INSIGNIA by S.J. Kincaid
Hardcover: 444 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
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?
INSIGNIA by S.J. Kincaid is an amazingly addictive summer read that is perfect for male teens and gamers alike. I selected this novel on a whim, hoping to broaden my reading horizons and was glad that I did because the subject matter of this novel is timely and relevant to our current technological advances.
This book starts off simple enough with a young boy and his father trying to survive, urban nomads moving from place to place in search of a bit luck to keep their heads above water. It is the only life that Tom knows but he craves for something more, to be part of something bigger and not just playing video games all day and when he is approached to and offered a chance to attend an elite academy he doesn't hesitate....Until he arrives and price for entering the academy is unveiled. Yet, to Tom it is a small price despite all the warnings that were instilled from his father. He takes a chance and it is not long before he is noticed by a few and unfortunately for him it is not all good. What happens next are some amazing plot twists and wicked turns that kept me wholly entertained and riveted to my book.
S.J. Kincaid did a fabulous job with making the reader feel as if they were actually part of a game and I really enjoyed that because I am not a computer genius or a whiz at playing games but I could easily understand and follow along with ease. Not to mention that the concept for these "gamers/fighters" is very unique. Which brings me to the stellar cast of characters that were such a joy to witness on the page from Tom's classmates to his off the chain teacher that I just loved to hate and don't even get me started on his step-dad.
INSIGNIA is such a great read that I would totally enjoy playing a game of this book if it were available and that is saying alot. A great read that is really wonderful to listen to and If you have the chance I highly suggest it.