Get ready to enter The Space Between.
The next installment in the Kirov Series, #59, takes its title from that given to Part I of No Man’s Land. Here, The Space Between begins with some haunting quotes from HP Lovecraft that allude to the strange entities discovered earlier as an old intelligent race. Karpov and Fedorov see how the Raptors retreat into the sky Rift over Tunguska, and of course, they wonder where it takes them, since 1908 had been the normal destination point for things entering that rift any time in the future. Fedorov is grateful to be there after Karpov’s use of the Kamenski device to go and retrieve an earlier version of the man after he vanished, and to avoid the circumstances that may have contributed to his temporal instability. Now, wanting to know more about the “Raptors,” Fedorov suggests a reconnaissance to the deep past to have a look, and we’re off to the races. The book takes you by the throat like a Raptor claw, and doesn’t let up as Karpov goes to war on this emerging threat.
In No Man’s Land we saw how the Raptors began infiltrating into modern times during WWII
during the Battle of Cambrai. Baikal and crew have become a kind of antibody reaction to these incursions, led by Fedorov’s insatiable curiosity, and his effort to prevent what he sees as real trouble should a larger host of the entities come forward into modern times.
If you liked the oddly different but strangely satisfying run ins with these creatures in the
tunnels and trenches of WWI, then this one will take that story thread to a higher gear. Karpov soon learns that there is a lost battalion of his army that is already out hunting the
Raptors in the Tunguska region, and actions there soon lead the mission to times and places where they never thought they could go. We will get a gripping battle at Vanavara, where Zykov
finally gets his fervent wish to bring down something really big.
In the meantime, what’s been happening with the ship and crew we all spent so many hours
on? Admiral Volsky has decided that Kirov can not sit idle in Vladivostok, particularly since the port is being hit by Chinese rockets in the still simmering Sino-Siberian war. This soon leads us to a long segment aboard Kirov, where the ship, of course, slips in time again and gets caught up in another reality. It’s the author’s way of showing us what ends up happening to the future Volkov has created and runs from Part V through Part X of this volume. Kirov makes a number of unplanned excursions, and the author is using these segments to tie off plot lines in those times. The fate of Volkov’s future, where Imperial Japan still reigns in the Western Pacific, is particularly chilling, because the big natural events that ended the last volume. Between the skyfall of Bennu, and the reawakening of the Demon, Kirov is now sailing in some very dangerous and unstable waters, from a temporal standpoint as well as a military one.
Along the way, we learn more of hos the war in 2021 ended, at least in the Pacific Theater
where it began. Then, for the ending, we return to events involving the Raptors. One is a major incursion in 2026, the other a sortie to try and seal off other similar rifts.
So this volume is loaded, from tense small unit actions against the Raptor threat, an attempt
to hijack the Kirov, to a nuclear exchange in the Pacific. It has naval action, missile duels, ground action, and oh yes, the Dinosaurs.