Points of Impact (Frontlines #6)
Humankind may have won the battle, but a new threat looms larger than ever before… Earth’s armed forces have stopped the Lanky advance and chased their ships out of the solar system, but for CDC officer Andrew Grayson, the war feels anything but won. On Mars, the grinding duty of flushing out the twenty-meter-tall alien invaders from their burrows underground is wearing down troops and equipment at an alarming rate. And for the remaining extrasolar colonies, the threat of a Lanky attack is ever present.Earth’s game changer? New advanced ships and weapons, designed to hunt and kill Lankies and place humanity’s militaries on equal footing with their formidable foes. Andrew and his wife, Halley, both now burdened with command responsibilities and in charge of more lives than just their own, are once again in humanity’s vanguard as they prepare for this new phase in the war. But the Lankies have their own agenda…and in war, the enemy doesn’t usually wait until you are prepared. As Andrew is once again plunged into the chaos and violence of war with an unyielding species, he is forced to confront the toll this endless conflict is taking on them all, and the high price of survival…at any cost.

Points of Impact (Frontlines #6) Details

TitlePoints of Impact (Frontlines #6)
Author
ReleaseJan 9th, 2018
Publisher47North
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, War, Military Fiction, Fiction, Military Science Fiction, Space, Space Opera, Science Fiction Fantasy, Audiobook, Dystopia

Points of Impact (Frontlines #6) Review

  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    Kloos’ Frontlines has been my favorite MilSF comfort food for the last few years. On the surface, Points of Impact, has all the qualities that endeared the series to me: crisp, tense action scenes, tight and efficient storytelling, sympathetic yet flawed characters. Most impressively, over the course of the first five books, each entry has improved upon the last. It’s sad to say that streak has come to an end with Points of Impact. It became clear to me about halfway through book six that Kloos Kloos’ Frontlines has been my favorite MilSF comfort food for the last few years. On the surface, Points of Impact, has all the qualities that endeared the series to me: crisp, tense action scenes, tight and efficient storytelling, sympathetic yet flawed characters. Most impressively, over the course of the first five books, each entry has improved upon the last. It’s sad to say that streak has come to an end with Points of Impact. It became clear to me about halfway through book six that Kloos was kind of spinning his wheels here. The premise revolves around the development of a new armored battle cruiser designed to take out Lanky seed ships with ease. Most of the first two thirds of the novel has the Earth alliance taking their new toy for a practice spin, with Andrew and Halley both crewing up but, due to some pretty flimsy reasoning, separated because of a confounding regulation that keeps married couples from bunking together (?!?). Notably, one of Kloos’ flaws as a writer is his unwillingness to step outside of his comfort zone with his characters. It’s particularly frustrating in this entry, as the most intriguing early development in the story finds Andrew diagnosed with PTSD – a thread that Kloos fails to explore adequately. Kudos to him for introducing such an important topic to the series, rather than just pretending it isn’t there (as our present-day military would prefer to do). Hopefully he will offer more on the subject in future books.I still love the details about military culture that Kloos is so good at depicting, and the climax delivers the usual goods. Kloos hasn’t necessarily lost his touch, but his momentum has definitely stalled.Thanks to Netgalley and 47North for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    I am authentically impressed by this series. It's easily some of the very best milSF I've ever read. Why? Because the writing is super clear and manages to be both light and dark at the very same time. I love how humanity is portrayed as being people, with both sexes getting over the baggage we never seem to get over in RL, everyone focused on living amidst horror and devastation and death always being on the doorstep.I appreciate this a lot. It gives us all hope. It gives a very solid reason wh I am authentically impressed by this series. It's easily some of the very best milSF I've ever read. Why? Because the writing is super clear and manages to be both light and dark at the very same time. I love how humanity is portrayed as being people, with both sexes getting over the baggage we never seem to get over in RL, everyone focused on living amidst horror and devastation and death always being on the doorstep.I appreciate this a lot. It gives us all hope. It gives a very solid reason why we ought to survive. That, and competence reigns even if the baddie aliens are bigger than life and they're completely inscrutable and hulking and have always refused to communicate with us.Sure, it's a plot device focused on survival and forcing the rest of us to get over our crap, but again, I like that, too.As for this book, I think it's even better than the battle for Mars. There's something really delicious about the new battlecruiser and rescuing a colony and going all out with the battle sequences is always a winner.I'm surprised I'm actually saying this... but Go Humanity, Go! :)Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC, it's great fun! :)
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  • HBalikov
    January 1, 1970
    "I’ve been at war for most of my adult life. When I was a kid, there wasn’t much to do in the Public Residence Clusters other than getting into trouble or watching Networks. I wasn’t good at getting out of trouble again, so instead of running the streets, I read books and watched a lot of shows. My favorite stuff to watch was the military shows, the ones that ran year after year. Steady casts of actors who became more familiar to you than your own family, playing hard-bitten sergeants and office "I’ve been at war for most of my adult life. When I was a kid, there wasn’t much to do in the Public Residence Clusters other than getting into trouble or watching Networks. I wasn’t good at getting out of trouble again, so instead of running the streets, I read books and watched a lot of shows. My favorite stuff to watch was the military shows, the ones that ran year after year. Steady casts of actors who became more familiar to you than your own family, playing hard-bitten sergeants and officers doing battle with The Enemy, whoever that happened to be in that season. Some shows were what I now know to be hyperpatriotic bullshit, and some were a little more gritty and critical of the war machine, but they all had something in common: there was always a victory in the end. It may have been hard-won at terrible cost, but there was never a doubt that victory had been achieved against The Enemy. Turns out all those shows were full of shit. Real war—it’s not like that at all. In real war, you don’t often get a clear-cut victory.""But if we couldn’t use Mars anymore, neither could the Lankies, and the incursions stopped. If there are seed ships left, they hightailed it out of the solar system, because none of our units have spotted one since the Second Battle of Mars. Three years without a Lanky seed ship sighting and some people think we may have beaten them for good, driven them back to wherever they came from. Most of us know better. So we are preparing for the next round, all of us."This sound familiar to you? If not, hereby be advised to go back to Frontlines Book 1. The person sharing his thoughts is Captain Andrew Grayson who has been married to another military officer for almost as long as they both have been in the service."I turn to face her again. “We’ve been married for ten years. How much time have we had together? Six months?” “Probably less.” “Yeah. And I really want to see what it’s like to have a life with you. Not just spending two weeks a year on leave.”A lot of Kloos imagination goes into the parts of military life where you aren’t in immediate peril. Our hero, and he has been a hero more than once, is finding that his “down-time” is getting more difficult.“No Fleet shrink has combat experience anyway. You’re all trying to fix conditions you’ve never seen for yourself.” She leans back in her chair and looks at me with a slight smile. “Then what are you doing here, Captain Grayson? Why did you ask for an appointment?” “Because it helps,” I say. “Talking stuff out. Sometimes.” “That’s an unusual attitude,” Dr. Saults says. “From a podhead, I mean.” “How so?” I echo her earlier question. “The more gung-ho and macho the occupational specialty, the less you guys are likely to talk about what bugs you. Like it’s a sign of weakness. Like it’s something you should be able to handle yourselves.” “I used to think that,” I say. “Until a few years ago.” “What made you change your mind?” “I got married,” I say, and she grins. “And I had a few rough patches,” I continue. “Not with the marriage. With the combat drops. Scraped past death a few too many times, in really bad ways. And then a mission went sideways, and I lost a lot of guys under my command. But I had my wife to talk to. And it helped."PTSD is something we are recognizing affects far more people than most of us imagined. Kloos takes this on."“You ever see the shrink about it?” “Hell no. That shit isn’t for me.” Hansen takes a sip from her bottle and puts it down on the table with emphasis. “I know what bugs me. I don’t need assistance from some rear-echelon psych quack. All they do is pump you full of meds.” I don’t want to tell Hansen that I let them put me on meds because I know that she’d see it as a sign of weakness. Too many grunts are caught up in the mind-set that a frontline soldier should be able to manage that sort of thing on their own, that seeking help from a professional is somehow unbecoming. I know that she’s wrong to dismiss it out of hand because the stuff I am taking really helps—"Some of my GR friends feel that Kloos could have done more with this theme (and he still might). That aside, he still delivers some great imagery for battles in space."It’s like a slow and awkward joust with heavily armored knights and lances, but we’re on a rain-slick frozen lake, and the horses are on skates."And"This won’t be a sucker punch from a million klicks away, but a knife fight in a toilet stall."To those of us hooked on the Frontlines saga, #6 may seem as more of a “holding pattern” than an advancement of the story. I was tempted to penalize Kloos for that, but have reconsidered because of his willingness to take on some of the important topics that ring as true for our military stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq today as they do in Kloos’ world centuries in the future.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    It's been three years since the assault on Mars where the human forces largely denied the planet to the Lankies, but rendered it unusable in the process. Andrew Grayson is coming off of a tour of Mars duty where the mopping up of Lankies continues, but a series of difficult deployments including the action on Arcadia (Chains of Command), the Mars assault (Fields of Fire and his year-long deployment with the Lazarus Brigades have left him in a precarious mental state. Humanity is finally all pull It's been three years since the assault on Mars where the human forces largely denied the planet to the Lankies, but rendered it unusable in the process. Andrew Grayson is coming off of a tour of Mars duty where the mopping up of Lankies continues, but a series of difficult deployments including the action on Arcadia (Chains of Command), the Mars assault (Fields of Fire and his year-long deployment with the Lazarus Brigades have left him in a precarious mental state. Humanity is finally all pulling in the same direction and the newest incarnation of Earth military is powerful and dedicated, but is it the right solution for the Lankie problem and is Andrew Grayson still a part of that solution?This series has tackled military life in all its forms throughout, and Andrew and Hallie have had more than their fair share of PTSD-inducing experiences and more action in their military careers than most. By the time of this book, both are feeling old and looking back on the series it's clear why that is so. The questions that arise for long-term soldiers around their careers, the psychological impacts of those careers and the increasing gap between their lives and their civilian counterparts are the fundamentals of this book. The update on the military forces and the battle against the Lankies are clearly secondary to this, which may disappoint long-running fans of the action in this series. Personally, I thought it was solid, but it felt very short.
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  • Charles Green
    January 1, 1970
    Marko Kloos is yet to write a bad novel. However, Points of Impact, the sixth in his 'Frontlines' series, is not his strongest effort to-date.The problem is that the book feels like padding, with a thin plot stretched out to fill a full novel. With the exception of a short and inconsequential opening on Mars and an equally rushed return to the Formahault System as a denouement, the book features very little military action. Much of its length is filled with introducing the Ottawa, the newest and Marko Kloos is yet to write a bad novel. However, Points of Impact, the sixth in his 'Frontlines' series, is not his strongest effort to-date.The problem is that the book feels like padding, with a thin plot stretched out to fill a full novel. With the exception of a short and inconsequential opening on Mars and an equally rushed return to the Formahault System as a denouement, the book features very little military action. Much of its length is filled with introducing the Ottawa, the newest and most formidable ship in Earth's military fleet, which has been designed specifically to take on and beat the existential threat posed by the Lankies. Add in yet another quick trip to peaceful Vermont for recurring leads Andrew and Halley and some introspection from the former on the personal impact of war & combat, and that's pretty much three quarters of the book's length spoken for.Whilst these sections are well written as always, they're not exactly jam packed with excitement and whilst the Ottawa's appearance evens up the on-going Human vs Lanky war, that conflict doesn't really progress from where it was left at the end of 'Fields of Fire'. The concluding battle, which feels rushed and rather as if it was included to fulfill some-sort-of action quotient, doesn't greatly alter the respective sides positions, and both Andrew and Halley are pretty much where they were when the book opens.The overall result is a book that takes quite a long time to not really go anywhere, leaving the series' wheels spinning without much forward momentum. I wasn't bored by Points of Impact; the chance to spend time with familiar characters in a richly conceived future world and Kloos' ever-accessible prose saw to that. Nor however, was a blown away or genuinely enthused by the book. I'll stick with the series, but the next installment needs to offer more than shiny tech and the odd skirmish to keep me gripped.
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  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    Executive Summary: I originally gave this book 4 stars when I finished, but having time to reflect on it, I dropped it by a star (maybe we'll call it a 3.5?) because very little actually happened.Audiobook: Luke Daniels continues to be one of my favorite narrators. Another fantastic job. Full Review Marko Kloos first came to my attention when he was nominated for a Hugo and dropped out due to controversy surrounding that nomination. He earned a lot of respect from me for his decision and put thi Executive Summary: I originally gave this book 4 stars when I finished, but having time to reflect on it, I dropped it by a star (maybe we'll call it a 3.5?) because very little actually happened.Audiobook: Luke Daniels continues to be one of my favorite narrators. Another fantastic job. Full Review Marko Kloos first came to my attention when he was nominated for a Hugo and dropped out due to controversy surrounding that nomination. He earned a lot of respect from me for his decision and put this series on my radar.I'm not a big military fiction fan, but he does a good job of it. These books are always fun, and light. The fights are action packed, the technology is cool and the stakes are high. This book was no different.I was excited coming into this book because I read (or thought I did) this would be the final book, and I was looking forward to wrapping up events of the series. It is for that reason that I was totally surprised that this wasn't in fact the final book. In fact the more I reflected on the book after finishing it, very little actually happened.I really like the characters in this book. That wasn't always the case. Andrew wasn't a very good person at the start of the series. He's had a lot of growth. This book isn't different. We get into the effects of PTSD, something I don't recall being addressed in the other military fiction I've read.However when all is said and done, the last few books have been proceeding at a bit of a crawl. The books have become a bit formulaic and I find myself hoping things will be wrapped in the next book.That said, I still enjoyed listening to this book and I'll pick up the next one just as soon as it's out.
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  • Jennifer Lanak
    January 1, 1970
    I'm frustrated. Will this series ever end with an actual result? Each book is just one battle for one planet or moon against the Lankie aliens. I'm tired.In this installment, we get to go back to the icy moon that Andrew helped liberate a few books ago. This time instead of freeing it from an unjust military, the Lankies have taken over. The humans have some shiny new toys to bring to the battle, including the biggest starship they have ever built, and some fun exoskeletons, but they still get t I'm frustrated. Will this series ever end with an actual result? Each book is just one battle for one planet or moon against the Lankie aliens. I'm tired.In this installment, we get to go back to the icy moon that Andrew helped liberate a few books ago. This time instead of freeing it from an unjust military, the Lankies have taken over. The humans have some shiny new toys to bring to the battle, including the biggest starship they have ever built, and some fun exoskeletons, but they still get their butts kicked. Well, not really kicked. Just like the last book, there is no real victory or defeat on either side. Previous books have had Andrew consider the moral issues: following orders, humans killing humans instead of fighting the real enemy, the justification of the rich vs the struggles of the poor, etc. In this book, the big moral dilemma seems to be whether Andrew should medicate for his PTSD. I just don't know if I can read another installment. I'm too frustrated.
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  • Robyn Powley
    January 1, 1970
    I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Points of Impact. I did a binge read on the Frontlines series when I got a recommendation. Author Marko Kloos has created a marvelous universe for those addicted to science fiction--it's got everything: a magnetic, but all-too-human protagonist, action, adventure, aliens, love and friendship. What has kept my interest is the growth of the main character, Andrew Grayson. In this book, he's taking up a big leadership role and it feels like a natural prog I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Points of Impact. I did a binge read on the Frontlines series when I got a recommendation. Author Marko Kloos has created a marvelous universe for those addicted to science fiction--it's got everything: a magnetic, but all-too-human protagonist, action, adventure, aliens, love and friendship. What has kept my interest is the growth of the main character, Andrew Grayson. In this book, he's taking up a big leadership role and it feels like a natural progression of a real life. The author has a skillful way of using the science and technology that underlie all sci-fi works, keeping it believable and understandable, but a backdrop to the story itself. In this book, a large part of the tale becomes about new, advanced technology and the hubris that can accompany its development New machines and weapons have been juxtaposed with people and places from past books, in a recombinant DNA that results in a fresh, exciting story. There is a richness and complexity that is as delicious as chocolate layer cake--but without the sugar high.Once again, I am struck with the way the author fashions a society where there is no gender dominance. Heroics and villainy appear in both sexes, and in that, the future feels like one we aspire to--it is Trekian is that way. But every person is multi-dimensional, with shades of grey. I am especially enamored of Grayson's wife Halley, a skilled pilot and leader who outranks her spouse. The starkness of all bad is reserved for the Lankies, but even this formidable enemy is being shown to be more complex than mindless insects. The aliens are still quite a mystery however, and I would like to know more about them...perhaps in the next book?Mr. Kloos writes authentically about combat and its toll. No one comes through a war completely untouched--some are honed and some are shattered. Like all great sagas, it's not the time, place, or technology that enthralls, it is the people who are impacted by the events. Points of Impact is great science fiction... but read the other books first.
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    I was really looking forward to seeing the end of the line somewhere in the distance here. It just seems like this will either be the last one with a lackluster ending or keep going with possibly a new protagonist but don't look for much advancement in the over arching story.There was way too much talk about PTSD, new equipment, previous deployments. Sixty to seventy percent of the book was superfluous.And that's it. I give it one more volume and if not remarkably better than this one, I'll give I was really looking forward to seeing the end of the line somewhere in the distance here. It just seems like this will either be the last one with a lackluster ending or keep going with possibly a new protagonist but don't look for much advancement in the over arching story.There was way too much talk about PTSD, new equipment, previous deployments. Sixty to seventy percent of the book was superfluous.And that's it. I give it one more volume and if not remarkably better than this one, I'll give up.2.0 Stars
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  • Silvana
    January 1, 1970
    If you are looking for a lot of actions and explosions, you might be disappointed. The novel takes even a more somber atmosphere in which Andrew contemplated almost everything. The action parts - i..e. big fighting with the Lankies came near the end of the book.Now, we are lucky that he was such a likable and competent character so all the observations are acceptable and not irritating. I appreciate that PTSD is one of the main themes here and become the subject of many discussions that I believ If you are looking for a lot of actions and explosions, you might be disappointed. The novel takes even a more somber atmosphere in which Andrew contemplated almost everything. The action parts - i..e. big fighting with the Lankies came near the end of the book.Now, we are lucky that he was such a likable and competent character so all the observations are acceptable and not irritating. I appreciate that PTSD is one of the main themes here and become the subject of many discussions that I believe happen in real life military personnel - what will we do after the war? should I get out now before it's too late? I think it is a testament to Kloos' ability to create a story and character that is simple and engaging enough for me to read, even though a considerable amount of time was spent in reminiscing past events and describing military tech and how they operate.Speaking of mil tech, this is basically a porn for tactical tech. It would be useful if you have some knowledge on many abbreviations like PACs -I have to ask the author what it stands for - so you will understand the context.Another solid entry for the Frontlines series. I don't think I'll ever get bored reading these books.
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  • Hank
    January 1, 1970
    Another solid entry in the series. At this point I will pretty much read anything else that comes along in Frontlines. I am attached to the characters and the story. It isn't world shattering writing but good, straight to the point and entertaining. I blew through this one quicker than most.
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  • kartik narayanan
    January 1, 1970
    Points of Impact is a decent addition to the Frontlines series. This series is great Military Scifi and I am a huge fan. Points of Impact picks up three years after the mars war and explores the effects of a long running war on soldiers and humanity. This thread is abandoned midway through the book and this decision is quite disappointing. Other than that, this book is basically a stepping stone to the next set of books which will probably detail out the next phase of the Lanky invasion.
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  • Clare O'Beara
    January 1, 1970
    I had not read any previous books in the series, and I really enjoyed this one. From a start on Mars - but not as you know it - where humans have to pick off Lanky invaders from tunnels, to a new spaceship assembled in secret and being sent out to support an ice-world colony, this is a gripping read. Some readers have complained that there is a lot of space travel and not enough war. Well, it's a big galaxy. Travel takes time. I appreciated that we see how order and discipline must be kept aboar I had not read any previous books in the series, and I really enjoyed this one. From a start on Mars - but not as you know it - where humans have to pick off Lanky invaders from tunnels, to a new spaceship assembled in secret and being sent out to support an ice-world colony, this is a gripping read. Some readers have complained that there is a lot of space travel and not enough war. Well, it's a big galaxy. Travel takes time. I appreciated that we see how order and discipline must be kept aboard battleship, while crew have time to exercise, then reflect on the lengthy war, PTSD, and how the three hundred billion humans are going to either survive (fed somehow) or be crushed. As I had no background I appreciated learning how humanity had to pull together to face the new threat, though I appreciate series readers may feel the recap is padding. We get battles on the ground and in space near the end, and they are extremely well written. Tipping of odds, bitter decisions, using and abandoning top quality gear are the important facets of these battles, not the guns and explosions. This is a well thought out account with strong characters.I found this book suitable for readers from late teens to adults. I downloaded an e-ARC from Net Galley and Fresh Fiction. This is an unbiased review.
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  • I.F. Adams
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a grind, but you know what, I think that was the point. Its a somewhat hopeless war, and the characters and the equipment are both getting worn out, fried, and generally burnt-out and on edge. Points for having characters develop in "real" ways, instead of being supermen/women who can endlessly take anything with no repercussions.The downside is the story a bit of a ramble at times, and while I definitely care about the main characters and their trials and tribulation, extended descript A bit of a grind, but you know what, I think that was the point. Its a somewhat hopeless war, and the characters and the equipment are both getting worn out, fried, and generally burnt-out and on edge. Points for having characters develop in "real" ways, instead of being supermen/women who can endlessly take anything with no repercussions.The downside is the story a bit of a ramble at times, and while I definitely care about the main characters and their trials and tribulation, extended descriptions, as an example, of how stupid/awesome the new fleet uniforms are feels a little like bolted on filler. But you know, back to what I started with, maybe the whole point was feeling alienated, worn out, and even a little bored.Hat tip to Mr. Kloos, and looking forward to the next one.
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  • Neil
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.This is a very average military space opera.The characters are boring and nothing really happens for large periods of the story.Far better military space operas about.
  • Ngiste
    January 1, 1970
    Thoughtfully explores trauma, survivor's guilt, counseling, and more. Always enjoy this series for brining deep, well-rounded characters to military sci-fi.
  • Scott Warren
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a big fan of Frontlines since about a month after Terms of Enlistment was published. The battle between rival Earth factions and the Lankies, and especially Andrew and Halley's struggle to be together reminds me a lot of the themes and tone of The Forever War.Unfortunately, while Points of Impact was entertaining and delves into the psychological strain long-term war is having on the main character, it doesn't measure up to the other entries in the series. About 200 of the book's 300 p I've been a big fan of Frontlines since about a month after Terms of Enlistment was published. The battle between rival Earth factions and the Lankies, and especially Andrew and Halley's struggle to be together reminds me a lot of the themes and tone of The Forever War.Unfortunately, while Points of Impact was entertaining and delves into the psychological strain long-term war is having on the main character, it doesn't measure up to the other entries in the series. About 200 of the book's 300 pages can be summed up as 'Andrew talks about how tedious his current assignment is then transfers to a new command'. After the Frontlines high point that was Fields of Fire, the latest iteration doesn't quite impress as much as I'd have liked.I'm hoping the next entry will be a return to form.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    This leg of the story is a notch above its predecessor, but I doubt any book will surpass the first in series. Andrew Grayson continues to advance in his military career, taking on a low ranking command position. Unlike other action heroes, he has been with the same girl since boot camp, and I LOVE it. It is a realistically crafted relationship forged during a time of war. The author, as always, has exceptional pacing, mixing plot progression, character development, and action sequences effectiv This leg of the story is a notch above its predecessor, but I doubt any book will surpass the first in series. Andrew Grayson continues to advance in his military career, taking on a low ranking command position. Unlike other action heroes, he has been with the same girl since boot camp, and I LOVE it. It is a realistically crafted relationship forged during a time of war. The author, as always, has exceptional pacing, mixing plot progression, character development, and action sequences effectively. I have no desire for this series to end anytime soon.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Another great addition to the Frontlines series.Great read. No t as much action as some of the other books in the series, but Kloos does a great job building suspense. Can't wait for the next book!
  • El Presidente
    January 1, 1970
    This book doesn't actually start until around 85% in.I cant believe this is actually a book. Its almost like this was written by another person. Im only giving it 2 starts out of respect for the first 5 books. So disappointed.
  • Russ Holthaus
    January 1, 1970
    Shiny new ships same drudgery of warI enjoyed this novel with our familiar characters. Thanks Marko for an interesting space opera with very loveable cast and setting. I still look forward to more.
  • Zad
    January 1, 1970
    Satisfyingly good as always! I can't wait to read the next one.
  • Clyde
    January 1, 1970
    Perhaps some mild spoilers for previous books.The previous book was pretty much non-stop action in the battle of Mars. This one, however, is slower paced. Our heroes get reassigned and spend some time training on new weapons and learning new systems and tactics. Andrew and Halley even get a little badly needed personal time. That cannot last of course. Eventually, all hell breaks loose with an all-out Lanky attack on the Formahault System.In this book, humans have made some progress in learning Perhaps some mild spoilers for previous books.The previous book was pretty much non-stop action in the battle of Mars. This one, however, is slower paced. Our heroes get reassigned and spend some time training on new weapons and learning new systems and tactics. Andrew and Halley even get a little badly needed personal time. That cannot last of course. Eventually, all hell breaks loose with an all-out Lanky attack on the Formahault System.In this book, humans have made some progress in learning how to fight the Lankies. But, we still learn nothing about the Lanky history, motivation, biology, economy, etc. Nada. Presumably someone is working on such things, but it seems Andrew isn't in the need-to-know loop.Perhaps a little weaker than some of the earlier books, but still a solid read. 3.5 stars rounded up.
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  • Eric Allen
    January 1, 1970
    While this book has a bit more going on in it than the previous book, I can’t help but feel that the author has burnt out on originality. He’s basically just retreading things he’s already done at this point, and there is a very marked lowering of the stakes here too. It seems to me like he started the series without knowing how it’s supposed to end, and he’s just puttering around churning out generic sci-fi action until he figures out how to resolve things. And I’m still annoyed as hell that it While this book has a bit more going on in it than the previous book, I can’t help but feel that the author has burnt out on originality. He’s basically just retreading things he’s already done at this point, and there is a very marked lowering of the stakes here too. It seems to me like he started the series without knowing how it’s supposed to end, and he’s just puttering around churning out generic sci-fi action until he figures out how to resolve things. And I’m still annoyed as hell that it’s written in present tense. I absolutely hate it when books are written in present tense. I’m getting pretty bored with this series. Which is sad, because the first three books were so good.
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  • Jonathan Lupa
    January 1, 1970
    So, this is a series, and it's not so much about endings. In this episode, we get a lot more of the same that we've gotten before, about military experiences, military mindsets, military troubles, and we get it in a nice SciFi setting.So nothing new here, but it's a fun light read.Of note, the author apparently has some deal where these are available on Kindle Unlimited in both text and audiobook format, so I THINK I consumed this audiobook under that license. That's fantastic- Marko Kloos is to So, this is a series, and it's not so much about endings. In this episode, we get a lot more of the same that we've gotten before, about military experiences, military mindsets, military troubles, and we get it in a nice SciFi setting.So nothing new here, but it's a fun light read.Of note, the author apparently has some deal where these are available on Kindle Unlimited in both text and audiobook format, so I THINK I consumed this audiobook under that license. That's fantastic- Marko Kloos is top of the stack when consuming Kindle Unlimited content, and I hope they are paying him a ton for those rights. I'll easily buy whatever this guy puts up for sale.
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  • Patrick S.
    January 1, 1970
    After half a dozen volumes, Marko Kloos finally tackles the impact of ten years of unending warfare on the psyche of his main characters. The grind, PTSD, the futility of war, and the ever-present loss of everyone around them finally hits home for the characters we've come to love.Marko takes a detour from the main plot of the series to put a magnifying glass on the emotional and psychological impact of a forever war on the handful of people who "volunteer" to fight it, asking questions that we After half a dozen volumes, Marko Kloos finally tackles the impact of ten years of unending warfare on the psyche of his main characters. The grind, PTSD, the futility of war, and the ever-present loss of everyone around them finally hits home for the characters we've come to love.Marko takes a detour from the main plot of the series to put a magnifying glass on the emotional and psychological impact of a forever war on the handful of people who "volunteer" to fight it, asking questions that we should all be thinking about in this age of permanent conflict.
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  • John Bryan
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful, heart clenching book that makes me ponder my own career and personal life. Profound without being unsubtle (different from being “explicit”?). The story has a wonderful balance between shocking action and comfortable lulls. I’d recommend the whole series, but if this is the last of the series, I’m going to truly miss the protagonists and the even the supporting characters, past and present. Highly recommend these “space marines” books. Ranks up there with my favorite of all time “Armo Wonderful, heart clenching book that makes me ponder my own career and personal life. Profound without being unsubtle (different from being “explicit”?). The story has a wonderful balance between shocking action and comfortable lulls. I’d recommend the whole series, but if this is the last of the series, I’m going to truly miss the protagonists and the even the supporting characters, past and present. Highly recommend these “space marines” books. Ranks up there with my favorite of all time “Armor” by John Steakley. That speaks volumes for me. I’ve read Armor three times.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Usually I can't get enough of this series but was disappointed in this book. It wasn't until after halfway that the action started with the battle and was short lived. Perhaps it was more to get into the future of the main two characters and what they were going to decide on their future but for me I felt it was too slow.
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  • Nathaniel
    January 1, 1970
    I'm honestly not sure what happened here. This book is the definition of "filler". As far as I can tell, it's the novel-equivalent of someone saying "um" while they're telling you a story. It fills space, but that's all.I'm hiding the entire review because of spoilers because I can't review this one without talking about the plot in detail, but the big spoiler is that there's nothing to spoil. They introduce some cutting-edge new space-ships that are supposed to be able to go toe-to-toe with the I'm honestly not sure what happened here. This book is the definition of "filler". As far as I can tell, it's the novel-equivalent of someone saying "um" while they're telling you a story. It fills space, but that's all.I'm hiding the entire review because of spoilers because I can't review this one without talking about the plot in detail, but the big spoiler is that there's nothing to spoil. They introduce some cutting-edge new space-ships that are supposed to be able to go toe-to-toe with the Lankies. Which is exactly what they did in book #5. Talk about deja-vu. Then what's-his-face and what's-her-face (hey, I read a lot of books, and I can't remember names of real people in real life anyway) get stationed to the same ship (one of the new ones, obviously) and they have a long shake-down cruise. That, right there, is like 75% of the book or more.Then, at the end, there's a battle tossed-in because there has to be, but again: it's almost engineered to be completely inconsequential. The Lankies invade that ice planet from the 3rd or 4th book, and the new human ship shows up and kills three of the Lankies without getting blow up. Yay.Then they go down to fight the Lankies on the surface because otherwise the protagonists have nothing to do, but nobody actually cares. The colony has a tiny population, they're all safe in a bunker for now, and they were semi-planning to abandon the place anyway. So they safely evacuate the colonists, some good guys die, some Lankies get killed, and then they nuke the colony on the way out and... that's it. That's the whole book.There is some character development stuff, and that's why I'm giving the book a third star. It's... OK. I guess? It feels a little bit like a PSA for real-world veterans to go talk to a shrink about their trauma. I'd be not at all surprised to find out that Kloos had been in talks with some non-profit or other about ways to reduce the stigma of servicemen who get counseling and go on meds, because that whole plot was very on-point. And, yeah, that's fine. It was handled OK. It wasn't nearly as bad as you'd think a PSA would be. It was well-written and makes legitimate points, it was just like having a well-crafted pamphlet (that I happen to more or less agree with) stuck in the middle of my novel. And here's the thing: people want realism. Sort of. Just read an interesting article about film critics missing the point of the Big Lebowski from the New Republic. Jeet Heer (tangent: tangled with him over the GamerGate / Hugo stuff a couple of years back and it wasn't pretty) makes a reasonable observation:It’s easier to appraise a realistic movie, since everyone is qualified to judge verisimilitude—to compare the film’s world with one’s own. This is why using naturalism has become a default critical yardstick for reviewers, especially those on a tight deadline.What's true of reviewers is, in this case, also kind of true of readers. We get confused about what we mean when we critique a book for not being "realistic". Often, what people mean (especially in sci-fi) has more to do with internal consistency of character motivations / perceptions. But that's a nuanced and complicated argument. What we say is, "that's not realistic."Well, it's not "realistic" that someone would see as much combat as what's-his-face in this book (or any action hero from any book) and not be traumatized out of their minds. The number of deaths, the number of near-misses, the amount of save-the-entire-world pressure would grind any human being to dust. Or, at least some kind of very unsympathetic anti-social psychosis. (This isn't just my random opinion; I'm basing it off of non-fiction research like On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society along with an awful lot of war autobiographies from Helmet for My Pillow to About Face: Odyssey Of An American Warrior and many more.)This entire book, then, seemed to be a semi-misguided attempt to bring "realism" into the series by spending an entire novel addressing what's-his-face's PTSD. I say "semi-misguided" because it's actually just a matter of taste if that particular version of realism is something you care about or not. Action heroes should be compelling but if we make them too realistic they become boring instead. I can't honestly say if I think it was the right move in this particular series. The book wasn't painful to read or anything. Kloos is a great writer (especially for military sf) and it went by enjoyably enough. I just found myself scratching my head again and again asking, "Is this actually a book where nothing happens, plot-wise?" And yeah. It is.
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  • Ted
    January 1, 1970
    Frontlines has been a very enjoyable series but Points of Impact is somewhat of a let down. New weapons, new tactics but no real plot progression. Inevitable I suppose but I hope the author can pull out a gripping and satisfying end to the series in his next book.
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