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The Jekyll Island Chronicles (Book One): A Machine Age War

Review

The Jekyll Island Chronicles (Book One): A Machine Age War

The two volumes of The Jekyll Island Chronicles follow the interactions and machinations between the first world nations reeling from the aftermath of World War One. The world’s top leadership are working (and not working) together against a shadowy cabal of villains bent on destroying the world in order to rebuild it as they see fit. Think James Bond’s Spectre…but just after World War One. The Jekyll Island Chronicles series is the brainchild of creators Steve Nedvidek, Ed Crowell and Jack Lowe.

"The creators’ love for this niche creates a very detailed world filled with political intrigue and global machinations. The steampunk technology is a fun addition that sets the book apart from the usual genre fare."

Among the three, they’ve obtained a degree in theater, experience in radio and television, degrees in political science and international affairs and experience in filmmaking. These previous accomplishments serve as a great strength. It’s obvious that the writers are very excited about the time period and the Machiavellian manipulations at the state level that make up the meat and potatoes of the story. The creators’ love for this niche creates a very detailed world filled with political intrigue and global machinations. The steampunk technology is a fun addition that sets the book apart from the usual genre fare.

The writer’s love for this niche is also the book’s greatest weakness. While they love the subject matter, it can be very dry. If the reader isn’t already very interested in the subject matter, it does little to bring them in. It often feels like a play, each set piece is set in a rather static environment, in which the characters sit and deliver lines. While the bad guys feel like Spectre, the story isn’t about James Bond, it’s about the people who tell James Bond what to do. This is all the boardroom meetings that spy organizations must have, it’s all the parts that a James Bond story would skip in order to get to more exciting set pieces and action sequences.

J. Moses Nester and S. J. Miller are the art team for both volumes, with Nester handling the lines and Miller handling the color. Nester has a love of mechanical props that really ratchets up the credibility of the world. The structures and machinery almost steal the show over the figures, which can be a bit wonky at times. Miller creates some interesting textures and highlight Nester’s work well but can come across as rushed in some areas. The art serves the story well and book definitely appeals to fans of the genre.

Reviewed by Michael Lee Harris on January 16, 2019

The Jekyll Island Chronicles (Book One): A Machine Age War
by Steve Nedvidek, Ed Crowell, Jack Lowe, and J. Moses Nester