Sunday, August 11, 2013

Name: Kelly, Call Sign: Nightingale

"My friends do tell me I'm an idiot. 
All the time!"
--SJ Kincaid, Insignia

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 446 pages
Publication Date: July 10th, 2012
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description

The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S.J. Kincaid’s fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy. The planet’s natural resources are almost gone, and the war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning.

The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn’t seem like a hero. He’s a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom’s life completely changes. Suddenly, he’s someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there’s a price to pay...

My Thoughts

So I don’t read a whole ton of sci-fi…I have no idea why because when I get a book like Insignia, I just geek all over the place. This is definitely a geek all over the place book. It has so many elements that I just love. Boarding school-esque setting. Sci-fi element of genius kids. World War III fought in space over territories. Gaming to win battles. And the fact that you really can’t be sure who to trust…I mean, it is the government after all, right?

Insignia was a book I picked up last year after seeing Veronica Roth blurb it as a must-read. I had just read Divergent and I was all blind obedience okay! Then I heard it was similar to Ender’s Game and I picked it up immediately. Yes, with Vortex coming out, this round was a re-read for me. Loved it just as much. Thomas Raines is a kid with no roots. He travels around with his gambling father and to occupy himself he plays games in VR parlors—arcades? Because he is so damn good, he catches the notice of a military general and from there, he is sent to the Spire—a place where genius kids live and train to fight in WWIII. This is where the boarding school comes in. Call me crazy, I love learning. I love school. So when I get to read about their classes and how they train I just gobble it up. While these kids are not military officially, the way they can be promoted and learn tactics was just so interesting to read about. The world-building of the hierarchy and way of life was excellent. I loved being immersed in this world.

While Tom had some definite flaws, I did adore him. He was quite arrogant at times but I kind of liked that. He’s a funny kid, sarcastic, and at the end of the day he knows what is right. I loved seeing this kind of character in somebody so young. He wasn’t swayed by others and he stuck by his friends. His loyalty is unmatched and the camaraderie between him and his friends were some of my favorite parts. Their dialogue and banter had me laughing out loud.

The plot of the story and the goings on with the war was really well done. It kept me turning the pages and I couldn’t wait to see how this all came together. Sci-fi is always a difficult read in a sense because a lot can happen that wouldn’t in real life so the story can really twist into anything. I can’t really explain it more than that, I don’t know! It’s hard! The sci-fi element of the neural processors and how they function was SO incredibly unique. Scary, as well, with what somebody could do if it falls in the wrong hands, but still. Amazing concept.

I loved this story. I really liked the characters. The plot is extremely unique and interesting and what I love is that I have NO idea where SJ Kincaid will lead us next with Tom Raines in tow.

Should You Read This? Sci-fi lovers will adore this. If you like Ender’s Game or anything similar, this is totally something up your alley. If you’re looking to get into sci-fi, this also might be a good one to go with.  


  1. This sounds like a book I would absolutely love – things for putting it on your my radar, your review convinced me it's one I must read! :-)

  2. Ooh this sounds good! I've heard of it, but haven't read yet. I love scifi though so I will definitely be checking this one out. Great review!

    Rebecca @ The Library Canary

  3. Yeah, it is totally true. SJ Kincaid totally gives us quite a lot of mystery to read up on the sequel.

    If you wanted to know more about INSIGNIA and SJ Kincaid, you can check my blog:

    New follower . :D


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