Book Reviews

Book Review- Jekyll Island Chronicles (graphic novel)

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This book was reviewed via Netgalley


The Jekyll Island Chronicles by Nedvidek, Cromwell, and Lowe tells the behind the scenes story of an alternate history in which the titans of industry and science come together to do far more than craft the Federal Reserve. Meeting on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia, such notables as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Nikola Tesla, and William Boeing, among others, turn their prodigious wealth and talent to protecting the nation.


In an effort to combat a terrorist group setting off bombs across the country, they begin to assemble a group of people with courage, and strength of heart. And….a few unusual gifts as well. Peter, or Ox as he’s called early on, is a veteran of the Great War who’s lost his legs. A blacksmithing skill, and fierce determination, lead him to craft prosthetic legs to help him get on in life. Taken under Carnegie’s wing, Ox gets fantastic, new mechanical legs.


Young Ms Huxley has gained the unique ability of generating and channeling electricity. Tesla and Steinmetz grudgingly work together to help her hone and channel that gift, turning her into someone who can wield lightning as a weapon. Indeed, they even call her a female Zeus. Boeing works with an ace pilot named Billy Colfield, and together they create an amazing plane tailored to Billy’s skills and speed.


These Titans of industry and science are creating superheroes, yet they are all science and tech oriented. Jekyll Island seems grittier too, and far less flashy than the few and far between superhero comics I’ve read. It seems more real, somehow. More believable, rather than needing to suspend a lot of belief.


Together, these three, backed by the Industrial Titans, and the scientists in their cadre, take on the terrorist group Zeno. This terrorist organisation has not only been sending bombs to individuals, but they’ve also managed to gain zeppelin access, and to have stolen a dangerous nerve gas, and plan a wide dispersal. This reminded me a little the movie The Rock, where the ‘bad’ guys have sarin gas pearl strands loaded onto rockets ready to detonate over populated areas.


This was the first graphic novel volume in the Jekyll Island Chronicles. The graphics were great, as was the storytelling. I really loved the news front pages scattered throughout. What I’d really like is to see more of the back story for our heroes, especially Huxley, though I’m guessing that comes in later.


I was immediately engaged, and, to be honest, this is an era in history that doesn’t interest me much. Granted, this is an alternate world, but I imagine the core personality of the people involved stayed much the same. Now I want to go learn more about Nikola Tesla and Andrew Carnegie, and a bit more of the era in general.


?????Highly recommended for any who enjoy this period in history, who enjoy alternate history, or who enjoy beautifully done graphic novels.

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