Monday, August 19, 2013

'Name: Kelly, Call Sign:The Beast' Vortex by SJ Kincaid

"You outrank me. 
You shouldn't call me 'Sir.' "
--SJ Kincaid, Vortex

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 400 pages
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2013
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Insignia

Goodreads Description

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

My Thoughts

I love me some sci-fi. I mean, seriously. The science talk. The geek vibe. The battles. Everything I love about sci-fi and Insignia was present in Vortex. All our characters are back in full swing…and with a lot of surpises.

The plot of Vortex picks up and continues to show us how this war is being fought. With Tom, Ashwan, and Wyatt all as Middles, we see more intricate science at work and the weapons engineered in this futuristic world. I love reading about them training. I can’t get enough of the high-tech toys they get to play, er, learn how to use responsibly… We get to see the inner workings of the different power players of companies that are funding the war. And a lot of crazy stuff happens after that, but I will not spoil the plot.

Tom continues to be Tom in the way that he doesn’t take no shit from anyone. I like this kid. While he alienates most people and his action, 9 times out of 10, would have me screaming at him for being so insolent…I just didn’t have it in me. The rationale behind why Tom acts the way he does is pretty right on. He also brings up a lot of good points about how society is run. He discusses at multiple times how he refuses to show blind adoration for the people running the Multi National Corporations. He brings up the point of, why does he have to bow or grovel at the feet of these billionaires simply because they are…billionaires. It makes complete sense. While it would be easy to be polite and suck up to these people, I give Tom mad respect for not doing it. It is so true. Just because you have a lot of money does not make you better than anyone else. So, why should everyone worship the ground you walk on and tiptoe on eggshells to make sure they only falter you? It’s stupid. And society is stupid for believing this. This is similar to the reason why I hate celebrities and actors. Why in the hell should people worship you just because you make movies? Big fucking deal. How about we worship the fire fighter, policemen, and doctors who save lives everyday? Those should be the millionaires—sorry, I digress. But it’s true.

It’s hard to talk more about the plot and what I liked without giving too much away so I’ll say this. Wyatt continues to astound me and totally kick ass. Ashwan is hilarious and, to be honest, the moments between the friends are my favorites. Their banter and quiet moments are just not to be missed. Hilarious. Yuri plays a bigger role than I ever expected. Elliot also continues to surprise me and I found myself liking him SO much more in this book. He is really quite wise and a really good guy. Heather is vapid and excruciatingly manipulative. She drives me nuts. Blackburn…is hard to read. He’s got a lot more going on than you think and he never ceases to surprise me in both good and bad ways.

I think this was a fantastic follow-up to Insignia. The science is amazing. The characters continue to make me laugh and love them. A LOT of surprises. The plot twists and turns and I have no idea what I’m going to be reading next in this story…and I love that. It can go anywhere. I can’t believe we only have one book left!! Can’t wait until next year!

Should You Read This? Yes! Sci-fi lovers. Lovers of Insignia. This sequel will not disappoint. 

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