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July 14, 2012

Review: Insignia by S.J.Kincaid - Juhina

Insignia (Insignia, #1)
Title: Insignia (Insiginia #1)
Author: S.J.Kincaid
Publication date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre(s): Young Adult (Dystopian/Fantasy)
Challenges: Dystopian, Debut
Source: Edelweiss
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 444
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?
Insignia was definitely different. It would be classified better as futuristic than dystopian, with some fantasy. You've got a world where World War III has started but where is the war fought? outside of earth. In the solar system. The Indo-American alliance is fighting against the Russo-Chinese alliance. However what's different about this war is that it is fought between companies, not countries. We've got some powerful companies in all these countries that are fighting for position of Mars, or Venus. Also, get this, there are no deaths. People don't die in this world because they use automated machines they control from earth to fight outside. They are all teenagers that hold the Camelot Company position. 
Our main protagonist Tom gets picked up for his gaming skills and enters this boarding school with four separate divisions (think hogwarts in harry potter). You get promoted to several positions before you enter Camelot Company, and that is what every trainee is aiming for. Now for Tom, all he wants is to fight against Medusa, a Russo-Chinese fighter that has been running in circles around the Indo-Americans with his/her skills. I loved how Tom was different and didn't straightaway aim to become Camelot Company. He just wanted to enjoy what he had and his new super brain. He made some great friends, pulls pranks, joke around, and just appreciate his new position. However when one company becomes interested in Tom, problems happen. I loved the humor in this novel. The secondary characters were such an entertainment to the readers including me. 
I have to admit the beginning was a bit slow and it bored me however when he started the school. Some of the tech stuff I didn't understand completely, but overall it was a very enjoyable novel and I loved how new and refreshing the idea of the novel was. I've been hearing that fans of Ender's Game will love it, but I recommend it to all YA fans. I am really starting to enjoy many male POV YA novels and hope this trend continues on!
4 musical notes!


  1. Oh, this one sounds good. Like Ready Player One meets Ender's Game. Great review :)

  2. I'm very excited to read this one. I've been hearing wonderful reviews everywhere!

    Thanks for the great review!

  3. Thanks for the great review!
    has been on my wishlist

  4. I love reading a male POV!!! So bloody excited for this one. I like the stories that burn slowly, because then you enjoy it more :)

  5. I've been procrastinating on this book. I mean, WW III? It doesn't sound cute to me :P Great review Juhina! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books