Monday, June 6, 2011

Black and White Review

Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

(from the back of the book)
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 the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.
But now playtime’s over. Separately Jet and Iridium uncover clues that point to a looming evil, one that is entwined within the Academy. As Jet works with Bruce Hunter – a normal man with an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees – she becomes convinced that Iridium is involved in a scheme that will level the power structure of America itself. And Iridium, teaming with the mysterious vigilante called Taser, uncovers an insidious plot that’s been a decade in the making… a plot in which Jet is key.

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 the present you get to see how these two women became friends and then enemies. You get the point of view of both the by the book ‘good guy’ and the rogue ‘bad guy’. It is interesting to see how these two people who had similar backgrounds, training and experiences took such different paths in life. You can see both view points and the line between good and bad starts to get confused. Parts of it are predictable and some points seem obvious but I don’t think that ruins the story since it has a comic book feel to it. And there is a lot of comic book to the story, with the superpowers, the good versus evil, and it even has a plot to take over the world but I don’t think you have to be a comic book lover to like this story. There is a real feeling to the relationships between the characters and the conflicts within themselves that they have to face. And it is exciting and fun.

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