Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid
Release Date: October 8th, 2014
Katherine Tegen Books, 432 Pages
Sub-genre: Science Fiction
Source: eARC from Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!)
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Insignia #3
Follow up to: Vortex
Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.
Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.
It’s a rare thing to have a series of books that are not only 5 stars individually, but build on each other and get better and better as they go – the Insignia series has accomplished that feat.
I can’t even express how much I enjoyed this final book (and the series as a whole). And while it is definitely a Science Fiction book, the characters are really what made me love it. Tom has come such a long way since Insignia and Vortex, and so have the friendships that he has made at the Pentagonal Spire.
Catalyst gave more insight in the mind workings of Vengerov and Blackburn, and felt less plot driven than the other books, but it was still a wild ride that matched the thrill of the previous 2 books. There are many loose ends tied up and secondary characters who really get their moments to shine. Overall, a fantastic way to end the series and I just wish there were more adventures for Tom & Company!