ABOUT: Kirov VI - Fallen Angels - 9 Days Falling - Volume II
– The Kirov Saga continues its expansive story of military time travel as the officers and crew of the battlecruiser Kirov struggle to change the
history leading to a Great War in 2021 that threatens the destruction of all human civilization. Yet as the title hints, the central action here is on the Fallen Angels aboard Kirov, blasted into the past yet
again in a startling and unexpected twist of events in the opening volume of the 9 Days Falling trilogy.
As the author himself explains in a brief
introduction to 9 Day Falling, the Kirov Saga is actually two trilogies connected together by the bridge novel, Men Of War. The opening trilogy presents the tale of
the ship’s harrowing displacement in time to the 1940s, which sees it engage the Royal Navy, Regia Marina, German U-Boats and eventually the Imperial
Japanese Navy over three compelling volumes that offered some of the most exciting sea duels ever written.
These three books stand like the
strong trunk of a sturdy tree in the series, with a tightly unified plot centered on the principle officers of the ship and a cast of historical characters drawn into the mystery of Kirov’s
strange appearance throughout the war as they attempt to come to grips with the situation. By the end of the trilogy, however, the officers of Kirov have finally learned why they moved
in time, and discovered how to control that movement to some extent. This brings us to the bridge novel, Men Of War, which was the tale of what happened to the ship and crew after
they returned home to 2021 at the eve of the Great War they now know is imminent.
In Men Of War the mystery of how the ship moves in time is centered on a nuclear reactor
control rod, or “Rod-25” as it is called by the ship’s Chief Engineer. Its strange effects are
proved again, even after being removed from the ship, and the officers discover that odd things are happening. Crew members disappear and the ship’s resident historian, Anton
Fedorov, is shocked to see that the history seems to still be in a state of flux, even to the point where passages in his history books seem to change overnight as the chronology of
events is re-written. Something remains unresolved, and Fedorov is convinced it has to do with the irascible Chief of Operations, Gennadi Orlov, who jumped ship in Volume II and is
now marooned in the year 1942. A plan is hatched to find a way to rescue Orlov while the dominoes leading to the great war in 2021 slowly begin to fall.
With much more plot, mystery and intrigue, the story leads us deftly to the second trilogy, 9 Days Falling. This three volume set is a much more expansive tale, with new characters,
and plot lines growing from the root of the first trilogy and branching out in many directions
like the arms of a tree. Each one has its own special fruit to bear. Some are meant to relate the story of the ever expanding war in 2021, a crisis that begins in Men Of War in a scrap
between China and Japan and then escalates rapidly into a major confrontation in the Pacific. Volume I of 9 Days Falling recounts events of the first three days of the war, with a
duel between the Red Banner Pacific Fleet and the US Navy that ends with a dramatic twist when the Demon Volcano in the Kuriles erupts with a fury that sends the heart of Captain
Karpov’s flotilla back to 1945. At the same time, Fedorov’s mission to find Orlov makes a startling discovery on the long journey west along the Siberian rail.
The author is painting on a much broader canvass in 9 Days Falling, yet with story
elements and characters in the future and past that all seem to have some connection to the
crucial hunt for Orlov. What first appears to be a depiction of the war in 2021 escalating into
the world’s major energy centers is now something much more when we learn that the head of Fairchild Inc. is actually a member of the secret organization established by Admiral John
Tovey in 1942 called “The Watch.” Fairchild’s unaccountable order to attack the Anatoly Alexandrov where Chief Dobrynin is planning the mission to rescue Fedorov and Orlov
hints, therefore, that the Watch knows what is going on here, and is trying to prevent it.
More than this, the plot line that began with Inspector General Kapustin in Men Of War
has coiled into a compelling mystery that slowly unravels the secret of Rod-25. The shadowy figure of Pavel Kamenski reveals that the phenomenon of time displacement has been
known for some time, and can be triggered by massive explosive events, particularly those involving nuclear detonation. This character gets further development, but the mystery
deepens. Fedorov’s strange experience when he takes an unused back stairway at an inn along the Siberian Rail lands him in the year 1908, right at the moment of the fabled
Tunguska event, another massive explosion that many believed had a nuclear signature.
Now the next volume, Fallen Angels, takes us through days four, five and six in the year
2021, while continuing the major plot lines which began in the opening volume of 9 Days Falling. Yet the major focus of the novel is the plight of Karpov’s regression to the past,
which is both a psychological shift on his part as much as it is physical. The Captain does not belief the ship can ever return to its own time without Rod-25 aboard, and Karpov is
again tempted by his own inner demons, which quickly lead him into confrontation with the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the conclusion of WWII. The one naval force Kirov has not yet tackled in
the 1940s is the US Pacific Fleet. In Kirov III – Pacific Storm the US is only just beginning
its counterattack in the Solomons at Guadalcanal and is still overmatched by the Japanese. In that book, Kirov’s sudden appearance unhinges Yamamoto’s strike south, diverting the
assets of Hara’s carrier division and leading to a Midway like disaster when they engage the Americans. But the author deftly avoided having the Russian battlecruiser face
American forces in that story, and now it is clear why.
The buildup to modern war that began in Men of War soon erupted into a major fleet
engagement with the US in 2021, and then the plot took a decisive turn with another eruption—the Demon volcano in the Kuriles. This amazing turn of events in the opening
volume of the second trilogy, 9 Days Falling, has returned the story to the template that made it so popular in the opening trilogy—Kirov battling the naval might of WWII, and that
remains the highlight of Fallen Angels. 18 of the novel’s 36 chapters focus on this engrossing plot line where Karpov’s three ship flotilla comprised of Kirov, the destroyer Orlan and the frigate Admiral Golovko are now matched against the massive US naval
presence off the shores of Japan where no less than five fast carrier battlegroups were mustering for the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay.
Now storied Admirals like Ziggy Sprague, Bull Halsey and Chester Nimitz take the stage
in 1945, along with the return of Admiral Bruce Fraser who was first introduced to readers in the second book of the series when the battleships Rodney & Nelson dueled with Kirov in
the Med. The action builds like a massively threatening storm and reaches a climax in a six chapter engagement at sea that is reminiscent of the showdown with Yamato in book III.
Exciting naval action is at the heart of this volume. Even the Fairchild plot line is principally
centered on the company’s desperate battle against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2021.
Action in the dread war has been upstaged by the eruption of the Demon volcano, but
continues when the US and China trade strategic blows to further escalate the tensions.
Meanwhile, Fedorov’s journey to find Orlov also builds towards a climax in this volume. All
the various plot lines associated with that story (Haselden’s commando raid, Fedorov’s mission, Chief Dobrynin on the Anatoly Alexandrov, Ben Flak on Chevron’s Platform
Medusa, Russian Naval intelligence Captain Ivan Volkov, and the Fairchild group aboard Argos Fire) now begin to converge and reunite along the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Readers will discover that everything in the Fairchild plot line, for example, was also carefully crafted to dovetail with the hunt for Orlov as much as it was used to reveal the ever
expanding war in 2021. There are also some new characters here in a three scene segment introducing Sir Roger Ames, First Duke of Elvington, and they lead us deeper into the
mystery of time travel in some very unexpected ways.
With strong and compelling characters, an expansive yet well managed plot, an ever
deepening mystery that digs for the real secret of time travel, and loads of naval combat, the author delivers another suspenseful tale here that will conclude in the final volume in the
series coming this fall. The naval action here, and the overall tone and voice of the novel is much like that in the early volumes, and the drama of the ending is first rate, with a
conclusion that will shock as much as it entertains.
Don’t miss this exciting continuation of 9 Days Falling when volume II, Fallen Angels
makes its debut on July 5 from the Writing Shop Press—Exclusively on Amazon.com.
OTHER READER REVIEWS:
“Wow! I am speechless. This series just gets better and better!!! I have been fortunate up
until this book to always be "behind the eightball" in that the next book in the series has
already been released, so I haven't had to wait to find out what happens. Unfortunately, my
luck, along with the luck of the men aboard the Kirov seems to have finally run out. I have to wait for the final installment!
I have to say I love the way Mr Schettler draws the reader in. What seems like totally
irrelevant information is thrown in and then revealed to be a little piece of the vast historical
knowledge that Mr Schettler possesses of WW2. Everything is well considered and adds to
the reality that this whole saga is REAL, not just a work of fiction....This series is well worth
the read and it definitely gets better and better with each book in the series. Read them from the begginning and you will NOT be dissapointed!!!” - A. Roscoe
“The latest installment to the Kirov series. BUY THEM ALL! Important, you really need to
start with the first, and read through them in order. Seriously, the time travel and twists of the
battle cruiser Kirov will grip you with an iron fist, but not reading them in order would
probably frustrate you beyond belief. In this latest installment, no worries no spoilers here,
the world is going to war, a final, end it all, Armageddon war. And Kirov is right in the
middle again . . . . or should I say the center of it, in more than one time line!...Any fan of
alternative histories, naval fiction, military fiction, heck any fan of reading will love these
novels. Buy them all, read them all (in order), and lets keep this author writing!” - Trusten