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

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  760 Ratings  ·  93 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
ebook, 400 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2009)
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May 23, 2010 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
"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 (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
How cool. Found this at borders today. A superheroine and a supervillainess joining forces to save the world.
Jun 09, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 14, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 14, 2010 Wren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathy Davie
Sep 22, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Steven Smith
Mar 24, 2011 Steven Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2015 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-
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
May 29, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK. The sequel to this book is called "Shades of Gray." I stumbled across that book because I was looking for a different one at the library, and some genius librarian had put "Shades of Gray" on an endcap. "Smooth move," I thought. "I *have* to pick this up now." Upon looking it up on Goodreads, I learned that a) it was a sequel so I should probably start with the first one and.....ONE OF THE AUTHORS GAVE IT A FIVE-STAR REVIEW. How can you not want to pick it up now, OBVIOUSLY this is the great ...more
Apr 20, 2015 AnnaWeasley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoriten
PUH! Bin echt geflasht von dem Buch. Dies ist eine tolle Geschichte über zwei Freundinnen, die durch Manipulation und Stolz auseinanderbrachen, aber trotzdem noch immer miteinander verwoben sind. Bin sehr gespannt auf den zweiten Teil!
Diese Superhelden-Thematik hat mir sehr viel Spaß bereitet, was ich zu Anfang nicht dachte.
Schade finde ich, dass nicht mehr von Ikarus und Corp rauskam.. mit dieser ganzen Verschwörung und den künstlichen Befruchtungen mit den folgenden Genmanipulationen, wie am
May 21, 2015 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
♥ 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
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
Amy Aelleah
DNF - Page 31

"Now, see, that's the thing," said Iridium. "In my day, they taught us not to swear."

You're instructors must be so proud of you then, Iridium.

Seriously, I read that and thought 'yay!' And then a few pages later, she uses the same type of bad language three times in less than two pages. Honestly, I don't like curses and foul language in the books I read and I certainly don't see any need for it - but I can deal with it most of the time.

Take a look at The Lies of Locke Lamora. There's
Jun 15, 2015 Alexia561 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Victoria Falzo
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
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
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
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.

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
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
Jul 27, 2009 Mardel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2010 Kavanand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Lisa Paitz
Sep 21, 2009 Lisa Paitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.


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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
More about Jackie Kessler...

Other Books in the Series

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

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