Aftershocks

Aftershocks

A solar system fights to survive and reform in the wake of war, but the real battle is about to begin.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 fifteen years of his life...

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Title:Aftershocks
Author:Marko Kloos
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Edition Language:English

Aftershocks Reviews

  • Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this,

    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,

    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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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

    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. :)

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    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

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    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.

  • Robin (Bridge Four)

    Audible Daily Deal 04Dec19 for

    What happens after the war has ended and everyone has hashed out the reporations and divided the booty? In

    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

    Audible Daily Deal 04Dec19 for

    What happens after the war has ended and everyone has hashed out the reporations and divided the booty? In 

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    .  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.

    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

    next year, continuing the

    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.

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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

    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.

  • M.

    Where the hell is the rest of the novel?

  • Charles

    Beginning of a many books’ crossover military science fiction (MIL-SF)/conspiracy thriller/ space opera modeled on

    .

    I can't help but to compare and contrast this story to

    . 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

    Beginning of a many books’ crossover military science fiction (MIL-SF)/conspiracy thriller/ space opera modeled on

    .

    I can't help but to compare and contrast this story to

    . 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

    --it ends with a

    . Its as if the author had a contractual word count; reached it and stopped with a:

    .

    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

    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.

    is an American MIL-SF and fantasy fiction author. He has written about ten novels. The last book I read by him was

    (my review), the first in his

    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

    and contained some odd word choices. For example, there was needless repetition in the narrative. The words

    were exclusively used to describe rocket exhaust maybe 20-times. (Also, you don’t get a rocket (properly)

    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

    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

    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’

    . He’s an (Ex-)

    . Having served with the losing side of the story's equivalent of the

    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

    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

    from

    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

    . 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

    and

    . She’s heir to the family mega-corp in the absence of her brother. Its yet to be seen if she’s Kloos’

    .

    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

    . (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'

    . Aden’s main plot line and its subordinate Solveig’s plot line ended abruptly with

    . This left me with the feeling that the story of this book in the series was very

    .

    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

    with an Iraq/Afghanistan occupation. Aden and Solvieg are like defeated German

    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

    with something like the American/NATO Iraq/Afghanistan occupation forces. She still has issues with the losers. Dunstan survives the post-war

    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

    . Aden has some formative experiences while in the process of being repatriated. He gets a

    job traveling around the solar system. (It’s likely involved with the

    .) The young Sovieg gets a high-profile job at the mega-corp as heir-apparent. (The Mega-corp was likely involved with the

    .) 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

    . He has always done well to capture the Army

    . 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

    a spaceship can be fought better by a machine (AI) than a man. (The author knows

    .) 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

    in peacetime. In addition, post-war recruits are typically not amongst the best and brightest. All of Kloos' soldiers and sailors are too much

    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

    . For example, Palladium universe spaceships use

    . I can't recall any narrative about spaceships fueling or carrying fuel. What do these 'rockets' use for propellant to create all those

    ? 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 1

    on the

    . A spaceship can travel more than a Billion km ±20% in 7-days at 1

    with decel (which the author included), although you don’t

    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

    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 the

    for

    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

    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.

    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

    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

    . 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

    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.

    (2011) the first book in the

    , had a single POV (

    ). As the

    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

    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

    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,

    , hoping it gets better, although, it’s not going to be high on my list.

  • 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

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