The Jekyll Island Chronicles is a very difficult book to review since I continually found myself wondering if there was some underlying satire at the story premise. One has to appreciate the irony that in the era of Occupy Wall Street movements, we have a story about America’s wealthiest heroically saving the world. So all the money they earned through oppression and ruthlessness can now iconify them by fighting (yes, you guessed it) terrorism? Honestly, this is an intellectual piece presented in a straightforward manner and meant for adult reasoning capacity. But at the same time, it’s so jingoistic American as to be oppressive. I have to give the author credit – this is the anti antihero title, reflecting a 1940s idealism and uncomplicated heroes.
Story: The world may be under attack by a madman with access to deadly toxic gas. To stop him, the American captains of industry will help the president create a task force of heroic American souls who can save the world. Enter a long list of wealthy, intellectual, and scientific historical figures.
The story moves quickly and it helps to have a grasp of the history of the time. It would have been prohibitive to give a bio of every figure; at the same time, it is easy to get lost as to what exactly is happening. There is a LOT of dialogue but it doesn’t move the story so much since there are so many different people talking. Each gets a bubble or two before the author moves on to the next famous person.
The illustration work is fine; it conveys the story without really doing anything to enhance it. The illustrator is hampered by having to recreate real people so there isn’t a lot of room for creativity or imagination. It ends up being a lot of talking heads.
I have to admit, about half way through I got bored. Ironic, really, because I love history and have a good appreciation and understanding of each of the characters. But I couldn’t invest in the story because it never really stayed in one place – there was no one person to really follow. And so I found myself skimming and skipping dialogue near the end. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.