For those who like a more militaristic feel to a dystopian, Marko Kloos’ Terms of Enlistment is a snappy quick read — snappy because it has a military feel about it, complete with the salutes, standing at attention, boot camp and battles — quick because it is a short read that keeps moving to the end.
Enter the world at 2108, Terms is set in North America where the protagonist has enlisted; he is in the process of reporting to boot camp. Picture a world where the gap between the have and the have nots is far greater than today. Home ownership is only for the wealthy, where the middle class is the bottom tier wealthy. Most of the population lives in down-and-dirty public housing. It is not a world where survival is at all guaranteed; a sad unfulfilled life that ends in death is the norm. The military is the promise of food, money and security, but not necessarily survival. This is not the world where posse comitatus reigns; the military is brought into fight battles in American cities. It is not a National Guard scenario but combat like that in Iraq or Afghanistan, thousands of civilians a/k/a welfare rats die. The story follows the protagonist through boot camp and his first duty assignments.
I will likely read more of the series for which Terms is the first in the series. Aside from the choice of alien species in the final battle and some of the dialogue that seemed a bit contrived and too much at times, Terms of Enlistment was a book that I looked forward to listening to on Audible. Like most dystopians, there is not much character development which is a refreshing change and which keeps the plot moving to the end.