Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Black and White (Icarus Project 1) Review

Black and White (Icarus Project 1)
-          Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge
Publisher: UK – Piatkus
Jet, the darling good girl of the city, uses her shadow-power to battle the forces of evil. But her shadows also mask the fierce demons that only she, her mentor, and her former best friend - and now arch-nemesis - know about. Iridium is that former best friend: able to wield the power of light, she trained as a hero only to become one of the most infamous villains in the city - for what she feels are truly heroic reasons. Alternating between the present-day threat and their past exploits as friends, and later rivals, at the Superhero Academy, the novel brings these two women to vivid life, portraying the complexities of being a true hero in a world determined to categorise you in a neat box of good or evil - black or white.
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


  1. I knew you'd like this book, it's rather excellent reading!

  2. Oh, first of all I love this UK cover! :) That is one great look.

    And I now need to find time to sneak this book in. :) It is just an amazing sounding book and to see you enjoyed it so. Well. I really do need to get to it. :) Thank you!!