Angles of Attack (Frontlines Book 3) by Marko Kloos
Angles of Attack: The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system’s edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war. For battle-weary staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and the ragged forces of the North American Commonwealth, the fight for survival is entering a catastrophic new phase.
Forging an uneasy alliance with their Sino-Russian enemies, the NAC launches a hybrid task force on a long shot: a stealth mission to breach the Lanky blockade and reestablish supply lines with Earth. Plunging into combat against a merciless alien species that outguns, outmaneuvers, and outfights them at every turn, Andrew and his fellow troopers could end up cornered on their home turf, with no way out and no hope for reinforcement. And this time, the struggle for humanity’s future can only end in either victory or annihilation.
Marko Kloos was born and raised in Germany, in and around the city of Münster. In the past, he was a soldier, bookseller, freight dockworker, and corporate IT administrator before he decided that he wasn’t cut out for anything other than making up stuff for a living. He writes primarily science fiction and fantasy, his favorite genres since his youth, when he spent most of his allowance on German sci-fi pulp serials. He resides in New Hampshire with his wife, two children, and a roving pack of vicious dachshunds.
Reviewed by Falldog
Did you read, and enjoy, the previous two novels – Angles of Attack? Did you watch the first three Transformers movies and still see the fourth one in the theater? Then you’ll probably enjoy this book as well. If you’re looking for the next Heinlein, or Scalzi, then you’re in the wrong place.
Where the previous two installments at least tried to add some excitement to tired old genre tropes, Angles of Attack arrives empty handed and leaves one unfulfilled. So very few events of consequence take place that readers could hop in 80% of the way through the novel and be brought up to speed with a sentence or two of exposition. Heck, when book four arrives Angles of Attack can probably be skipped outright. The only interesting set piece is so casually and apathetically thrown away that one can’t help but be annoyed at having wasted 150 pages on it.
There’s so little character development that it might as well be 0%. A new character shows up, and just as casually disappears, for the simple sake of running the “we’re not so different” trope into the ground. The paper thin social/military commentary present in Lines of Departure is now essentially valueless. To be fair, there’s a bit of suspense but it quickly evaporates when you realize things are headed for an old-hat ending.
At the end of the day it’s a perfect pickup for some light reading. Got a long layover? Angles of Attack is just right. Thinking about expanding your horizons with thought provoking sci-fi? Look elsewhere.
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