Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Series: Insignia, Book One
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: ARC
Published: 2nd August 2012
Number of Pages: 464
Book: For Review*
Genre: Realistic-Fiction, Science-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Mild Swearing, Space War (Awesome Space War!)
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: S.J. Kincaid

A thrilling sci-fi adventure.
An unforgettable hero.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Raines looks set to go the same way as his listless, gambling addict of a gather, with no hope for the future – until one day everything changes.
Tom is recruited by the State to become a Combatant: one of an elite group of teen soldiers, chosen for their unique virtual reality skills, to fight World War III in space!
But is Tom’s future really as sage as the army claims?  Are there spies, and corruption, in their number?

And what happens when you question the rules?

The world is split in two, at war with one another. A war for the solar system...
Tom Raines is a gamer, playing to keep a roof over his and his dad's heads, his father being an unsuccessful gambler. But as much as Tom loves his father and gaming, he can't help wishing for more. Wishing to be important.
And then his wish comes true. Someone has noticed him, his amazing skill at virtual reality games. He's accepted into the Pentagonal Spire, a military academy where he will be trained to fight in World War Three.
It's like all Tom's dreams have come true all at once; he's important, taller, acne-free, with a computer as a brain and a cause to fight for – and maybe even a girlfriend.
But before his new life has even truly begun, will everything be torn apart; will he be forced to leave the Spire? To go back to being a nobody?
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up. I'd been told that if you love Cherub you'd love this, so I was picturing teen spies. And while there were teens and bundles of action, Insignia was in a world of its own. It was funny and addictive, with the most amazing characters and world.  I was expecting another dark dystopia, but this was so, so, so much more than that. It was original, it was addictive, it was freakin' hilarious.  I loved this book to pieces!
Tom Raines was someone I loved right away.  He was clever, sneaky, brave and funny, and just made me grin with his witty snark and cheekiness!  I just loved him!  Oh, and he was also such an evil genius!  And as sweet as he was and as much as I loved him, the boy really did have the killer instinct! 
All the characters were incredible, hilarious and either utterly and completely loveable or hateable.  Par example, Dalton I hated with a passion. Tom, Vik, Wyatt, Beamer and Yuri, meanwhile, I adored! And the friendships between them all were so real, so sweet, so funny! God, I loved them all – especially Vik the “the spicy Indian” who made me laugh non-stop and Wyatt Enslow, AKA “Man Hands” or “Evil Wench”, who had no social skills and really made me laugh with her wit!  Oh, and Elliot Ramirez I started off thinking was really stuck up, but he really did grow on me: he was do sweet and friendly and his inspirational talks killed me!
I have to mention Vik and Tom’s friendship, because they were just classic!  Those two absolutely killed me; they actually had me cracking up in public spaces.  I was enjoying their wittiness too much to even care about looking like a total weirdo!  Their immature madness was addictive and absolutely sent me into hysterics. I LOVE the "Doctors of Doom" (PhD and MD)!
The world was amazing and so well thought out.  And the technology?  Amazing!  The virtual reality games, the way the war was fought; it was all so new and, well, amazing!  I liked the parallel to privatisation and media moguls in this book, how they bought about World War Three – it intrigued me, in a twisted way.  And you know what? I just want to jump feet first into this world, to be a CamCo myself and fight wars in space. And that may sound kinda nerdy, but trust me. If you read this book, you'll so totally get it!
The writing was just brilliant!  Witty, action-packed, addictive and absolutely hilarious!  I don't know how Kincaid did it, but her words and characters just had me creased with laughter.  It also had me scared, touched and just overall hooked.  Loved it!  And the plot was equally addictive!  I was sucked in from the very first page and hooked from start to finish!  This was a believable, funny, technology-filled, action-packed and twisty book I just gobbled up. I loved that most of the plot was completely unforeseeable, that it twisted and turned and never failed to surprise me!
I loved that Insignia wasn't depressing like so many dystopias, but that it had the perfect mix of horror and humour, adventure and friendship, technology and emotions.  I loved everything about this book!  I seriously cannot recommend this one enough!  Kincaid is an author to look out for, an author who had me hooked to every word.  I cannot wait for the next in the series!  Ms Kincaid, you have a new number one fan in The Book Addicted Girl!

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Cherub by Robert Muchamore
Department 19 by Will Hill
Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

Happy Reading
* This book was received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

Hollie said...

I featured this one on my blog a couple of weeks ago, and I've been eagerly awaiting its release ever since! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book so much, you've made me even more excited to read it!