Debbie's World of Books
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Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

June 29th, 2012 by Debbie's World of Books

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 10, 2012

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?

This one immediately caught my eye because it sounded so reminiscent of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (which I loved!) and I had to read it.  When it first arrived I experience some hesitation in actually starting it as I feared it would pale in comparison to Ender’s Game but I was pleasantly surprised.  Yes, it does have some similar aspects to Ender’s Game but there was enough originality and world building going on that I ended up really enjoying it.

Tom’s character is perfectly flawed into making him a relatable character.  Like most of us we want to do the right thing when push comes to shove but it’s not always easy when it conflicts with what you want most.  Tom wants the life where he’s no longer the homeless, zit faced nobody and when he is offered the opportunity to have this life he has to decide whether the consequences are worth it.  I like that it wasn’t a clear cut decision for him and that he really agonizes over his decision.

The story itself isn’t that far out there and scarily it depicts a world I can see coming about at some point.  The supporting characters are so well down that I can’t imagine the story without any of them.  They each play an integral part and have unique personalities that will truly make you love them or hate them.  They aren’t empty husks merely to move the story along.  I think Vik, Tom’s new friend, is probably my favorite and he made me laugh throughout the book.

I can’t wait to read more about Tom, Vik, Medusa and all the others in the next book!

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult

2 Responses

  1. Ashley

    Nice review! I’m dying to read this book and I wish I could get a review copy :( I’m going to one of the author’s book signings on July 10th (same day as publication), and it’d be nice to read it before I meet the author. Oh well.

    I’m glad you liked the book and I’m looking forward to reading it myself! :)

  2. Debbie's World of Books

    I hope you enjoy it! That’s awesome that you get to meet the author though.

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