1636: The Kremlin Games
Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, and Paula Goodlett
Baen, Jun 5 2012, $25 (432p)
Having survived being transported from twenty-first century West Virginia to seventeenth century Europe, Grantville comes out of the recent war (see 1635: The Eastern Front and 1636: The Saxon Uprising) feeling stronger. However, some of the heroic soldiers like auto mechanic Bernie Zeppi feel they no longer have a place in this new world order.
That changes when Russian aristocrat Vladimir Gorchacov comes to Grantville; he hires Bernie to bring the future to backward Russia where serfdom rules the country and imperial power schemes paralyze Moscow. Bernie expects a life of luxury until he faces the deaths of children from typhoid. As he brings technology to the Russians, Bernie also brings American futuristic concepts like human rights starting with freedom at a time in which war with Poland seems imminent.
The latest Ring of Fire alternate historical is an enjoyable thriller with a wonderful second order effect on Bernie and the Russians; he begins to respect and love a nation he thought was barbaric (based on American history books) while the Russians are amazed by his gizmos and activated to demand liberty and justice for all. Though at times overly philosophical as the action tarts in 1631 and evolves through subsequent years until part six is 1636, fans will enjoy a Mountaineer in Czar Romanov’s Kremlin.