Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Insignia (Insignia #1) By: S.J. Kincaid

Title: Insignia (Insignia #1)
Author:  S.J. Kincaid
Published: July 10th, 2012
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! 2012 Favorite!
Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

Ok, so I have to say that this book has completely surprised me! When I read the summary I wasn't sure if the plot was something that I was going to be into but, I won this one from a facebook giveaway so I figured I might as well give it a try and it was completely amazing and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

Tom Raines is just your normal teenager (in the future of course) he loves to play video games (and what boy doesn't lol) But, all he really has wanted was somewhere he could belong and somewhere he could be seen as somebody, somebody important, he just wants to matter. It doesn't help that he is  always going to casino to casino and hotel to hotel with his father who is a gambling addict and a drunk. He can't even manage to go to school every day, (it's an online virtual reality school at that.) Until one day his whole entire life changes, a new girl in class invites him to a video chat and he is determined to meet her but, to his surprise when it's time for them to meet he is thrown into a video game, he of course goes straight for the kill and beats his opponent who he assumes is the girl he was supposed to meet. To his surprise it was a test, a test to join the Intrasolar Forces, the future military program, where he can join in the fight for space in World War 3. Tom is so ready to leave his dad and his old life behind to join the ranks and become someone he never thought he could be.

The world building in this story I enjoyed a lot. Although sometimes it became really confusing to understand all of the little details, I thought it was a completely awesome and new idea that I hadn't read about before and I was really interested in finding out everything I could  about the Intrasolar Forces and the new world that Kincaid has created. 

Tom was one of my favorite male main characters that I have ever got the pleasure of reading. He was smart and funny and tough. He didn't let anyone push him around no matter what. I thought the portrayal of a teenage boy like him was done so well. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to relate to a teenage boy but, he was easily relatable and I definitely found myself rooting for him throughout the book. He was completely endearing, I could really understand and relate to his need to be someone. I think that everyone wants to feel important and that their life matters. He made a few really great friends that just added to the story in so many ways, he was a great person and a great friend and he was loyal to them until the very end. Tom also really grew and matured throughout the story, not to say there was your normal teenage boy antics and tricks which had me chuckling through each page. Tom jumped off the page and really came to life for me. 

The story as whole was amazing, this book goes down as one of my favorite releases of 2012 so far and I can't wait to see what S.J. Kincaid has in store for Tom in the future. I loved that even though it's the first book of a series it didn't completely end without giving you the feeling that this chapter of Tom's story was finished, I hate it when you get  to the end of a book in a series and you are left completely wondering about what was going to happen to the characters and the cliff hanger you are left with. Once I had read the last page I was completely satisfied with the story. I really recommend this book to anyone I am not a huge sci-fi reader and this book really made me consider check out some more books in this genre, it had action, suspense, and thrills. If you are looking to try out a new genre I definitely think you should pick this one up and give it a try!

Happy Reading!

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