Sunday, July 22, 2012

Title: Insignia
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Series: Insignia #1
Format: Hardcover, 444 pages
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Published By: HarperCollins Canada, Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:
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:
I had heard many good things about this book over Social Media, and I went in with high expectations. And I think that was the issue with me not liking this book as much as I wanted. I heard many people describe it as having Harry Potter elements with a dash of Divergent. The divergent comparison was spot on, the suspense and conflict with authority was all there, but the Harry Potter thing is still wracking my brain. Maybe the cast of characters are very much like those from Harry Potter, and the more I think about it, the more I believe this is only way to compare the two novels.

There was a lot of explaining in this book, a lot of technical elements that were beyond my understanding, and really it wasn't my cup of tea. I am not opposed to Science Fiction as a genre, but when my brain starts to get confused when it comes to the ins and outs of the world that is created, I lose interest. I am not saying I hated this book, It is far from that. Although the technical side of things left me a little standoffish, the characters made up for all of that. Their chemistry was absolutely brilliant and I loved their friendly banter that was extremely natural and left me laughing out loud in some parts.

The conflict, at times, was awesome and fast paced. But I felt a little disappointed at the ending and felt like I wanted a little more action. But I feel like the next installment will have more, and will delve more into the interesting character changes we encountered at the end of the novel.

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