’s the kind of place you don’t dare go outside in unless you’re in a combat suit covered from head to toe. They have a collection of ships from the Sino-Russian Alliance (SRA) (Korean?) Naval Fleets plus the NAC which I think stands for the North American Commonwealth. They are all huddled around this one tiny moon in the middle of nowhere because the Lankies have decided to take over the Solar System. Those units in or near Mars and other places out to the edge of the Solar System, met with an untimely and violent death as the Lanky ships invaded and were found to be almost impossible to destroy. The Lankies have now scrubbed Mars clean of humanity and are setting up their own little colony. As far as any knows, Earth should be their next stopping point, although they haven’t made the effort to go there yet.

Now our group on and near New Svalbard have decided they need to find out just exactly what’s going on with Earth and how to safely get back there, if that’s even possible. They have one very small spy ship in this strange fleet and it is prepping to go back to Earth. They know that the gateway to Earth that all the NAC ships came through is guarded closely by Lanky ships. So, how to get home is a question that gets answered by the Korean General Park aboard one of the SRA ships. He states that they have another access point and will reveal its location as long as one of his guys uses their secret code to open this gateway. And of course, their guy is a Russian Combat Controller. So, Grayson volunteers to babysit this Russian while he is on board the NAC spy ship to make sure he doesn’t get into things he’s not supposed to know about. That’s how Staff Sergeant Grayson gets involved in stuff.

So he’s crammed in this tiny spy ship headed by to Earth. This may be his chance to get back in time for his wedding with is fiancée Halley, if she’s still alive. That’s how the book goes. All the ships at New Svalbard are running out of food and so is the colony. Nothing is coming from Earth, so someone has to find a way back to see if they can all get there and get resupplied. The story is very good and very exciting. It’s kind of strange in that Staff Sergeant Grayson doesn’t actually do much. Oh, he’s in places where the action takes place, but aside from him shooting his personal rifle off once in a while, there’s not much for him to do. A Combat Controller usually guides aircraft or orbital bombardment units onto targets. In most of this book, he’s just along for the ride watching his Russian counterpart who turns out to be just as honest as Grayson.

It’s good to know there is another book in the series, “Chains of Command (Frontlines #4)” because the end of this one presents an interesting situation for Staff Sergeant Grayson and his wife! Oh, did I let that slip?

“Lines of Departure (Frontlines #2)” by Marko Kloos

11/03/14

Of all the ships to read about, it has to be the Midway! As a former crew member and Plank Owner after re-commissioning the USS Midway, CVA-41, back into the fleet in 1970, I have some strange feelings when reading about anything named Midway!  I sure wish it had been a starship. We took our Midway into harms way several times during the three years I was aboard. None of them were anything like this Midway.

Previous story line had Andrew Grayson joining the Navy to get out of his worthless life in Public Housing in Boston.  He was going to be a Network Controller on board some NAC starship but decided he wanted to do something a little more challenging so he volunteered to become a Combat Controller.  Now he’s a Staff Sergeant and headed for a planet that’s covered by Lankies and he’s planning on calling in some nucs on their little village.  I like this Grayson character. He’s just a regular guy doing his job and mostly trying to stay alive. He does have a peculiar job with lobbing nuclear weapons around. I think I would tend to hang with him just because he would know where not to be when a nuc was going off.

The story says some Master Sergeant is calling the shots for a Home Defense Battalion which  is  kind of far fetched.  You’ve got Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels involved and that means some pretty big egos which ain’t going to let a Master Sergeant run things, no way, no how.  Surely she isn’t the only Master Sgt in this whole outfit.  Not to say what she does isn’t right because it usually does take an NCO to put some common sense to mission orders but this is a little to far gone to really happen.

I’m not sure about Grayson’s trip to Earth to see his Mom. Sounds like he got a good dose of her living conditions and doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it. I mean why doesn’t he try to move his Mom some where else? Sounds like New Hampshire is still livable. Grayson’s not spending his money so why not give it to his Mom? By the way, I lived four years in Nashua, NH and just now getting thawed out in Texas!

This is another great series. Keep them coming and maybe a little longer, if possible.

 

“Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)” by Marko Kloos

“Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)”
by Marko KloosBuy on Amazon

04/28/13

Pretty good story line, especially if you’ve ever been in the military. Starts off the way most people would; a young person leaving home for one reason or another to join the military. Turns out that the military isn’t such a bad deal if you just do what they want and that is to follow orders. I wonder when the US military will get smart and start consolidated basic training. It’s a logical thing to do and would certainly get rid of those that can’t adjust.

This young guy, Grayson, gets into the one branch he doesn’t want only because of a female recruit which he links up with in basic. I can’t imagine having a female in my basic training. Gee, what a distraction. Of course every female in these sci-fi stories are knockout gorgeous which just doesn’t happen in real life.

Any he gets himself transferred from the Terrestrial Army to the Navy where his girl from Basic got assigned. I was in both the Navy and Army and I sure didn’t want to read about some swabbie, that’s for sure, except this is a space navy so he’s just a “crewman” aboard ship until he gets some rank.

Any we follow this guy around and he’s got it pretty good, not getting shot at any more and having his girl right there by his side every day.
That works pretty good until his ship gets blown to crap and he’s down on a strange planet fighting Earth’s first contact aliens.

I hope we get more of this story. It’s got a good start.