Jack Stepp’s The Elysian
Firstly, I’d like to thank the Academy…oh wait, wrong one. Firstly, I’d like to thank Mr. Stepp for adding a little background in the beginning of his book, and not some drawn out history, which, in this book’s reality, would probably take a whole new book. You get the bare bones history as a set up, so once the story starts, it makes sense.
This book is on Kickstarter now, go check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/684804710/the-elysian-volume-1
Secondly, the first thing about the book I noticed is that whoever colored it, did some gorgeous work. I like the fact that a lot of cool colors were used, which didn’t always match the temperature of the story, but came across as great. Even in battle scenes, you didn’t get a whole lot of harshness. I enjoyed the colors throughout.
The art work was also above average. There were many different species (?)(races?), and they did a nice job not being repetitive, and making each one easily recognized. The only one I wasn’t 100% onboard with was the humans. There was something odd to them, they came across as …short in stature. They were nicely drawn, just looked short to my eye.
The backgrounds were really on point. Sometimes you read a book, and you can tell their focus is on the characters, and so the backgrounds suffer, or are half ass, and I never got this feeling. I felt that this book was well planned out to the tiniest detail. Well crafted.
The story starts out with them explaining that when the earth started, there were special people, with special powers, and that they lived forever. Eventually, the left the people, found their own place, and watched over the human race, while gently…”persuading”…history, and the choices that they made. They were a very powerful group of individuals. A few (Hades, Osiris, Anubis, etc were chased out of the main group, and lived in secret amongst the humans.
Over time, a group came up, and started attacking earth, as well as these super powered folks. They used the device that teleported them between Earth and Alternative Earth, and were quite clever about it. This caused Team Hades to go back to where they were banned, and team up with them, for the good of all.
The story then goes on with some detective work, some sabotaging, and culminates with an epic battle on a few fronts. All the while, a shadowy individual seems to be in charge of the bad guys, ala Inspector Gadget. (I told you I don’t give much away on plots, go read this man’s book)
When I started reading the story, I did have a few issues. It reminded me of Trainspotting. The first ten times or so watching that movie (so good, I love it), I had to stop it ten minutes in, start it over, so that my brain could adjust to the slang and the fast pace of the dialog.
I started this book, and then at a point, I started it over. In the beginning, the team was put together really fast, with Samantha being the catalyst, and finding Hades, who in turn found his brothers. Though Caucasian, I read the whole story with Osiris being voiced by Ice T. Hades was Tom Cruise. (I told you they looked short). And the characters and brothers and sister kept coming, to the point, honestly, I was a little confused.
That is when I started over, tried to keep track of the characters as best I could, but there were so many, you really have to take copious amount of notes, and… Once you let that go, and read the story, it is both fast paced, lots of action, and broken down really good. Between Earth, the parallel earth, different cities, a trip to the ocean…you could still follow the story, and what happened.
All this was going on, and you got a history of two warring races, an alien undertone, a couple more races mentioned…definitely brain overload.
Yet through it all, the story powered through, and was strong enough, that you could actually follow it quite easily. There is a traitor involved, and I honestly thought it was one guy, but if it was, he was a bad one, because he fought the Drek’s bravely. I’m not sure if it was revealed, so I’m probably going to go back and read it again.
I liked the lettering too. Many books today try to get all cutesy with their lettering, and make in hard to read. The choice of straight forward lettering for 96% of the book was a good one, and then making the odd lettering bigger and readable, was an even better one.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I am probably going to go read it again, because I am certain that I missed a few things, and I have some questions.
Overall, I am going to give this book…4.25/5. There were a lot of characters, a lot of races, and it did get a little confusing at times, and I had to read the hero as Tom Cruise, though Osiris as Ice T was more than pleasant.
I hope that it does well, and another book comes out eventually. They left it on a slight cliffhanger, so there is plenty of material for a few more books.
Send this man money so he can keep creating!
KSB#21 – Elysian! Mashbone and Grifty! Mahoneys! Cthulhu! Cold Blooded!