Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: Insignia, by S. J. Kincaid @SJKincaidBooks

I usually am very entertained by the combination of teens and sci-fi, and Insignia was no exception. I had heard comparisons to Ender's Game (a definite positive) but while I agree, I also thought Insignia is an excellent story in it's own right.

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
446 pages

Rating: 4/5





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6 comments:

  1. I won this a long time ago and still haven't gotten to it! Dang ebooks for distracting me!!

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  2. I enjoyed this one too. So far any recommendations I have made have come back very positively. Looking forward to #2.

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  3. Ender's Game was a very interesting book, I think so many people liked it because it ventured out into such unfamiliar territory. Glad you enjoyed this one, I'll have to check it out on Goodreads!

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  4. For some reasons I didn't get into the book... It might be because I didn't like the audioversion and I'm not really fair to the book now. But.. I started a few times and never got into it!

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  5. Oh great review. I have seen great things about this book but until now really didn't understand what it was about. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I loved this book too! I thought the relationships between Tom and his friends were definitely the shining strength in this book. I do agree some of the plot points were more far-fetched than others, but it was still such a fun read. I can't wait for book two. Awesome review!

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