Recently I took a walk outside of my literary comfort zone. Over the past few weeks I have been reading the first four books of the Frontlines series by Marko Kloos with my husband. Set a century into the future, this sci-fi series is a great example of it’s genre: space travel and fire fights, a romantic interest, light adult humor, and aliens.
The series is told from the perspective of Andrew Grayson, who looking to escape an overpopulated planet and the poverty he has been born in to joins the armed forces where he can be assured meals and a bed. He meets several people along the way, the men and women who become comrades and dear friends as the series goes on.
While I thought all the books were good, I was particularly fond of the first two. As I read through the series I found that the books began to lose their momentum and strength, much like a TV show that should have stopped after two seasons. I was particularly appreciative of the strong female characters in the books: often sci-fi as a genre can seem like it excludes women in lieu of a sexist, macho man dominated world. Kloos did a great job to ensure that his novels were diverse and inclusive and I felt like I saw myself in some of the characters.
This series also had a fresh perspective where it is not necessarily humans versus aliens, but also looks at how the appearance of aliens affects human diplomacy on the international level. In my experience, when there is an alien invasion it seems like the whole planet bands together in a common cause which can give a slight feeling of inauthenticity, but Kloos opted to approach the theme from a different, more complex angle.
While this is not a series that I would have picked up on my own, it was nice to step outside my comfort zone. I enjoyed the experience of reading the books with my husband and being able to chat about our different impressions on the books throughout the day as we experienced them. I may not have converted to the genre completely, but I would like to think I would be more open to reading sci-fi novels in the future.
Question of the Day:
Have you ever read a book with your partner? What book/series do you think would be a good buddy read for couples?