By 2112, 5 years since graduating from “The Academy,” (a place owned and controlled by the Corp who train all superheroes) Jet and Iridium have gone from best friends to worst of enemies. Jet being the corporate poster girl of New Chicago and Iridium becoming the protector of Wreck City (aka New Chicago, Grid 16.) Little does either of them know that they’re working the same case from opposite sides. A case with roots that go back almost a decade, when they were only pre-teen roommates at The Academy. A conspiracy that neither of them realizes revolves around Jet.
The tagline for the novel is: “The line between superhero and supervillian has never been thinner…” I believe it should be revised to: The line between mainstream hero and anti-hero has never been thinner. In Black and White Jackie Kessler writes Jet, the mainstream hero and Caitlin Kittredge writes the bad girl, anti-hero Iridium. As a rule I’m generally leery when it comes to co-authored pieces because you can generally “hear” when one author is writing and when the other is. But, not since Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett has a co-authored novel come across as seamless as Black and White does.
You can tell the Fangirl love that went into Black and White. Ms’ Kessler and Kittredge know their superhero comics. From a misunderstanding leading the two heroes to fight one another to the “Bwahahaha” at the end of the novel a la’ Kieth Giffen’s Justice League of America. Please don’t just think that this is just a comic book in novel form. Kessler & Kittredge blend elements of romance and mystery into this well thought out story as well.
The pacing of Black and White is superb as well. It bounces back and forth between the past and the present, but due to some deft writing never seems to interrupt the flow of the novel. Black and White isn’t just for fans of comics, (even though there are a few inside jokes that only Fanboys and girls will get. Dr Frank Wurtham author of Seduction of the People anyone?) fans of thrillers will end up satisfied as well.
I just can’t believe that I have to wait until July 2010 for the second book, Shades of Gray. Black and White goes on sale June 2nd. It’s well worth preordering. I give Black and White 4 out of 4 stars!
Please Support This Site and Pick Up a Copy Here: Black and White
Please visit Jackie Kessler’s website here.
And Caitlin Kitteredge’s here.
Or The Icarus Project’s website here.
* Paperback: 464 pages
* Publisher: Spectra (June 2, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 055338631X