We're fighting WWIII, but it's a war in space. The "face" of the war is Elliot Ramirez, the handsome warrior who sits at his computer and fights the enemy. Tom Raines spends most of his time playing video games -- trying to win money to support him and his alcoholic father. But Tom has caught the attention of General Marsh, who offers him a spot in the Intrasolar Fources (the army.)
Tom accepts, but when he arrives at the Pentagonal Spire (where he's to be trained and eventually fight the war) everything isn't as he expected.
The training and fighting parts of Insignia are compelling, but my favorite parts of the book are where the plebes (those kids in training) develop relationships. They are normal teens, playing pranks and teasing each other. I found the banter to be realistic, and it made me laugh quite a few times.
The pranking doesn't just stop among the plebes, though. They begin to get deeper into the technology. Secrets are revealed. They may even participate in some treasonous acts. Tom's friends are well-developed characters. There is enough mystery and surprise that I really had difficulty putting Insignia down. Good thing I had two snow days!
There isn't really any romance, but I think something could develop in the future books in the series.
There are some implausible events. The whole idea of what happened to Tom because of Dalton (no spoilers here) was a bit far-fetched. I think there would be some more safeguards in place. Also, the idea that corporations are controlling the war -- I don't know. I have trouble buying that they would have so much control over the military -- funding yes, but control -- could that really happen? Well, it gets me thinking, I guess.
Insignia is a complete story, but I'm very happy that this is a trilogy and I'll get to continue to participate in this war with these characters. My science fiction and adventure fans will definitely enjoy Insignia, and I"m going to start recommending it now. The second book, Vortex, comes out July 2. I'm putting it on my list.
Published by Katherine Tegen Books, July 10, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
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