Monday, October 13, 2014

Name: Kelly Call Sign: Nomad

"He refused to believe the sole reason for existence was the perpetuation of existence at any cost.
There had to be a reason for it all,
a meaning, a point to living in the first place.
A better future had to be possible."
--SJ Kincaid, Catalyst


Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 432
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Insignia & Vortex
Goodreads Description

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.
The Plot

Catalyst finds us once again with Tom Raines on vacation with Neil, his dad. Security breaches happen and Tom finds himself eventually back at the Spire with a whole lot of changes. No longer a civilian training facility type school for the mentally gifted but rather a pseudo-military boarding school. Can you imagine how Tom reacted to this? I can't give away too many spoilers but know a LOT happens in this book and the journey we take with Tom travels places that are out of this world...pun intended. The twists we see in the final book are well-placed and click together like a well oiled machine. I was jaw-dropping a few times over things that happen but they all come together in the end. Sorry this is vague but it's the final book people, I can't spoil the story!

The Relationships

The final book in the Insignia trilogy was a fantastic blend of technology and human interactions. I want to talk about the human interest part of the book first and get to the tech below. I have said this since Insignia and reiterated it in my review of Vortex that my favorite part of these books are the friends' interaction. Tom, Vik, Wyatt, and Yuri make the entire book for me. Their interactions, their witty banter, their conviction to go to the literal ends of the Earth for one another. It's all so beautiful and I feel like the book's main theme surrounds these friendships. The character development of this rag tag group of friends is exponential as the series progresses. The mistakes that go along with growing up are as cringe-worthy as they are relateable. Who hasn't said something stupid in front of somebody they like? I love that the characters are flawed and learn from their mistakes. I love that Tom goes from being a socially inept loner to realizing what truly matters in life. THIS. This right there is what this book is all about...see below shortly...

The Love

Whether it be friendship, parental, romantic, or platonic, the love shown throughout this book is an amazing juxtaposition to all the crazy technology we get get exposed to. The world continues to evolve in the technology field but one thing remains constant and that is that love will always be present. Machines cannot replicate that of family, friends, and loved ones. I love, love, loved that a major theme, especially towards the end of the book, was the importance of relationships. No spoilers. That's all I'll say.

The Tech

The way technology is described and used in the book will never cease to amaze me. It's as scary as it is realistic to believe that the world can one day easily advance to this type of intelligence. I also love, like I say below, the frank assessment that technology and intelligence in the wrong hands is terrifying. The idea that total control is not completely a far out idea is scary. I was a little nervous while reading and wanted to put all technology away from for the time being...then I remembered I'm reading on my Kindle so there goes that idea.

The Evil

While this might sound weird, what I loved about this final installment in the Insignia trilogy was SJ Kincaid wasn't afraid to really make the villain a villain. The depths to which Vengerov went in order to succeed in, let's be honest here, world domination is deplorable and terrifying. But with how everything turns out in the end, it all makes perfect sense with the story. Not in the 'this guy is redeemable' type way, in the 'oh my gosh the world could come to this one day' kind of way. Terrifying. Honest. Brutal. I loved it.

A Twist

There was one major point in the plot that seemed to happen just a little abruptly and was resolved a little too quickly for me. I know that sounds weird but I felt like the pacing was just a little off. I was reading along with the story when this 'thing' happens which didn't seem like a big deal with how it was introduced and turned out to be a major plot development to spur the rest of the story. I don't know, I felt like I needed a little more lead up and build up to with details. Again, vague but I can't ruin the story.

Reserved Seating
If you love sci-fi, Ender's Game, or anything with technology, this is a series for you. Overall, it is a fantastic trilogy with an intelligent plot. lovable characters, and the idea that technology in the wrong hands is terrifying. 

1 comment:

  1. I admit I kind of perused this review since I haven't read this series yet but I am glad to see that you gave it reserved seating and would recommend it! Sci Fi isn't my go-to genre but I do like a good Sci Fi read every once and a while! I might just have to check this one out :)

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