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Aftershocks

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Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia system, the Earthlike Gretia struggles to stabilize in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson reemerges. After devoting twelve years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia system, the Earthlike Gretia struggles to stabilize in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson reemerges. After devoting twelve years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking for a way to move on. He’s not the only one. A naval officer has borne witness to inconceivable attacks on a salvaged fleet. A sergeant with the occupation forces is treading increasingly hostile ground. And a young woman, thrust into responsibility as vice president of her family’s raw materials empire, faces a threat she never anticipated. Now, on the cusp of an explosive and wide-reaching insurrection, Aden plunges once again into the brutal life he longed to forget. He’s been on the wrong side of war before. But this time, the new enemy has yet to reveal themselves…or their dangerous endgame.


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Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia system, the Earthlike Gretia struggles to stabilize in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson reemerges. After devoting twelve years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia system, the Earthlike Gretia struggles to stabilize in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson reemerges. After devoting twelve years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking for a way to move on. He’s not the only one. A naval officer has borne witness to inconceivable attacks on a salvaged fleet. A sergeant with the occupation forces is treading increasingly hostile ground. And a young woman, thrust into responsibility as vice president of her family’s raw materials empire, faces a threat she never anticipated. Now, on the cusp of an explosive and wide-reaching insurrection, Aden plunges once again into the brutal life he longed to forget. He’s been on the wrong side of war before. But this time, the new enemy has yet to reveal themselves…or their dangerous endgame.

30 review for Aftershocks

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    Simply inhaled this. Be warned: it's the first in a series, and ends on the sort of cliffhanger that causes readers to breathe brimstone and pitchforks. If you can't stand that sort of ending, then buy the book and stash it underneath that copy of Proust you've always meant to read, until the next comes out. It starts deceptively slowly, as Aden, who has been a prisoner of war for five years, is released and told to get out of Rhodia. Everyone hates the Gretians who lost the war, but they really, Simply inhaled this. Be warned: it's the first in a series, and ends on the sort of cliffhanger that causes readers to breathe brimstone and pitchforks. If you can't stand that sort of ending, then buy the book and stash it underneath that copy of Proust you've always meant to read, until the next comes out. It starts deceptively slowly, as Aden, who has been a prisoner of war for five years, is released and told to get out of Rhodia. Everyone hates the Gretians who lost the war, but they really, really hate the military unit he was in. We also are introduced to some other POVs. Some of these connect up toward the end, others don't, but as attacks begin to happen, without anyone knowing why or who, it's clear that all these POVs will be converging as action stars shifting into high gear. Kloos is so good at military SF and worldbuilding. Terrific characters, fascinating setup, unpredictable turns in the plot. But how long O lord, how long, until book two???? I'll be buying this in print. Copy provided by NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Solid opening on two counts. The beginning of the novel was pretty strong with the whole "what are we going to do after being in a PoW" vibe going on, full of space opera MilSF goodness between two human populations. The other solid opening was for the expectation of a full series. Unfortunately, the actual novel does not feel all that much like a set piece. It might be fine and rather perfect as long as you're reading it along with a full set of novels to come, but since the wait time will be som Solid opening on two counts. The beginning of the novel was pretty strong with the whole "what are we going to do after being in a PoW" vibe going on, full of space opera MilSF goodness between two human populations. The other solid opening was for the expectation of a full series. Unfortunately, the actual novel does not feel all that much like a set piece. It might be fine and rather perfect as long as you're reading it along with a full set of novels to come, but since the wait time will be somewhat long, I have the distinct feeling like I'll have to re-read this one just to pick up on the other various character's viewpoints and the details leading up to the hanging plot threads. One or two is no big deal, but this opener promises a bit more complexity. Not bad, mind you, and great for MilSF space opera fans, but it does come with that caveat. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Post-Post-Rhodian MilSF: "Aftershocks" by Marko Kloos Despite having spent relatively little time in Germany in the course of my travels, I have spent a great deal of time, always profitably + enjoyably, reading German philosophers, listening to German classical composers, watching Germany’s footballers (Breitner, Rummenige, Rubesch, Litbarski, Matthäus, etc.), reading German SF (Perry Rhodan’s never-ending SF Series - Kloos’ novel even If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Post-Post-Rhodian MilSF: "Aftershocks" by Marko Kloos Despite having spent relatively little time in Germany in the course of my travels, I have spent a great deal of time, always profitably + enjoyably, reading German philosophers, listening to German classical composers, watching Germany’s footballers (Breitner, Rummenige, Rubesch, Litbarski, Matthäus, etc.), reading German SF (Perry Rhodan’s never-ending SF Series - Kloos’ novel even has a planet called Rhodia!, Eschbach’s “Die Haarteppichknüpfer”), 'getting to know' German women, and drinking with Germans.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Sale Alert: Audible Daily Deal 04Dec19 for $1.99 This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. What happens after the war has ended and everyone has hashed out the reporations and divided the booty? In  Aftershocks, Marko Kloos explores this scenario as the consequences of being the losing faction in the war become clear and new little rebellions begin popping up in various ar Sale Alert: Audible Daily Deal 04Dec19 for $1.99 This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. What happens after the war has ended and everyone has hashed out the reporations and divided the booty? In  Aftershocks, Marko Kloos explores this scenario as the consequences of being the losing faction in the war become clear and new little rebellions begin popping up in various areas.  This was a completely easy read.  Sometimes scifi/space opera books can throw me off.  However, Kloos was able to make Aftershocks flow well while still giving the reader enough perspective in the six planets, the history of the war and the fallout after, using multiple character PoVs. Aden has been a POW since Gretia lost the war.  At least he has lived in a nice prison and was well treated and fed.  He was part of an elite force and has some pretty big history happening that we don’t learn fully in this book.  Aden’s character is the one who walks us through most of this world as he gets out of the POW camp and has to figure out where to go afterwards since he still has a past to hide. He had been a prisoner of war for five years, but Aden still hadn’t quite made up his mind whether a beautiful prison was really better than an austere one. Idina is a soldier for the winning team alliance.  She has a lot of anger towards anyone Gretia and represents how most alliance probably feels post wars.  She also is about to get the first glimpse that the peace they shoved down everyone’s throats isn't sitting well and there are some ready to fight back.  Her PoV captures most of what is happening on the ground. Dunstan is another alliance soldier set on post to guard the Gretian fleet confiscated by the alliance until it can be divided up.  He just happens to be on rotation when the shit hits the fan and it becomes clear that maybe not everyone is taking the treaty well and someone is looking to wreak a little havoc.   His PoV covers most of what is happening in space. Last, but not least is Solvieg.  She was seventeen when the war ended and they took her father’s company from him.  It did help in the war effort with its tech. Since then, she has been trained to take over the reigns of the company and now, she is ready.  There are a lot of people watching her, and her father sees her as his in back into the family company through her. She is about to find that everything she knows is probably wrong and she isn’t as safe as she assumed. Her mother had approved whenever she showed courtesy to the AI in their house. She figured that if the Mnemosyne ever became fully sentient and staged a rebellion against biological life-forms, it would remember who had treated it with respect. There are a lot of little confrontations and connections in this.  Aden does carry most of the story as we learn about the aftermath of the war and how Gretians are viewed now.   I felt the most connected to him and his journey. It isn’t until almost the end of this that the action really gets going after some smaller altercations.  I was really into everything happening, trying to figure out who is behind all the new attacks and then…it ended. There is a little bit of a cliff hanger happening and I’m completely ready for Ballistic next year, continuing the Palladium War series.  This was my first book by Marko Kloos, but it definitely won’t be my last, as I enjoyed the story he brought to life and the world-building in the book. Narration: Luke Daniels is a favorite narrator of mine and was one of the main reasons I requested this book.  As always, his performance is fantastic and he brings all of the characters to life in my head. Listen to a clip: https://soundcloud.com/brilliance-aud...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/08/15/... After how badly I crashed and burned with the last military sci-fi novel I picked up, I was a little nervous about starting Aftershocks. However, my worries were allayed as soon as I began reading the first chapter and was introduced to Aden, a former soldier who fought on the side that lost and who now finds himself held in a prison-of-war camp. Pulled into this scenario straight away, I learned more about this world as t 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/08/15/... After how badly I crashed and burned with the last military sci-fi novel I picked up, I was a little nervous about starting Aftershocks. However, my worries were allayed as soon as I began reading the first chapter and was introduced to Aden, a former soldier who fought on the side that lost and who now finds himself held in a prison-of-war camp. Pulled into this scenario straight away, I learned more about this world as the story progressed: it has been five years since the brutal inter-planetary war ended with a peace treaty, beating back the once proud Gretians who had instigated the conflict. The system has been rebuilding itself ever since, though there is still a lot of bad blood and animosity among the different peoples. Many lives had been impacted by the war, and there are some survivors who will never forgive the Gretians for what they did. Idina is one such person. She’s a Palladian with a grudge, now part of the occupying force on Gretia making sure history won’t repeat itself. For the past five years, patrols with her platoon have been quiet and uneventful, until one day they are ambushed by an unknown enemy. Idina watched seven of her squad mates die, and this was just one of more deadly attacks to come. In another part of the system, Lieutenant Commander Dunstan Park of the Rhodian Navy is in space guarding the seized Gretian fleet when suddenly, all the inoperative ships are destroyed in a series of explosions, billions of tons of firepower wiped out in an instant. It appears that the peace is not as stable as believed. And now, Aden receives the news from his prison overseer that his captivity is about to come to an end. Thousands of Gretian PoWs like himself are about to be released back into society, allowed to return to their homes. But Aden isn’t sure how well he’ll integrate back into the real world. After so many years, a lot has changed. On Gretia, their once proud military has been neutralized along with sanctions placed on their economy. Solvieg is a young executive who was just a child during the war, and after the fighting was over her father had the company he founded taken away from him. Now due to a loophole she can reclaim it back for her family, but with the current tensions in the political climate, she finds being in the public eye might not be the best idea. Normally, I would have trouble reading an “afterwar” book. After all, it’s hard not to wish you were reading about the actual war instead of the aftermath, when all the fighting is done and all you’re left with is the tedious cleanup. But not so when it comes to Aftershocks. Marko Kloos looks at the question of “what now?” through the eyes of four very different but equally engaging characters, each of them providing a unique and interesting perspective. Military SF is a tough genre for me to begin with, but I was eased into the narrative with Kloos’ smooth writing style and his ability to make you care about the people you are reading about. On the topic of characters, Aden was by far my favorite. Defeated but not broken, he offers a fascinating look into the mind of an ex-soldier who now must come to terms with the atrocities committed by the Gretians and make a new life for himself in a world that despises his people. But you might be happy to know his storyline is not as bleak as it sounds. A natural problem solver, Aden uses creative ways to get himself out of tight spots, taking readers on one adventure after another. My second favorite character was Idina, who isn’t shy about making her opinions on Gretians known. That said though, she’s no one-trick pony with a single feature that makes her special. Kloos’ characters are multi-layered and complex individuals who evolve with the story, as Idina illustrates. Even the other characters who might not have stood out as much, like Dunstan and Solvieg, have important roles to play, giving us a glimpse into other areas of the system as well as the culture and challenges in the post-war climate. And that, in essence, is why Aftershocks worked so well for me. I loved Kloos’ world-building and how deeply everything felt connected. Our characters don’t live in a vacuum; they exist in a complex network of social and political interactions, with the environment affecting their actions and decisions. This to me is what good military SF is all about, not just long-winded descriptions of high-tech weaponry and war strategies. Yes, this book had its share of action and violence, but it was also balanced with incredible story development and character building. The setting gave me a sense of a living, breathing universe, one full of feeling and meaning. All of it made me want to know more. Unfortunately though, Aftershocks closes rather abruptly, leaving us with a “to be continued…” ending and lots of unanswered questions. If you don’t like being teased like that, I would highly recommend waiting until the series is completed before reading this book. Still, while I won’t deny being slightly frustrated with the sudden cliffhanger, I thought it was worth it for the experience. This novel was a solid start to what promises to be a fantastic series, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I have read a few of Kloos’ books. This is a new series so I decided to start it and see if it is worth following. I have found Kloos to be an excellent writer with a creative imagination. The book is well written. There are four different main characters and the story switches back and forth between them. The four characters are: a newly released POW soldier; an angry racist soldier; a young vice president of a corporation, who is the daughter of the founder of the company; and a freighter capta I have read a few of Kloos’ books. This is a new series so I decided to start it and see if it is worth following. I have found Kloos to be an excellent writer with a creative imagination. The book is well written. There are four different main characters and the story switches back and forth between them. The four characters are: a newly released POW soldier; an angry racist soldier; a young vice president of a corporation, who is the daughter of the founder of the company; and a freighter captain. It is many years after a major war. Is a new war starting or a revolt and who is the new enemy? I am looking forward to the next installment. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is nine hours and nine minutes. Luke Daniels does an excellent job narrating the book. Daniels is an actor, writer and audiobook narrator. He has won thirteen Audiofile Earphone Awards and was nominated for three Audie Awards.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Aftershocks is the first novel in a new series by the Kloos, a gifted writer of military SF who is as steady writing scenes of action and peril as the smaller character moments that make stories tick. The author is clearly trying to show off his versatility and range with The Palladium Wars, and the kickoff mostly succeeds. Unlike the single perspective of his popular Frontlines series, Aftershocks follows several characters across multiple worlds. This is also not a story about war, but the une Aftershocks is the first novel in a new series by the Kloos, a gifted writer of military SF who is as steady writing scenes of action and peril as the smaller character moments that make stories tick. The author is clearly trying to show off his versatility and range with The Palladium Wars, and the kickoff mostly succeeds. Unlike the single perspective of his popular Frontlines series, Aftershocks follows several characters across multiple worlds. This is also not a story about war, but the uneasy calm of war’s aftermath: more of a slow burn space opera than a smack-in-the-pants action adventure. The novel is set after a multi-planet war in which the main aggressor, Gretia, was defeated by a multi-planet alliance. Much of the focus of the story is on Aden Robertson, a former Gretian soldier trying to reintegrate into society after serving mandatory prison time as recompense for Gretian atrocities. Various other character threads elucidate the social and economic circumstances of the tense, uneasy peacetime reconstruction. While it may evince a more temperate demeanor than the Frontlines novels, Aftershocks doesn’t skimp on the spectacle. The plot’s catalyst is a doozy, showing the brazen scuttling of a fleet of captured warships by unknown conspirators. This sequence, along with Aden’s desperate escape from a hijacked freighter and the thrilling chase finale, remind us of Kloos’ talent for jaw-clenching suspense and terrifying violent action. If I have any complaints about Aftershocks, it’s that it teases a big reveal to come it still leaves a little too much hanging at the end for the resolution to be truly satisfying. There is, however, a lot of solid groundwork laid for what promises to be a great series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Beginning of a many books’ crossover military science fiction (MIL-SF)/conspiracy thriller/ space opera modeled on The Expanse . Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can't help but to compare and contrast this story to The Expanse. That’s obviously what the author was imitating here. However, the book falls short of the higher literary standards set by that series towards its end and does not set itself well enough apart from it story-wise. In addition, the book doesn’t end with a c Beginning of a many books’ crossover military science fiction (MIL-SF)/conspiracy thriller/ space opera modeled on The Expanse . Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can't help but to compare and contrast this story to The Expanse. That’s obviously what the author was imitating here. However, the book falls short of the higher literary standards set by that series towards its end and does not set itself well enough apart from it story-wise. In addition, the book doesn’t end with a cliff hanger--it ends with a cliff. Its as if the author had a contractual word count; reached it and stopped with a: To Be Continued . My ebook version was a moderate 288-pages. I received it free with my Amazon Prime subscription. The author's publisher (Amazon) put a lot of eyeballs on the book with this piece of marketing. It had a US 2019 copyright. Reading was brisk, although at the end I was paging through. Marko Kloos is an American MIL-SF and fantasy fiction author. He has written about ten novels. The last book I read by him was Terms of Enlistment (2013) (my review), the first in his Frontlines series. Writing was good. Kloos is a journeyman writer. Action sequences were well choreographed. Dialog and descriptive prose averaged-out to workmanlike. Dialog was better than the descriptive prose, which was clunky and contained some odd word choices. For example, there was needless repetition in the narrative. The words drive plume were exclusively used to describe rocket exhaust maybe 20-times. (Also, you don’t get a rocket (properly) exhaust plume in vacuum.) The tone of the writing was also uneven. Masculine dialog and narrative were better wrought than feminine. The author needs to work on his female characters. The male characters were alright. Men that look like women, like Idena were likewise alright. Girly-girls not so much. There was no sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll music in the story. Violence was on-par with similar books in the sub-genre. Sex and the possibility of sex appears in the narrative, but nobody has any. I frankly thought this was prudishly unrealistic considering the military and immediate post-war plot and character opportunities. Alcohol and drug usage appear in the narration. Its social use only. Self-medication plays no part in the plot. Again, I think this was not realistic considering the military, particularly de-mobilized military and post-war plot. PTSD must be rampant through the population? There are no music references. Violence was: physical, edged-weapons, firearms, and heavy weapons. Its moderately graphic. Body count was modest for the genre. This book could have been written for a YA audience. There was an ensemble cast of characters. (I don’t particularly like ensemble character usage.) The main POVs were: Aden, Idina, Dunstan, and Solveig. Aden was first amongst equals of the characters. He’s a Getian. That’s the Teutonic Planet. They lost the war. He’s eerily similar to Grayson, the protagonist in Kloos’ Terms of Enlistment. He’s an (Ex-)Officer and a Gentleman. Having served with the losing side of the story's equivalent of the Waffen-SS he's an ex-war criminal. (He committed no atrocities.) He’s setting-out to make his way in the solar system because he can’t go home to his rich family after being de-mobilized. (There’s an undeveloped Archnemesis Dad plot.) Aden was the strongest character. He contributed much of the narrative. He could have carried the book by himself. Idina was the hardened, serving, non-commissioned (non-com) veteran for the winning side of the war. She’s a Palladian. That’s the South Asian planet. They were amongst the allies who won the war. She looks too much like Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper from The Expanse to need any more explanation. Dunstan was a serving (Space Navy) Officer and a Gentleman, but for the winning side. He’s a Rhodian. That’s the North American planet. (It could be American, but it might be Canadian?) He’s The Captain. Idina and Dunsten contribute moderately to the narrative. Finally, there’s Solveig. She’s Aden’s sister and the youngest (20 something) character. (She’s Getian.) She’s also an Ojou and Smart Girl . She’s heir to the family mega-corp in the absence of her brother. Its yet to be seen if she’s Kloos’ Mary Sue . There are numerous subordinate characters. They mainly come from the militaries of war’s combatants, police, merchant spacers, mega-corporate apparatchiks and the demimonde. These characters were well enough done. However, I thought Kloos invested too many words in characters he eventually discarded. The antagonist was an undeveloped Nebulous Government Conspiracy . (You’ll have to buy more books to find out.) Plot was barely an introduction to the main characters, and then the book ended. If a story classically has three (3) (or five (5)) acts, only Idina’s and Dunstan’s narratives might count as having been taken full turn. Note these are the MIL-SF story lines-- Kloos' bread 'n butter. Aden’s main plot line and its subordinate Solveig’s plot line ended abruptly with To Be Continued . This left me with the feeling that the story of this book in the series was very unfinished. However to summarize: a great war between two (2) coalitions in a six (6) planet solar system has been over for 5-years. Folks have begun putting themselves and things back together. The victors are squabbling amongst themselves and the vanquished are sullen. Think the end of WWII in the European theater. However, Getia feels more like Weimar Germany with an Iraq/Afghanistan occupation. Aden and Solvieg are like defeated German Krupp heirs. Only, Aden can’t go home, because of his problems with his father. He’s also a freed war criminal. Actually, both he and father are freed war criminals. He needs to make a new life for himself. Whether she’s ready or not, young, beautiful, brilliant Solvieg has to take over the family business. (The father being a war criminal, can’t run a mega-corp.) Idina was a career ground pounder with something like the American/NATO Iraq/Afghanistan occupation forces. She still has issues with the losers. Dunstan survives the post-war Reduction in Force as the skipper of a small warship and tries to settle into a peacetime regime. Weird stuff happens. Idina enters a counter-terrorism (think Iraq/Afghanistan) conflict situation. Dunstan enters a space piracy conflict situation. The reader sees both conflict situations are related to a Nebulous Conspiracy. Aden has some formative experiences while in the process of being repatriated. He gets a shady-looking job traveling around the solar system. (It’s likely involved with the Nebulous Conspiracy.) The young Sovieg gets a high-profile job at the mega-corp as heir-apparent. (The Mega-corp was likely involved with the Nebulous Conspiracy.) Story ends. World building was ‘mixed’. In places it was very good. In others, you could tell the author was pulling it out of his butt and had not devoted enough thought to it. The author specializes in MIL-SF. Idina’s and Dunstan’s worlds had credible atmosphere. He has always done well to capture the Army kulture. With regard to space navy, the practices and procedures were also well enough done. This is one of the few space battle stories I've read that knew a spaceship can be fought better by a machine (AI) than a man. (The author knows John Scalzi.) However, I think the military life he writes about was overly-sanitized. For example, there is historically a lot of substance abuse, profiteering and sexploitation in garrison duty right after a bitter conflict. Serving veterans after a long war get hinky in peacetime. In addition, post-war recruits are typically not amongst the best and brightest. All of Kloos' soldiers and sailors are too much noble warriors and not human beings recovering from stress and confronted with great change. The author's grasp of space science was shaky. There is a vocabulary to space science. He doesn’t use it and likely doesn’t completely understand it. This even takes into account the Palladium Universe’s use of Artificial Gravity. For example, Palladium universe spaceships use hyperefficient nuclear-electric rockets. I can't recall any narrative about spaceships fueling or carrying fuel. What do these 'rockets' use for propellant to create all those drive plumes? Speed/Time/Distance also seems a bit off-the-cuff for interplanetary transits. I did a back-of-the-envelope spreadsheet calculation of Aden’s ‘about’ one-week spaceship ride from Rhodia to Acheron at 1g on the Cloud Dancer. A spaceship can travel more than a Billion km ±20% in 7-days at 1g with decel (which the author included), although you don’t instantaneously go from ‘stop’ to 9.8 m/s2. We also don’t know the relative positions of the planets in their orbits. A Billion km ±20% is about the distance from Earth to Saturn at their closest points in orbit. I would like to see a ‘map’ of the six planets in the Gaia system. Keeping the time/distance relationships between planetary travel straight could get hairy as the characters bounce around the Gaian system? The computer and comms tech was credible. This even takes into account the Palladium Universe’s use of theSubspace Ansible for IntarWeb connectivity between planets. Frankly, I thought that in the year 3300-ish CE there would have been a greater degree of technological progress. You would think, that if you’ve got anti-gravity tech—you’d find a way to build it into toothbrushes? I also thought I’d see mention of 3D-printer manufacturing. I note that The Expanse went almost the entire series without it. In general, I thought the story's future was not terribly imaginative or well thought-out. For example, the cause of the war as explained by Solieg and Aden’s father seemed farfetched. Graphene is manufactured by an industrial process from a common element (Carbon). Invading a planet for their Graphene was like invading them for their rocks. Where does the fuel and the infrastructure providing it for interplanetary travel come from? In a war, fuel, its consumption and provisioning is a key part of the logistics effort. Why were so many marginally habitable planets in the Gaia system inhabited by different ethnic groups? Why were there so many segregated ethnic groups? It’s likely prohibitively expensive to maintain large populations in artificial environments, especially when there’s allegedly plenty of Lebensraum on planets with ‘free’ air, mostly 1g, and moderate temperatures. With well-established, inexpensive instantaneous communications, why were folks speaking so many different languages that linguists like Aden were needed? The author wants to write the new The Expanse. He didn’t have the ability or the resources to do that. The story was a good MIL-SF read combat-wise. This story was good because it written by someone who was familiar with the military, and gets the parts about being a soldier or sailor right. However, it lacks the prose, depth, and originality to be a really good, epic, space opera. The craftsmanship of the writing was generally good, but there were noticeable and easily correctable errors. A higher caliber of editors and better proofreading could have greatly improved the story. Harder to improve was the structure of the book. The ensemble cast of characters was a serious error. Leviathan Wakes (2011) the first book in the The Expanse, had a single POV ( Holden’s). As the James S.A. Corey writing team matured, they eventually went to the harder to write ensemble format. They also later received important publisher and fan production support with world building and editing. Kloos had a good character with Aden, the ability and enough pages to write the first part of Aden’s Story in the Palladium Wars. He overreached. He tried to write four (4) stories at once, and only did two (2) of them OK (not Aden’s though). In addition, the story was not showing a lot of deep thinking with the world building. As the series develops this lack of forethought may have adverse consequences. I'll likely read the next in the series, Ballistic , hoping it gets better, although, it’s not going to be high on my list.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hank

    Well, hooked again. I started with Kloos' Frontline series way back when because they were on sale and I continued because they were good (and still on sale). I think I bought this one full price just as a nod of thanks to a writer I appreciate. Worth every penny. I am already fully invested in the characters and the world building is better than his first series. More complex, more suspense, same military insight without it being too heavy on battles. I did some brief stats on how many times I Well, hooked again. I started with Kloos' Frontline series way back when because they were on sale and I continued because they were good (and still on sale). I think I bought this one full price just as a nod of thanks to a writer I appreciate. Worth every penny. I am already fully invested in the characters and the world building is better than his first series. More complex, more suspense, same military insight without it being too heavy on battles. I did some brief stats on how many times I end up reading more books in a series after the first one and it is somewhere around 15%, this one will definitely be among them. I would recommend this to any sci-fi reader unless you really don't like military fiction. At its core this is about officers, troops and a coming war but IMO much, much more than that as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Great start to a new series and well set up for the long haul, but also with enough action in its own right. I’ve got lots of questions that need answers. Next one please!

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.

    Where the hell is the rest of the novel?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Very much a prologue to what appears to be a long military SF series set in the Gaia system, with multiple human-colonized worlds that have just emerged from a brutal interplanetary war and look to be headed into some sort of new conflict. We pick up with Aden as he is released from five years as a prisoner of war. He's a Gretian, from the planet that instigated and lost the war. Meanwhile on Gretia, Solveig is the youngest daughter of a family that owns an important Gretian company. She starts i Very much a prologue to what appears to be a long military SF series set in the Gaia system, with multiple human-colonized worlds that have just emerged from a brutal interplanetary war and look to be headed into some sort of new conflict. We pick up with Aden as he is released from five years as a prisoner of war. He's a Gretian, from the planet that instigated and lost the war. Meanwhile on Gretia, Solveig is the youngest daughter of a family that owns an important Gretian company. She starts in a brand new role as its leader, but in an economy crippled by having to pay war reparations. Also on Gretia is Idina, a Palladian marine, part of the post-war occupation force. She and her squad come under attack by a mysterious well-armed and well-trained hostile force. And in space, Dunstan is the Captain of a ship in the Rhodian navy who also comes into contact with some strange unidentified hostiles. Each of the viewpoint characters here have their stories significantly fleshed out, particularly in the case of Aden. Aden's point of view is an interesting one for a military SF piece, inspired by the author's childhood growing up around veterans of the Allied-occupation of Germany after WW2. However, very little is resolved in this first volume, and I can easily see another four or five books to flesh out this story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    I had been meaning to read something by Marko Kloos for a long time. His science fiction is well received, and while "Aftershocks" is not earth shaking and it breaks no new ground, it is enjoyable, plot driven fare. It has well developed characters, the premise of the series is set up in a way that makes the reader want to continue with the next book. I was not as impressed with Luke Daniels' narration. His attempt to differentiate between characters came down to using bad regional dialects wit I had been meaning to read something by Marko Kloos for a long time. His science fiction is well received, and while "Aftershocks" is not earth shaking and it breaks no new ground, it is enjoyable, plot driven fare. It has well developed characters, the premise of the series is set up in a way that makes the reader want to continue with the next book. I was not as impressed with Luke Daniels' narration. His attempt to differentiate between characters came down to using bad regional dialects with few attempts at vocal modulation. One character would have a stereotype southern drawl and another a cartoonish Australian accent, which did not fool my Aussie cattle dog one bit. I will read the print versions of the rest of these books, and give Mr. Daniels a miss next time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    〰️Beth〰️

    Great start to a new series. Mario Kloos’ Frontline series is possibly my favorite military science fiction series. Like that series, this first book in The Palladium Wars is used to set up the characters and back story. If you haven’t read Kloos before you will find many strong female characters that will play pivotal rolls further along I suspect. This series differs from Frontline because it does not start on Earth. If you like military science fiction with diverse characters I suggest giving t Great start to a new series. Mario Kloos’ Frontline series is possibly my favorite military science fiction series. Like that series, this first book in The Palladium Wars is used to set up the characters and back story. If you haven’t read Kloos before you will find many strong female characters that will play pivotal rolls further along I suspect. This series differs from Frontline because it does not start on Earth. If you like military science fiction with diverse characters I suggest giving this a try. The only draw back is book two doesn’t come out till July 2020.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    So, The Expanse series by James S.A Corey has only one book left. But fear not, we have a new space adventure to obsess for, The Palladium Wars. Reading this first entry to the series felt like sitting snugly in a gravity chair that cradled me when I accelerated into the story, with a comfortable one-g burn. It's like wearing a worn, soft old pajama. It's like....well, you know what I mean. I have always been a fan of the author's Frontlines series, and I think the writing is even better this tim So, The Expanse series by James S.A Corey has only one book left. But fear not, we have a new space adventure to obsess for, The Palladium Wars. Reading this first entry to the series felt like sitting snugly in a gravity chair that cradled me when I accelerated into the story, with a comfortable one-g burn. It's like wearing a worn, soft old pajama. It's like....well, you know what I mean. I have always been a fan of the author's Frontlines series, and I think the writing is even better this time. I enjoyed the multiple POVs, almost all of them instantly drew me in with their own distinct voices and tribulations. I love the setting, a post-conflict one, where nations were still recovering from a major war five years back, with unfinished business with the original force that occupied some planets. We have a recently released POW who was a former intel officer, a young corporate executive, a navy senior officer and a soldier. Two were females. The story is easy to follow, with small info dumps in between. The world building was awesome and I can't wait to see some fanarts if they were available. It was a very seamless experience so it's almost perfect. I did not give it five stars yet just because I believe it'll get better in the next book. Please let there be more than two. Thank you 47North and Netgalley for the copy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . Okay mateys, I know I haven't even finished Marko Kloos' Frontlines series and yet here I be starting another series by him.  I have no regrets.  I picked this up and devoured it in one sitting.  It also helps that it be under 300 pages. In this book a nasty war has ended and it has been five years since the peace treaty.  But peace seems to be faltering.  This se Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . Okay mateys, I know I haven't even finished Marko Kloos' Frontlines series and yet here I be starting another series by him.  I have no regrets.  I picked this up and devoured it in one sitting.  It also helps that it be under 300 pages. In this book a nasty war has ended and it has been five years since the peace treaty.  But peace seems to be faltering.  This series has multiple points of view.  Ye follow four perspectives: Aden - a POW from the losing side of the battle who is released five years after defeat to start anew; Idina - a soldier from the winning side who holds a grudge, she is part of the occupying military force on the defeated planet; Dunstan - a member of the winning naval space fleet whose simple guard duty turns into a mess with epic ramifications; and Solvieg - a civilian who was a minor during the war now has to deal with the consequences of her planet's loss and what it means for the family business. Like the first book in the Frontline series, this one was enjoyable entertainment of the popcorn fluff type.  Nothing wrong with that.  These characters are all likeable in their own ways and I was rooting for them all even when they were at cross-purposes.  Aden was me favourite.  The world-building was sufficient and the plot was fun but the characters were the driving force for me.  The peace is about to destruct and I want to know what happens next! Be advised that this has a major cliffhanger ending that had me surprised at the abruptness and wanting more.  For those crew members who dislike these, mehaps wait until more books are released.  I will be reading them as they come.  Arrr! So lastly . . . Thank you 47 North! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    Quite an unexpected hit for me as I started but never progressed in the author's debut six-volume+ series Frontlines; an Amazon prime book of the month in July 2019, I got a sample in my email and the first page intrigued me, so I started reading and couldn't put the book down until the end, while volume 2 became a clear asap; Closer to space opera than pure military sf (though on a multiplanet solar system scale), the novel starts some 5 years after the end of a brutal 4+ year interplanetary wa Quite an unexpected hit for me as I started but never progressed in the author's debut six-volume+ series Frontlines; an Amazon prime book of the month in July 2019, I got a sample in my email and the first page intrigued me, so I started reading and couldn't put the book down until the end, while volume 2 became a clear asap; Closer to space opera than pure military sf (though on a multiplanet solar system scale), the novel starts some 5 years after the end of a brutal 4+ year interplanetary war in which Gretia, the main Earthlike but militaristic society (and with Nordic/German like names and racial description of the population to boot) of a 6 planet system (the others being much less hospitable to humanity but compensating in their own ways) tried to subjugate the other 5 and eventually lost to the alliance led by their main opponents Rhodia (having the main alliance fleet and Anglo-like names and ranks) and Pallas (with their shock ground troops and Southeast Asian names and racial description), though it surrendered while still occupying enemy territory and without being invaded; under the surrender terms, Gretia is under alliance rule, has to pay huge reparations, its fleet was confiscated, its military disbanded and its main elite forces - the Blackguards - condemned as war criminals so subject to a 5 year pow imprisonment rather than the usual 2 for the regular soldiers The main characters are Aden Robertson, a Gretian Blackguard intelligence major (with an Oceanian mother and a very good linguist) who is now just being set free from the Rhodian pow camps and has to decide what to do with the rest of his life after 17 years in the Gretian military, experienced Palladian sergeant Idina Chaudary of the allied occupation forces whose standard reconnaissance mission in the Gretian countryside goes bad in the first major incident since the peace, lt commander Dunstan Park, captain of Rhodian frigate Minotaur in charge of guarding the remains of the Gretian fleet (still under dispute between the alliance members 5 years on, as to whom gets what), a routine mission that turns out to be far from such, and finally but not least, Solveig Ragnar, 23, sole remaining child of major industrialist and former leading Gretian politician, Falk Ragnar - one of the 100+ council members who voted to start the fateful war and who is now banished from any interaction with his company or any political role in the "new" Gretia (as Solveig's much older brother Aden vanished 17 years ago after a brutal confrontation with their father and is presumed dead, while her Oceanian mother left her a year later and is now living a gambling socialite life in the casinos of Hades); Solveig by dint of being just under 18 when the peace treaty was signed is allowed to take the reigns of the failing family company from its interim managemnent now that she just graduated from college (any Gretian financial dynasty member whose company was involved with the war effort and was over 18 at the time of signing the peace treaty is not allowed to take any part in the company business or the political life of Gretia under said treaty, while Solveig was just 3 days under 18 then, so she and the Ragnar dynasty got lucky - or did they?) . The universe (politics, society, technology) is extremely intriguing and the characters quite appealing, while the book has action, intrigue and of course promises a lot more to come, parallels to WW1 and all (there is a passage towards the end where confronted by Solveig as to why he voted for war, Falk expounds for the first time the seemingly reasonable Gretian point of view of why Gretia chose war and specifically the way they started and prosecuted it by invading helpless Oceania rather than taking on their main rivals, Rhodia and Pallas, as opposed to the Gretians were the aggressive, militaristic, often monsters point of view that we get from everyone else until then - Idina, Dunstan, various people whom Aden meets etc) Highly, highly recommended and the unexpected sff hit of the year so far

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten "keep calm there are only 48 days left"

    Don't know how it happened but I completely blew off reviewing this! (Sometimes I think my brain has large sinkholes where things go in but don't come out. Ha! Ha!) Anyway, this was a real fun space opera. Set after a large and devastating conflict, this story takes place when many of the planets (and their governments) are vulnerable. And wouldn't you know it, someone unknown force is seeming to take advantage of that. The cast of characters is diverse and compelling, the world building excellent Don't know how it happened but I completely blew off reviewing this! (Sometimes I think my brain has large sinkholes where things go in but don't come out. Ha! Ha!) Anyway, this was a real fun space opera. Set after a large and devastating conflict, this story takes place when many of the planets (and their governments) are vulnerable. And wouldn't you know it, someone unknown force is seeming to take advantage of that. The cast of characters is diverse and compelling, the world building excellent, and the action great! Can't wait for book #2.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    3.25 stars Overkill on the politics, too little sci-fi, few action scenes. Not what I expected after the terrific Frontlines series. It feels... shallow. I'm actually listening to the second one and making myself finish it before I decide if I want to quit the series. Just doesn't feel like my cuppa. I prefer stories like his Frontlines, or Nick Webb's Legacy Fleet, or John Scalzi's Old Man's War. Don't let this tepid review stop you from reading/listening-to his fabulous Frontlines series! EDIT: A 3.25 stars Overkill on the politics, too little sci-fi, few action scenes. Not what I expected after the terrific Frontlines series. It feels... shallow. I'm actually listening to the second one and making myself finish it before I decide if I want to quit the series. Just doesn't feel like my cuppa. I prefer stories like his Frontlines, or Nick Webb's Legacy Fleet, or John Scalzi's Old Man's War. Don't let this tepid review stop you from reading/listening-to his fabulous Frontlines series! EDIT: AUG 01 2020 Just wanted to note that I loved the second one (different narrator), solid four stars, and that I will definitely be continuing the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Ho hum. Another book full of questions but no answers. Not bothering with the rest if this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this via NetGalley, and was excited to dig in. The premise appealed to me- it has been years since the aftermath of a war that spanned solar systems, in which an alliance of planets finally succeeded in overtaking the miltaristic society of Gretia. Now, after a period of peace as society struggles to right itself and the Gretian way of life is all but dismantled, unrest is stirring once more. A mysterious group is appearing with technology far beyond anything I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this via NetGalley, and was excited to dig in. The premise appealed to me- it has been years since the aftermath of a war that spanned solar systems, in which an alliance of planets finally succeeded in overtaking the miltaristic society of Gretia. Now, after a period of peace as society struggles to right itself and the Gretian way of life is all but dismantled, unrest is stirring once more. A mysterious group is appearing with technology far beyond anything seen during the War, and they bring destruction with no discernible agenda beyond fostering fear and discord. There are a handful of point of view characters, and each are unique and well written, with their own voices to distinguish themselves. A space naval commander, a young woman who is heir to the wealthiest family on Gretia and their company’s last hope at survival, a former Gretian “Blackguard” intelligence officer, and a Palladian war veteran who loses her entire unit in a surprise guerilla attack. Marko Kloos handles them all with a deft touch; his prose is easy to ingest and fulfilling, making this story reminiscent of some of the best television science fiction. So why the three star review? Well...it’s funny. When you’re writing a series, you can’t lose focus of the individual story for the sake of the larger tale. This is book one of The Palladium Wars, and it FELT like it far more than it felt like Aftershocks. There really was very little discernible story here. No classic structure. Nothing. All building taking place was in service of later books, which I want to read, but make this something of a barrier to entry instead of a story which can also stand on its own two feet. I was left with a profound sense of, “That’s it?” when I turned the final page. For all its successes in getting me to identify with and even care about most of these POV characters, it just fell flat. There needed to be more. It’s a big issue for me, writing for a sequel instead of focusing on the present. Here’s hoping the payoff in Book Two of the Palladium Wars at least makes this entire book of introduction and filler worth it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    This is a Sci-Fi book where the future is very familiar. The human race appears to be living in a new system on various planets which each have some pros and cons. The people on each platform seem to be similar to various current ethnicities (Western, Gurkha, Asiatic). Of course there has just been a war and the book delves into life five years after peace. Technology has advanced but is in the realms of what we currently understand. There are four narrators; a newly released POW officer; a proud This is a Sci-Fi book where the future is very familiar. The human race appears to be living in a new system on various planets which each have some pros and cons. The people on each platform seem to be similar to various current ethnicities (Western, Gurkha, Asiatic). Of course there has just been a war and the book delves into life five years after peace. Technology has advanced but is in the realms of what we currently understand. There are four narrators; a newly released POW officer; a proud and feisty female Sergeant from the Gurhka-like planet; a young lady who starts work as a vice president of a former great corporation now a shadow of itself after dealing with the conditions of the peace accord and a captain of a small naval attack ship. All see or are victims of a round of terrorist attacks from an unknown enemy. The book really i Part 1 of a new series and ends without really doing much except for introducing this world, it's characters and the impact of living in a post-war environment.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Soo

    01/17/2020 Mini-Review: 4.5 Stars for Narration by Luke Daniels 4 Stars for Tech & Concepts 4 Stars for Characters 3.5 Stars for Plot Progression If you are looking for a story like Frontlines, this is not it. I'm not going to say a lot about the story because I don't want to spill any beans. Military procedure & events are a big part of the plot line but it's not the main focus. This was a great setup for the series to come. You get a feel for the setting, political conflicts, personal viewpoints an 01/17/2020 Mini-Review: 4.5 Stars for Narration by Luke Daniels 4 Stars for Tech & Concepts 4 Stars for Characters 3.5 Stars for Plot Progression If you are looking for a story like Frontlines, this is not it. I'm not going to say a lot about the story because I don't want to spill any beans. Military procedure & events are a big part of the plot line but it's not the main focus. This was a great setup for the series to come. You get a feel for the setting, political conflicts, personal viewpoints and just enough backstory to make the characters real. I definitely felt that the author's writing had matured and become more focused. At heart, the story is about people who want to have the freedom to choose how they live. Whether that is actually possible or not is the question. Add galactic politics, corporations, greed, power plays and you have enough to make a big mess. I'm already cheering for the characters and can't wait to see what world toppling mess they are getting thrown into. I'll definitely get the next book when it is released in July. =)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    As much as I think the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might be one of the best TV finales ever, I do wish we had seen (canonically, on screen) what the aftermath of the Dominion War brought. It’s one thing to tell a war story—and DS9 told it well—and another to talk about after the war. About picking up the pieces, rebuilding, and healing wounds of all varieties. Aftershocks is exactly that kind of book. Marko Kloos drops us into a solar system five years after the last official shot was f As much as I think the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might be one of the best TV finales ever, I do wish we had seen (canonically, on screen) what the aftermath of the Dominion War brought. It’s one thing to tell a war story—and DS9 told it well—and another to talk about after the war. About picking up the pieces, rebuilding, and healing wounds of all varieties. Aftershocks is exactly that kind of book. Marko Kloos drops us into a solar system five years after the last official shot was fired and, through a select cast of characters, asks us to consider how we would rebuild trust, empathy, and our own personal lives. Thanks to 47North and NetGalley for the eARC! Perhaps the main character, because we meet him first and get the most pagetime with him, is Aden. At the beginning of the book he is a prisoner of war, because he was on the losing side. He is soon released, time served, and finds himself adrift in that way released prisoners often are. Aden is in no rush to return to his home planet of Gretia, to be found by his estranged father of means, yet he doesn’t know where else he might belong. Kloos introduces other perspectives: Dunstan is the commander of a Rhodian battleship that witnesses some very unusual activity; Idina is a Palladian infantry sergeant who loses her entire squadron in a devastating ambush and then gets put on peace patrol duty; Solveig is the heiress to a Gretian family business suffering under sanctions and war reparations. Each of these characters is trying to move on in some way, to some degree, although you will grow attached to them by varying amounts. For example, as much as I liked Dunstan, we don’t learn as much about his backstory as we do some of the others, so I’m not entirely sure what his deal is. Idina might be my favourite. She goes through a lot in a short amount of time in this book, yet she remains true to herself and still develops as far as her character goes. Kloos makes it clear that there is something untoward happening in this system, hints at a conspiracy or Xanatos gambit behind the scenes. From strange piracy behaviour to mystery attacks and the destruction of mothballed fleets, it’s as if someone is trying to stir up trouble—but to what end? If you’re looking for answers, without spoilers I’m going to tell you that you won’t really find them. Aftershocks doesn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger, but it’s definitely not a standalone book. Indeed, my major grip with this novel is just how little Kloos ties together the characters’ stories. There is definitely some overlap; don’t get me wrong. Clearly the connections are there. I just was expecting the storylines to converge towards the end, and when that didn’t really happen, it left me disappointed. I’m willing to cut Kloos a lot of slack, however, simply because I enjoyed the sandbox we got to play in. Lots of tantalizing hints about the origins of this system without anything along the lines of a huge infodump. The technology is handwavey at times, yet also fairly familiar—commtabs and artificial gravity, etc. Oh, and do you like naval-inspired space battles? Because have some good naval-inspired space battles happening here, particularly in Dunstan's chapters. Great combination of AI and human responsibilities, really intense and suspenseful scenes of stalking a target, deciding when to go hot, etc. This isn’t the main focus of the book by any means; I wouldn’t call Aftershocks military SF per se—but it’s just enough to satisfy me without being more than I really want in a book. So on balance, I liked Aftershocks. It’s good without being particularly great, and you know, that’s really all I want in the end. I’ll take great when I can get it, and I’ll wax poetic and reread it and talk about how it changed my life. But this is a nice science fiction adventure full of intrigue and both interpersonal and intrapersonal drama, and I am totally here for it. Give me more!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam Richard

    Space opera! I love a solid space opera. (Not to be confused with space fantasy, where people have mystical powers and laser swords, and there are space dragons and the like) Marko Kloos writes plausible, believable space opera with a military bent. So, this was my free Kindle book this month. I agonised over the choice. Most of the other choices were crimey or weepy, by the looks of things, and this was straight-up science fiction. I vaguely recognised the name, and wondered why, so I did a quic Space opera! I love a solid space opera. (Not to be confused with space fantasy, where people have mystical powers and laser swords, and there are space dragons and the like) Marko Kloos writes plausible, believable space opera with a military bent. So, this was my free Kindle book this month. I agonised over the choice. Most of the other choices were crimey or weepy, by the looks of things, and this was straight-up science fiction. I vaguely recognised the name, and wondered why, so I did a quick Google before clicking okay. Kloos was one of the writers shortlisted for the Hugo Award in the contentious 2015 Sad/Rabid Puppies nonsense. He withdrew his book from consideration, which I thought showed he had some grit, and for such a classy move I’d happily take his book for free from Amazon (his publisher). If you want more on the 2015 Hugos, this is a fascinating article, but not the point of this review. So, how did I feel about my first Marko Kloos book? I really liked it! The characters are all fascinating, and I’m interested in all of their disparate stories. The action sequences are exciting and frequently unexpected. The worldbuilding is magnificent, especially with relation to martial details. Aftershocks is set in a system of worlds that are in their fifth year of uneasy peace after an exacting intergalactic war. We follow the stories of a POW and a young executive from the aggressor planet, a naval captain in deep space, and a colour sergeant now occupying, and trying to maintain order, on the planet that started the war. There is not as much infodumping, something space opera can sometimes be dreadfully guilty of, and most of the things you are wondering, like how the war started, and whether or not these characters' stories are going to intersect, is revealed in time, often in moments you don’t expect, while three other things are going on. Kloos' prose is efficient, and he has developed a cute device to make most of his dialogue simplistic, but effective. The various races in the story speak different languages, and rather than burden us with incomprehensible space talk, he has everything translated by AI, which strips away any nuance or subtlety. It’s a great choice, and we, as readers, get to overlay presumptive emotion on to some of the ruthlessly clinical dialogue. I only had a couple of concerns, both of which spring from the fact that this is the first part of what is evidently a much longer narrative. For one thing, the book just seems to stop, making it feel like a very long chapter, rather than a whole novel. There are several plot threads left dangling, and much of the book feels like foreshadowing of something huge happening in later volumes. My other concern was with the sometimes sympathetic portrayal of the people who started the war. Judging by descriptions and naming, the archetypes the characters are based on have certain racial characteristics. The teutonic aggressors of the war only really have one parallel in our recent Earth history. I am happy to reserve judgement before writing this off as a Nazi apologist piece, because Kloos, being originally from Germany, has a fascinating viewpoint and I like to think this is going somewhere interesting. If you like a book with a definite ending, then stay away, but if you like space books with explosions and fights and meticulously crafted worlds and characters, then please give this a try. I really am excited to read more from this series, and may even dip into his previous work - no doubt I will come across him soon enough, as he is one of the many writers working on the current crop of Wild Cards novels.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    It is not a novel it is a long extended pre-amble that serves to set scene the and show the world building while introducing characters and relationships. Kloos is pretty pleased with his world building and wants to show you he has thought of everything, so at various points where he suspects a reader might be saying "Wait, what...how can..?" he happily goes into a few paragraphs of explaining the how what when where of it all in a casually plausible way. No massive surprises in the form of plot o It is not a novel it is a long extended pre-amble that serves to set scene the and show the world building while introducing characters and relationships. Kloos is pretty pleased with his world building and wants to show you he has thought of everything, so at various points where he suspects a reader might be saying "Wait, what...how can..?" he happily goes into a few paragraphs of explaining the how what when where of it all in a casually plausible way. No massive surprises in the form of plot or character design so far, but I would not really expect any in such a 'prologue' Serious editing and less info-dump verbiage could probably have seen this whole book tacked onto the books to follow in the series this begins. It does not even finish with a real cliff-hanger ending, just an "Oh I wonder who those guys were?" moment. All that said, I liked the setting and the potential and will certainly try the next in series in the hope that now Kloos has cleared his throat and introduced us all perhaps he will get down to the real business of story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Fairly entertaining, if uninventive, military sci-fi. With multiple narrative threads and POVs, none of which come together for resolution by the end of the book, this is clearly a lead in to a longer series, which I'm not likely to continue with.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christi M

    Aftershocks is a very solid first book in a new science fiction series that revolves around six planets striving for stability after a war has ended. The story is told through multiple points of view – each showing a different area of how order is maintained within the solar system and how it affects different individuals. However, it doesn’t take too long in the story before we see that the “order” they are striving to maintain is fragile and occurrences of guerilla type warfare begin occurring Aftershocks is a very solid first book in a new science fiction series that revolves around six planets striving for stability after a war has ended. The story is told through multiple points of view – each showing a different area of how order is maintained within the solar system and how it affects different individuals. However, it doesn’t take too long in the story before we see that the “order” they are striving to maintain is fragile and occurrences of guerilla type warfare begin occurring. Throughout the entire book, you can almost feel the drumbeats of war coming – but the question is from whom and how are they doing what they are doing? In fact, this story is a very large prelude to something major – you can feel it with every page you turn. Often science fiction leaves me feeling very stupid for struggling to grasp the worlds the author has created so it is very refreshing when a book like this comes along – one where you clearly understand the world being built. With each of point of view we slowly learn what the world looks like. The main characters Aden, Idina, Dunstan, and Solvieg provide us a view into the world as they experience it: resentment toward the losing side, the technology used in the world, and how each of the planets differ from the others as well as how each planet adapted to their landscape. However, they each also have moments where they are presented with and escaping from danger that are each very exciting to read. My personal favorite is Dunstan and what he encounters. I loved this sci fi book. Loved! Good story, enjoyable to read, and it didn’t leave me feeling stupid. I even loved the cliffhanger ending that made me go “Noooo. You can’t end there!” I definitely recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  29. 4 out of 5

    G33z3r

    Sadly, this felt like a waste of my time. It's all just a set-up for a new space-opera series, and Kloos hasn't bothered to provide much of a story. Introduce a four PoV characters, mostly cliche. There are a few action scenes, ground fighting and a small space engagement, but they don't do much to create a coherent narrative. A post-war occupation shows the obvious tension between victor and vanquished. And it seems someone is trying to stir things up with both sides for reasons unknown. Not an Sadly, this felt like a waste of my time. It's all just a set-up for a new space-opera series, and Kloos hasn't bothered to provide much of a story. Introduce a four PoV characters, mostly cliche. There are a few action scenes, ground fighting and a small space engagement, but they don't do much to create a coherent narrative. A post-war occupation shows the obvious tension between victor and vanquished. And it seems someone is trying to stir things up with both sides for reasons unknown. Not an auspicious start.

  30. 4 out of 5

    RG

    Pretty good milscifi space opera. Good level of world building. Large number of characters but each quite different. None of the varying POVs felt similar..all had their own traits. Good action and plotting just let down by the ending. It wasnt a bad ending it just felt like it was kind of just beginning. Wished it was longer.

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