17 February 2013

Book Review: Insignia by S.J Kincaid

Insignia (Insignia, #1)

Book: Insignia
Author: S.J Kincaid
File Type: Paperback
Release Date: July 10th 2012
Publisher: Hot Key Books 


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 III. 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.

Total Science Love.

I'm not a fan of Science Fiction. I've always been a contemporary nerd or in same cases a total fantasy junkie. I'll be honest, the last time I read a book from a guy's perspective in the science fiction genre was...when I was in middle school. And even then I hadn't liked what I had read. But Insignia was such a refreshing read.It was pure science fiction. Pure action. And in right words, the best book for a guy.

Just before I started reading this book, a friend of mine had borrowed this book from me. He is one of those guy friends of mine who find my choice in books totally ridiculous. He's an idiot, I tell you. But he's a good friend and I trust his opinion. Anyhow, there have been times when I've begged him to read a book and later he comes back to me with a totally annoyed face but this time it was totally different. This time he managed to say a few nice words to me about my choice and did not backstab our friendship with nonsensical accusations of me having a horrible reading taste. He even said that this book was awesome.
And I agree.


Insignia is fourteen year old Tom's story in a technologically advanced world where the World War III is in heavy procession between a coalition of countries that are supported by Multinational Companies that now hold the control of basic resources. What's best is the fact that this war is being fought not on earth but in Space! And why? Because of environmental concern, of course. These wars are fought by teen soldiers who basically fight using neural processors installed in the brain that help control different machines and ships that are then used to fight. Which basically means a Virtually real experience. Do I make sense?
Oh well. We'll have to make do.
Moving on..ah yes! Now, Tom is a really classy gamer and he's beaten the best of bests.So he has a pretty good reputation. Following this he is recruited to be trained to be a soldier, but when he steps into the training program he learns about mindboggling things. Things he never thought were true and things he never imagined was possible. And that's pretty much how the book begins.

I feel another good thing about this book is that it makes sense. There weren't times where I was left hanging and where I needed to even debate with the original concept of the book. I just went along with it and was lost into it. This was so interesting! I couldn't put the book down! The first few chapters were kind of a drag but later it picked up pace and I was so into it. The only issue I had was with Tom's age, I think. There were times when I was reading and I just couldn't let the fact that this guy was fourteen out of my mind. And it kept on gnawing at my head. But I had made up my mind that I wouldn't let this fact bring me down and so I had continued.

I feel Tom was a really nice protagonist. I wanted to get inside the book and squeeze him hard into a tight hug. He was so cute. Think about it yourself! An adolescent guy with his gaming obsession and hormonal emotions. How can he not sound cute?
Along with that, the other characters were a treat to read about.
There was Tom's bestfriend Vikram. There was Wyatt. There was Yuri. There was Medusa. And a whole bucket of other characters that made the book what it was.

I'm not sure. Maybe it was because this was a total surprise to me or maybe because it genuinely is amazing, because it is. I feel everybody needs to give this book a try. But it's only if you can overlook the age of the protagonist and the little immature things fourteen year olds do. But it would be fun and I think that's what counts in this case.


  1. Sis,your review is fantastic! I will read Tom's story very,very soon.

    I'm not so sure about teenage soldiers. This would never happen in real life,but it's a book so I should judge it.

    Ahh,men are so hard to please when it comes to books. I'm glad he finally liked something. :D

  2. Aww Zemira, thanks. :D
    I've heard about a similar book called Ender's Game. I might just check it out. Sounds interesting.

    Oh yes. They really are. And they say we are the tough nuts. Idiots, I tell you. :D