By S.J. Kincaid
Publication date: July 10, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books, 444 pages
Source: Party favor from the publisher!
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.
— Goodreads.com description
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid is so NOT an Anna book on the surface.
I mean: War? Male POV? Video games? Normally, I’d be all, “Hello? Where are the beaches? And why are these people not going out on more dates?”
But, oh my word, I loved it. I mean, the stayed-up-till-midnight-on-a-work-night-to-finish-it kind of loved it.
And I’m going to have a hard time reviewing this without spoiling you because I so want to be like: “Can you believe xyz!? Did you see that one thing coming!?” But I’ll refrain.
Just know that this book is exciting, action-filled and, dang, SO FUNNY! It’s been optioned to be made into a movie, and I can definitely see that happening. In fact, Sash and I have already spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time emailing all about it, so giddy were we with our Insignia love.
The characters are mostly 14-year-old boys, and the voice here is spot-on to that age group. But, never fear, it’s a series, and you can just tell they’re going to grow as things progress. Ahh, I’m so in love with this crazy cast of characters that I cannot wait to watch (read?) it all go down!