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5 Small Stars

So Connor Gates and Sean Quinn have teams working on a land-base and space-based interdimensional gate. They believe these gates will lead them back to the Krake so they can get some desperate intelligence on their new enemy. Neither one of these projects are guaranteed to work, but if they can get them to seemingly work, General Gates and Colonel Quinn expect to take their respective forces with them through those gates. Why they would do this, not knowing that they even work, is something of a mystery.

Still, neither are willing to set back and wait for the Krake to appear around New Earth without knowing what they will be up against. So, it’s through the gates they go. General Gates’ forces don’t meet up with any resistance upon first entering the new dimension. They do find a Krake base and head towards it which happens to also be the source of a CDF distress beacon. They find the base destroyed and empty. There is also no sign of the missing CDF personnel until the scouts announce they have found another human built village not far from the Krake base. In it were the CDF survivors, barely alive, but surprisingly still alive.

General Gates intends to explore a little more after turning off the distress beacon. That turns out to be a mistake. From the surrounding jungle growth, things start emerging and they are not friendly things. They are huge and very deadly. They also aren’t easy to kill, but they can kill the CDF soldiers very easily and rapidly. General Gates orders a retreat back to the gate with all the wounded they can carry. Unfortunately, Sergeant Diaz, General Gates closest friend is grabbed by one of the monsters. Gate and his fellow soldiers fight a desperate action to retrieve Sergeant Diaz, but only after he’s been severely wounded. About two-thirds of General Gates’ original force make it back through the gate.

Out in space, Colonel Sean Quinn is taking his task force fleet through their space-gate. They transition successfully and try to determine where they are in relation to their previous interdimensional trip out near the planet Sagan. They do not encounter any Krake in their immediate vicinity, but they also find out that they are not where they should be. This isn’t the targeted dimension they expected to be in with their original calculations. Sending a drone back through the gate also reveals that they don’t have the right calculations for their home dimension either. So, the first order of business, is to find out why their calculations were off so they can at least return to the right New Earth dimension—then the Krake show up!

Pretty good story all the way through. Why General Gates thinks he’s got to do all the exploring himself is beyond me. He might as well be a Lieutenant Colonel leading a battalion instead of a General who don’t just lead battalions. Apparently, he doesn’t have any competent subordinates that he trusts. At least his troops most all return to the right place and dimension after their unfriendly encounter. Not so much for Colonel Quinn and his fleet. They are now lost and have found what they were looking for, the Krake, but that might be too for them to handle.

The series will continue with book 8, but a title wasn’t provided. I’ll be watching for it.

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