A highly entertaining adventure of piracy, rescue, and visionary warfare


The Brotherhood of Pandora 

David L. Nichols 

Moontower Press 

November 14, 2022  

ISBN-13: 979-8218085759; 316 pages 


When Thomas Jefferson, the Vice President of the United States, asks you to create turmoil in the Caribbean to pit the French, English, and Spanish against each other in an undeclared war and without the protection of the US flag, how do you respond? If you are Captain Jacob May, you put country first and agree to become a pirate and an instigator, all at the risk of certain death. 


And so the adventure of The Brotherhood of Pandora begins. With years of experience and sailing acumen, Captain May quietly and deftly amasses a stellar crew and modifies a ship with lethal innovation and creative ingenuity. While the author allocates an extensive amount of the early narrative to the planning and development of this inventive weaponry and stratagem, outlining such details is time well spent. 


The Brotherhood of Pandora by David L. Nichols is an exciting glimpse into a band of sailors working together like a well-oiled machine for a share of the loot, for the thrill of sailing under an esteemed captain, and for the good of their country. Once Captain May receives his orders, he spends considerable time building and testing vanguard firepower, including a type of submarine that resembles a whale, fluke and all. Once the Pandora sets sail and shows her agility and deadly force, the story picks up speed, with a couple of surprises among the crew that ultimately add a dangerous yet advantageous and quite successful layer to Captain May’s plans and the overall plot. 


The pace of this story is moderate across the beginning chapters, building methodically toward the more dramatic and thrilling events of trickery, evasion, peril, and triumph for Jacob and his crew. The writing style reflects the late 1700s, with occasional salty and coarse language that befits such a treacherous life and fight for survival on the high seas and in rough seaports. 


An important theme throughout The Brotherhood of Pandora includes camaraderie and teamwork under the command of a distinguished and authoritative yet fair captain. Captain Jacob May is a flawed protagonist, but he still represents truth and honor among his crew and among the oppressed. As a form of imagery, Jacob is a clarion call for justice and a steady beacon for those seeking purpose, safety, and refuge. 


Nichols clearly understands the need to set the scene with precision before allowing the plot to explode into piracy, acute strategy, and dangerous maneuvers. Occasional forays into personal interactions, backgrounds (and a few intimate encounters) round out the plot. While The Brotherhood of Pandora is not a swashbuckling tale about ruthless pirates of the Caribbean, it is about unity and patriotism and the desire to serve both country and countrymen alike. Everyone aboard the Pandora, including the captain, knows their exploits could very well see them swinging at the end of a rope. However, these sailors willingly travel full speed ahead toward their fate, filled with an abundance of brotherhood, hard work, and dignity. 


David L. Nichols has been building boats and making sails for over twenty years. When he isn't designing sails or building boats you'll find him in the boats he's designed and built. He feels that the only way to truly understand boats and sails is to use them. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has written for boating magazines like WoodenBoat and Boatbuilder, as well as writing and producing boat building videos. His designs may be viewed at arrowheadboats.com.