Black and White (The Icarus Project, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Black and White (The Icarus Project #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  547 ratings  ·  76 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...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Watchmen by Alan MooreSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael ChabonAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanHero by Perry Moore
Superhero Fiction
39th out of 413 books — 733 voters
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanCassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise StokesEx-Heroes by Peter ClinesCassidy Jones and Vulcan's Gift by Elise StokesConfessions of a D-List Supervillain by Jim Bernheimer
Super Hero Books [Not Graphic Novels]
51st out of 219 books — 282 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,917)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
"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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
How cool. Found this at borders today. A superheroine and a supervillainess joining forces to save the world.
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 the Mighty (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...more
Steven Smith
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
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...more
For a book that purports to be about how the world of superheroes isn't black and white this story has really strong and definite views about what is right and what is not. And the worst bit is how much of this is beyond our hero's control. In fact the main thrust of this book is that both our protagonists are slaves to each of their natures, ripe for manipulation by both Corp Co (<-This joke gets old really fast) and our surprise antagonist. This book also has to really work on it's build up...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
Adam Watson
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...more
Kathy Davie
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...more
Lisa Paitz
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.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Experiments...more
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...more
Sherwood Smith
Jun 30, 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...more
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
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...more
CJ - Drop Dead Cute
Surprisingly good. I didn't think I was going to like this but it surprised the heck out of me.

Superheroes are pretty hard to write about. You can either be all distopian Watchmen like or you can be cheesy 30's Superman. This book is neither.

The Academy is where all young extrahumans go when they are old enough to learn how to use their powers. They learn how to be heroes and they learn how to not trust anyone. Jet and Iridium, Joane and Calista, are different. Dark and Light, Shadow and Illumi...more
Black and White is a good read for a fans the superhero genres, or just of any kick-ass female characters in general. It manages they oft-tricky and confusing convention of jumping back and forth between both characters POV's and time frames (childhood and present), very nicely; pulling together a taunt and cohesive story.

In the world that is created, the characters are expected to live in a completely manufactured identity; one that is created as much to scare villains as it is to be commercial...more
Amanda Flyte
Amazeballs. I love the differences in jet and iridium. I love that Iridium is a light power but a "dark" villian and that jet is a dark power (in more ways than one) and she's the hero. I love that it kept f flashing back to the academy. I love that the villain was so unexpected. I loved that it wasn't exactly a happy ending. I just loved everything
Yuuki Nakashima
I was attracted by the cover and bought it.
I think the idea of story and the concept of the characters are really interesting. I enjoyed some chapters, especially Jet's stories. It's true that I enjoyed them, but I couldn't be into it. There are 'NOW' sections and 'THEN' sections. For me, 'THEN' sections were enjoyable but 'NOW' sections dragged. If this book contained only 'THEN' sections, I would liked it more than I did.
Another reason why I couldn't be into it is probably the literal style. M...more
In a world where superheroes are put through vigorous training academies, and their powers divided between Dark and Light, two friends are caught up in a huge conspiracy, and no one can be trusted. But allies can appear from the most unlikely places.

I really enjoyed this, but I would love to see it turned into an actual comic book one day. Being able to read a more indepth version of a superhero's experience is one advantage of this format, and you get a lot of sympathy for each protagonist and...more
I expected a lot going into this book. It delivered all of it and more. The only thing I could have gone without was the Both chapters. Those were just pointless.
The core concepts of good and evil are challenged and brought down in a cataclysmic fashion. I have read a lot of books claiming to bend good and evil. This one truly delivers, and it is awesome. Iridium starts out as the villain but you soon realize that she is more of a peacekeeper. Jet starts out as a hero but by the end realizes she...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 63 64 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Devil's Cape
  • Nobody Gets the Girl (Whoosh! Bam! Pow!, #1)
  • Superpowers
  • Masked
  • Playing for Keeps
  • Broken (Extrahumans, #1)
  • The Rise of Renegade X (Renegade X, #1)
  • Phenomenal Girl 5 (Elite Hands of Justice, #1)
  • Wearing the Cape: A Superhero Story (Wearing the Cape #1)
  • Blaze of Glory (Blaze of Glory, #1)
  • Sidekicks
  • After the Golden Age (Golden Age, #1)
  • Dull Boy
  • Confessions of a D-List Supervillain
  • Demon Bound (Black London, #2)
  • Salt and Silver
  • Superfolks
  • Spellbent (Jessie Shimmer, #1)
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...more
More about Jackie Kessler...
Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, #1) The Road to Hell (Hell on Earth, #2) Shades of Gray (The Icarus Project, #2) Hotter Than Hell (Hell on Earth, #3) Hell To Pay

Share This Book