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Black and White (The Icarus Project, #1)
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Black and White (The Icarus Project #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  778 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
It's the ultimate battle of good versus good.

They were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For t
Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jill There is one scene between one of the lead girls and a guy, but I don't think it's very descriptive. They might have faded to black.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 23, 2010 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Many years ago, Callie Bradford aka Idridium and Joannie Greene aka Jet were best friends. They were room mates during their academy days. That all changed.

Jet is now a super hero helping the city of New Chicago take down the bad guys. Jet battles the bad guys using her abilities to manipulate shadows. Idridium went in the complete opposite direction and became a villain. She has these deadly globes that when they burst cause some serious damage.

Jet is used to working alone but this time she h
Jan 11, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
"We have lots of metaphors related to white and black, good and evil. The line between good and evil is supposedly black and white. Good guys wear white hats and bad guys wear black hats. Good is light, bad is darkness. Black and White plays with those crisp delineations, showing us that things are never that clear, even when superheroes (or ""extrahumans"" as they're called in 2112) are involved.[return][return]Black and White is told alternately from the perspective of two extrahumans, Jet and ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
How cool. Found this at borders today. A superheroine and a supervillainess joining forces to save the world.
May 14, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
What's a Superhero without her Supervillian?,

To be honest, I dragged my feet when it came to reading this book. I didn't think I'd enjoyed the story, being that I'm not really into superheros. This book done proved me wrong because I absolutely I loved it! Jackie Kessler writes Joannie Greene (code-name Jet) (shadow), the superhero who is the darling Lady Shadow of New Chicago; Caitlin Kittredge writes Callie Bradford (code-name-Iridium) (light) runs the city's underworld.

This story tells the t
Leanne Bell
So i'm going to review this without posting spoilers that way everyone can read my review and not ruin the plot for themselves! :-)

To sum it up in two words: Awesomely Awesome. Yes, i'm well aware that the first is made up on my part but still, it deserves a made up word for how brilliant it is.

I'm well aware that people will pick this up and think it has a slow start, and they wouldn't be wrong, but it really picks up a couple of chapters in and it will have you hooked.

The characters are wonder
Jun 09, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for superheroes. Always have been and probably always will be. I'm obsessed with the whole good versus evil philosophy.

A fertility clinic figures out a way to help woman become pregnant. Soon after the children are born, the clinic realizes that the children are not your average humans. They have special powers. Jet is a shadow power who's father killed her mother when he went insane. She is told that all shadow powers loose their mind eventually. Then an adult shadow power named N
I won this ARC a few weeks ago from Jackie Kessler and I'm just now getting around to reading and reviewing it. There's not much that I can say about it without giving away the plot so I'll try to sum it up in a word - amazing.

Given the facts that this novel is written by two authors, features two main characters and jumps back and forth from the past to the present, it's amazing just how seamlessly this story flows.

Jet and Iridium together make the ideal heroine. If the story was just about one
Kathy Davie
Mar 21, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, action, funny
First in the Icarus Project fantasy superhero comic in text form.

My Take
Yawn. I kept pushing my way through, hoping it would get better. Oh, well. I wish Kessler-Kittredge (KK) had merged a bit of Meg Cabot's Princess Mia into this story to remind me that Jet was really still an innocent "teen". Her character was so lame that I wanted to boot her!

KK kept switching perspectives as well as flashbacks on a regular basis although they did provide plenty of clues as long as you read the chapter start
Feb 14, 2010 Wren rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Jet and Iridium are mortal enemies now, but they became friends at the Academy when they were 12 and just learning the ways of heroes - people born with genetic differences that give them superpowers. There’s a lot going on in the telling of the story. View points that alternate each chapter, and time frames that very every few chapters. You get the present time, where the story takes place over days. And interspersed with that you get year one, year two, etc., while the women were at the academ ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
4.5 Stars

Set in a future rife with superheroes under the thumb of a huge corporation Black and White is a book about good and evil and fighting crime. But who are the bad guys? Who is really the villain? Jet and Iridium were at the Academy, where they train, or brainwash depending on your opinion, and they become unlikely friends. But a disaster occurs in the last year and Iridium becomes a rabid and Jet a model hero. But 5 years later they have to team together to stop a maniac intent on taking
Steven Smith
Mar 24, 2011 Steven Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I liked this book but the back and forth four-way was a little dizzying. The story flips from the perspective of one character who is 'good', to another who is considered 'bad', but from each character's point of view they are both doing good in the world but it's easy to see why each one considers the others way to be 'wrong'. Add to this flip/flop between characters that the story flips back to the past of each character as the story progresses. It's not terrible but it is a bit much at times. ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Darcy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, uf, super-heroes
I was really skeptical about this book when I first got it. But decided to give it a try. It really sucked me in fast. I liked Iri and Jet, and as the backstory unfolded felt sorry for them. I liked how the book was set up with learning about the problem faced in the present, then going back to the past and seeing what made these girls in to the people that they were. I would say that with the ending they both had to face up to things that they really didn't want to, and had their worlds altered ...more
This is the first book in my 2014 TBR challenge. The TBR challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader, and it's to clear books off your to-read list that have been there longer than a year. I add the "difficulty" that it has to have been taking up space on my shelves longer than that, too.

I actually found a signed copy of Black and White at my local Borders, which should tell you how long I've had it. Jackie Kessler is local to the Capital Region, and must've passed through signing their stock.

I did
Again, Jackie Kessler delivers with a unique concept, well-written prose, attention-catching characters, and well-developed social justice ideas.

pretty much everything you could ask for in a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

Apparently, this book is being marketed as Young Adult, and I sort of disagree with this. There are many plot points and references that I think the typical 11-16 market for YA might be too young to grasp, depending on privilege level and exposure. Personally, I feel like I would love t
Lisa Paitz
Sep 02, 2009 Lisa Paitz rated it really liked it
REVIEW SUMMARY: This complex story explores the good and evil in all of us, even superheroes. The characters in Black and White are relatable and flawed despite their extra-human status. I enjoyed this new take on superheroes with the two main characters being female and best friends - and of course later archenemies. Without taking itself too seriously, this Justice League-meets-Harry Potter novel offers some valuable insights into the nature of being human.


May 13, 2015 Kelsey rated it liked it
I liked this book, but I think that it could have been written so much better. The book was split up between the do good hero, Jet, and the "rabid, evil genius" that is Iridium. Jackie Kessler wrote Jet's part, and Caitlin Kittredge wrote Iridium's. I've never read any of their writings before, but I found that I liked Kittredge's writing exceptionally more than Kessler's. Iridium was funny and someone I could easily relate to, whereas Jet only cared about the corporation she was working for, an ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Aaron rated it it was ok
Workable concept. Not much else.

This is the kind of book I want to like but probably never will. The hyper-coordinated narrative structure is its most critical flaw. But there are other elements I wasn't particularly keen to. Lack of enduring secondary characters; the tendency to manufacture splinter plots that are actually better than the greater narrative; and seesaw bludgeoning of information, too, sometimes it's (unnecessarily) a glut and sometimes it's simply not enough.

Apr 22, 2010 Kavanand rated it really liked it
Superheroes: check. Supervillains: check. Dystopian future: check. Moral ambiguity: check. Fiendish plot: check. Excellent read: check.

This book is chock full of awesome. Set in a dystopian early 22nd century Chicago (now known as New Chicago), it's the story of two former friends: by-the-books superhero Jet and budding supervillain Iridium. Once the closest of friends, they're now bitter enemies. Jet is the adored superhero, and Iridium, once a superhero in training, is now on the other side of
Jun 04, 2009 Alexia561 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Black and White is a fun read by two powerhouse authors! I love that they turn stereotypes on their head in this one, making the brunette with shadow powers the hero and casting the blond with light powers in the role of the villain!

The book flips back and forth between past and present day, with the two leads taking turns narrating the story. But everything is easy to follow as the timelines and narrators are clearly labeled, avoiding any confusion. I hate it when a story is choppy and you're n
Jun 26, 2013 Meagan rated it liked it
This is a superhero book. Capes, flying, justice, supervillains - the whole shebang. But if what you're looking for is an action-packed story where heroes shoot lasers out of their eyes and save the city for a grateful populace, I don't think this is the book for you. This particular story is more about the complexities of friendship, and about power and control. The main characters are Jet, a shadow power whose father went insane and who fears the same fate, and Iridium, a light power whose fat ...more
Victoria Falzo
Jan 11, 2015 Victoria Falzo rated it did not like it
2 Feb. 2015: I just finished the first part (up to page 45) and I have some things to say already.
First off, the writing seems very poor in my opinion. The story is told from alternating perspectives, Jet's view of things and Iridium's. But they aren't in first person, so it's not a matter of the characters' voices, I don't think.
Second, maybe it's just because I haven't gotten far enough in to the story, but nothing really makes sense. Even apart from the fact that the past the two girls had
Adam Watson
Jul 10, 2009 Adam Watson rated it liked it
Looking at my local brick and mortar, the cover of this book caught my eye. I read the blurbs and impulsively bought it. As a huge fan of comics and super-hero mythology, I figured I'd be entertained.

Well, I was definitely entertained. The authors are strongest on building an environment; they're masters at the throwaway detail that reinforces the future world. I was glad to see strong female protagonists, especially of the "superhero" ilk. It had the burden of being an "origin" story but still
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief i'm not actually mad!
This book was unlike anything I ave ever read before, it was fantastic. I adored the characters, all of them - they had such gritty and interesting history's and personalities that we had the incredible opportunity to explore, with not only 2 different POV but also two time frames, the current moment and that past. It was executed superbly.

The world was fascinating, the corporate has taken over the world, pretty much the new government. They decide how things should be. They're doing a pretty lo
Jul 20, 2009 Mardel rated it it was amazing
I mainly bought this book because it was written by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge, two authors that I enjoy very much.

I'm glad that I bought this book. It was a very interesting book, with two main characters. I liked the way the book was laid out. It switched back and forth, not only between Iridium's and Jet's point of view, but also between now and then. I loved the way all that back and forth just seemed to bring both stories together-their academy years and their present situation, a
Jan 18, 2010 Dave rated it liked it
This was a decent superhero book. I enjoyed the way it played with the ideas of good and evil, twisting them around and questioning how we define them.

In truth, this novel is more potential than package. Almost everything about it falls just short of living up to what it could have been. The character concepts are interesting, but not fleshed out enough to make me actually care about them. The dialogue is snappy, but never quite witty. The concepts are intriguing, but never get pushed far enoug
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Dec 26, 2009 Rachel- Goodbye Borders rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
That was a fucking fantastic read. The book flashes back and forth between present and past. I thought Jet (Joannie) and Iridium (Callie) were well-written and developed. Both had issues that they had to deal with and had so many layers.


A bit innocent to the point of gullible which makes her stupid. Willfully ignorant when she is confronted with other view points other than her own. I thought she didn't think for herself, but rather bought what other people told her. I started out liking
Aug 13, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
This was kind of a strange one, being a collaboratively written novel-- if I had to guess, I'd say one writer tackled the chapters starring one of the two superpowered protagonists? It's a superhero/ light SF story, but one that also has this element of best friends who've fallen away from friendship, with a romance plot thread and I guess what you'd call workplace elements, as Jet especially struggles to find her place in the superhero organization that she works for.

So, there's a lot going on-
Dec 11, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it
I like books about superheroes. I like the cool powers and gadgets and the fight of good versus evil. And this book has those things. But if you are not into those things it also has an exploration of the bonds of friendship and how strong and fragile they can be. It has betrayal, redemption and people trying to deal with all their assumptions and beliefs being challenged. It goes back and forth between the two main characters and between the present and the past. As you see the events unfold in ...more
Sherwood Smith
Jun 11, 2010 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
The premise of this book is awesome (if you enjoy superheroes, which I do): the world is filled with superheroes, but they're not Clark Kents, so what do you do with them all? Train them to fight each other, of course.

I had trouble getting into this one--it begins very much in medias res, with superhero Jet going after supervillain Iridium. They are deadly enemies, but once they were close. The pace was ninety miles an hour, throwing all kinds of world building in. I suspect I wouldn't have had
I've had this book on my to-read pile for years. It's a pretty big pile.

Anyway, it gets 3 stars because I neither loved it nor hated it. The characters, plot and situations are all fairly generic, reflected by its generic title, but on the positive side the world-building is quite interesting and the writing is very good.

Some of the twists are tremendously obvious, but I liked how they treated the world as a given, without over-explaining the basics. The structure feels like a medieval Fantasy n
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Some kids want to grow up to be doctors, or movie stars, or political assassins. Me, I wanted to draw comic books. Not Archie comics, either—superhero comic books. Maybe it was all the heavily muscled guys in spandex…

Around the time I was 15, I realized that as much as I enjoyed drawing (note that I’m saying nothing about the quality of those pics), it was a lot of fun putting words in the charact
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Other Books in the Series

The Icarus Project (2 books)
  • Shades of Gray (The Icarus Project, #2)

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