By S.J. Kincaid
4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com
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?
So this book was a total random. It wasn’t on my to-read list and actually, I need to be reading Between You and Me (Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus) since Goodreads was awesome enough to send me a copy. Insignia is hot off the shelves (well, Internet) coming out just yesterday. Veronica Roth, famed author of the Divergent series, actually made a tweet about it and it linked me to Harper Teen’s website where there was quite a long peek at it (six chapters I believe). I was interested because you do not find many main male characters in YA. Mazerunner(James Dashner) is the one that first comes to mind and in the rest of them, there’s always a girl (Clary/Jace, Tessa/Will, Tris/Four, etc).
I was pretty freaking hooked. It was just so so so DIFFERENT. Like, mindblowingly different than any plot I’ve read in the past few years. It’s the future, but not a dystopian. It’s sci-fi, but (and probably the most terrifying part) it’s totally possible. I tried to figure out what year it was — I’m guess close to 100. I thought at first it was sooner because they mention the war in the middle east, but not only is their space program WAY more sophisticated, but a middle-aged character mentions his grandfather playing World of Warcraft which was released in the mid-2000′s. Regardless, while Kincaid was filling me in, I was just like DUDE WE COULD BE LIKE THIS. It was freaking FASCINATING.
If you’ve read my past reviews you’ll know I’m a stickler for characters. I loved them all. The bad guys kicked bad guy ass, the girls are all bad ass and Tom, the main character, is a champ. Even Elliott who was a psuedo-bad guy was written so it wasn’t this sappy OH WE’RE BFFS NOW. It was just really, really well written.