Audience/Genre : Young Adult/ Sci-Fi, Futuristic.
Publication : July 10th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Teen).
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?
Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.
God, it's been so long since I read a book that had me tearing through the pages. A
Insignia's set in the future, it's World War Three and everything's different. Tom, our protagonist, is a gangly, pimply teenager whose life is heading nowhere since school's not really been in the picture for a while and most of the time, he's gambling (illegally) because that's the only thing his father's taught him. However, it's a different kind of gambling - Tom's a gamer.
There's only one thing Tom fears ; that he'd end up like his father, heading no where in life. So when he's given the opportunity of a lifetime, he jumps at it. Tom's been offered a chance to join the Pentagonal Spire, a military academy that accepts and trains only the best teenagers from around the world to fight in the war.
Insignia is crazy, in an omg-freaking-amazing kind of way. I don't even know where to begin - the world building, characters, plot? Seriously, this book is all kinds of awesome! Kincaid's world is addictive and extremely sophisticated.
It's almost impossible to find a flaw with this book because the story's so well thought. The characters are incredible and some of them, endearing. I loved all of Tom's friends! Tom's world is, for lack of a better word, just cool and I wanted to so badly be a part of it. The plot's so unique and riveting, you won't be able to put this book down.
I have to add this though - there were times when I found it it all too much to absorb, it was an information overload but eventually, I caught up.
Insignia has pre-order written all over it. Gamers and tech geeks, this one's for us! Read it!