Adrienne Martini Reviews Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars by Marko Kloos

Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars, Marko Kloos (47North 978-1-5420-4355-7, $24.95, 282pp, hc) July 2019.

In Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars, Marko Kloos is setting up a series that will look at what happens once a war is over. It’s a nice change from the smash and bang of what happens during the fighting; instead, here he puts the focus on the aftermath of occupation.

Kloos opens on Aden Robertson, a Gretian soldier, who is being released from prison. He hasn’t been held for a decade because of a specific crime. He’s there because his planet was the ag­gressor in a six-planet war and his side lost. The other five planets are occupying Gretia, and the soldiers from the losing side are slowly being released back into the universe.

Aden slowly makes his way back to a home that has changed – and the journey isn’t an easy one. Not only is it a tough time to be a Gretian, the occupying forces are facing a new resistance force, one that seems far more technologically advanced than is possible.

While Aden is the main character, Kloos also takes us into the heads of another Gretian, with her own unexpected burden, and two former soldiers now tasked with protection of resources rather than destruction of same. Kloos skillfully moves from each point of view (and landscape) with ease.

Aftershocks is a great start to what should be a fun, thought-provoking series. As you’d expect, not every loose end is tied up here, but enough is settled that it is satisfying. This interrogation of what happens when the fighting is over a refresh­ing angle on military science fiction and one that rests well in Kloos’s hands.

Adrienne Martini has been reading or writing about science fiction for decades and has had two non-fiction, non-genre books published by Simon and Schuster. She lives in Upstate New York with one husband, two kids, and one corgi. She also runs a lot.

This review and more like it in the April 2020 issue of Locus.

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