Insignia by S.J. Kincaid – REVIEW

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books, 444 Pages
Sub-genre: Science Fiction
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Insignia #1
Recommended for: fans of Ender’s Game

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 III. 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?

A boy, outer space, and video games – you’d think that this isn’t really something that I’d like, especially since I read the infamous Ender’s Game earlier this year and was very “meh” about it. But Insignia, oh man, I LOVED this book. Let me tell you why.

It’s action packed.
Lots of BANG, WHOOSH, PHEW – I don’t know how else to describe the action that happens in this book. From the scenes where they’re training to the war and epic battles – everything is fast paced.

Tom is SUCH a boy.
He likes the pretty girl at school, he’s self-conscious, and goofs off with his friends. Reading boy characters is always nice in this girl dominated world of YA, but Tom was especially refreshing. He is so incredibly likable and has that je ne sais quoi.

The world building.
HOLY WOW. Okay, outer space can be anything the author wants it to be but the Spire, the wars, the reason behind the wars – S.J. Kincaid went into detail about these things instead of just doing the bare minimum and it was amazing.

And the end BROKE MY HEART. Ow ow ow – Anna from Anna Reads and I were emailing back and forth after we finished and we couldn’t stop talking about how heartbroken we were! Also, it’s SUPER funny, which can be kind of a hard balance to find in a science fiction book.

This is a MUST READ, even if you don’t think it’s something that you’ll like.

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