Publisher: UK – Piatkus
First up, I’ve never read a book by either of these authors before but if this is any example to go buy I will be stocking up on Jackie Kesslers & Caitlin Kittredge back catalogue as soon as possible! The story rips along at a quick pace with flashbacks to Jet & Iridium’s early friendship and time spent learning to be a hero before their paths diverged into arch-enemies.
This novel has so many layers to enjoy – there’s a superhero action adventure with heists, secret identity’s and roof top action sequences. There’s a coming of age teen angst (in a similar style as Twilight but without the brooding vampire/emo connotations). There’s the story of what it means to be a hero and what it means to be human. Do people need heroes if there aren’t villains? (That age old question – what is Superman without Lex Luthor?) And do people need to ask for help or should it be there ready for them? These are quite deep thoughts but they don’t impose on the story or the characters.
The characters are great as well – despite the title, there are no Black and White characters. They are all painted in shades of grey (funnily enough that’s the title of the sequel!) with good and evil just extremes which doesn’t cover any one persons motivations. There is some beautiful imagery to this book - from the way Jet and Iridium have opposing looks, characters and even powers – one with shadow powers and one with light – yet the shadow powers are the ‘good’ powers. I loved the juxtaposition of this and realised that superheroes are people too! Please give this book a try – it’s a great read.
Recommended for fans of Smallville and those who like their heroes with a bit a dark in them. 9 out of 10