Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Insignia (Insignia, #1)Book Review:  Insignia

Author:  S.J. Kincaid
Published:  2012
Series:  Insignia #1
I downloaded this ebook because it was cheap...hooray for daily deals!  Other bloggers promised me an action packed novel with a futuristic setting, an oppressive government and a male point-of-view.  It's not that often in YA that we have a male telling the story...

The Setting
Tom Raines excels at only two things so far in his life; staying under the radar and video games.  Gambling with his father and roaming from casino to casino is the only life Tom has ever known.  Yet Tom yearns to make something of his life, a feat which will be difficult considering he is failing at his alternative high school and has no place to call home.  But everything changes when the cute new girl asks to hang out with Tom. 
Working for the government undercover, this new girl and her General recruit Tom to be a Combatant in the war.  The only catch is Tom will have implanted in his brain a neural processor, a computer that interacts directly with the brain to make a Combatant smarter and to enable the person to control the machines fighting the war.  Tom begrudgingly accepts the implant and quickly finds out everything he could ever want is here among the Combatants living in the Spire.  But living with a computer in your head raises new concerns for Tom and his future.  Can Tom protect himself from the politics of war?  How does he create a firewall for himself seeing as people can now attack him with computer viruses?  Can Tom become the man and fighter he's always wanted to be?

What I LIKED about this book
Although the romance aspects were a bit dismal, it is refreshing to have a male POV.  That being said Tom was so relate able.  And there is something natural and realistic about a young boy who wants to play video games and be the hero for the rest of his life.  The author's witty writing and the antics Tom plays had me giggling out loud for most of the book.  I also loved the technology aspects of this book and the advantages and disadvantages it poses for a future world involved in war.

What I DISLIKED about this book
The ending was heart-wrenching.  I'm talking about the part where Tom has to make a decision on how to win the battle he is playing.  I'm not going to say more...but I'd love for someone to read this book so I can discuss it with them!

Parting Thoughts
Overall I'm going to give Insignia 5 out of 5 stars.  I loved it.  I loved the ending and I need the next book in the series.  I'm definitely going to recommend this book for teenage boys.  Girls will like it too, but there is so much action, little romance and of course a future with video games.  This I'm sure is any guy's dream!

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