Author: S. J. Kincaid
Book #: 2
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.42
Published: July 2nd, 2013
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?
Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.
5 Spanking Full stars to one of the most undervalued series out there.
I suggest you ALL start reading Insignia right now. Soon enough it will be one of the most spoken about series out there, and you will be grateful that you were one of the first ones to discover it.
Another FREAKING FANTASTIC addition to the UNBELIEVABLY ADDICTIVE Insignia series by what I can only consider to be an evil genius (S.J.Kincaid). You know how they say you shouldn't oversell a series to a friend before they watch/read it because then if it doesn't meet the standard you are the one to blame for creating such high expectations? Well, screw that because this series is that good. It is just such a well balance of moments so hilarious they have me literary laughing out loud...
"I wonder which one of them will think something embarrassing first? The words scrolled across the screen.
Don't think about Heather's boobs, Tom thought to himself, and to his mortification, the words appeared there.
Yay, it wasn't me! Wyatt thought. Then after the words appeared, she thought, sorry, Tom.
Tom. Wyatt. Try to focus. Heather thought. You can control your thoughts.
Boobs. Wyatt thought. Aah! Where did that come from?"
and profoundness that left me speechless.
"...as soon as he realized there was no hope—he was finally able to accept a cold, hard truth about life: the world rewarded sociopaths like Vengerov and destroyed good people like Yuri.
Tom finally understood why his father saw humanity as worthless. It was hard to see much fundamental value in anything when the bad guys always won.
Maybe this was simply what it was like to grow up."
Overall I love Tome Raine's character. He knows what he believes in, and doesn't apologize... or go back on those believes when it conveniences him.
"Tom wasn't sorry. He wasn't. And he wasn't delusional, either—he knew he was done for. There was no coming back from this, so he decided to embrace the moment.
"Good to see you again," Tom said to him. "I didn't recognize you at first, but then again, you're not naked and shrieking like a frightened little girl today. So, make any new friends in Jail?"
That of course leads to a lot of problems for him at the Pentagonal Spire, specially since he is supposed to do some ass kissing in order to get sponsors that will help him fight in space. But you still gotta love his bravado. He really stepped up in this book too, at the end I could see a very brave young man starting to realize that some things may be more important than his pride. Sometimes you just gotta play the game.
I also love all the other characters, including the bad guys. I specially love Wyatt, the counter part to Hermione. She is the smartest of them all, but I wouldn't say she has the looks Emma Watson has or the charm. Wyatt is socially awkward in every way, and not cute awkward at that. She can at times be just plain rude, and social cues are out of her league. But she can write code like no one else in the Spire. Plus she is a very good friend to have backing you up. Yuri is also super adorable (the Russian friend), and some things happen in this book that really make you appreciate him more. Before it seemed like if he were to disappear the book's dynamic wouldn't change, but you would be surprised. Every character is essential. Lastly Vik is back, and he also grows in interesting ways. We get to see another side of Vik that is more than Tom's best friend and side kick, a side you might not necessary come to cherish. At the end Vik pulled through though, so I give him props for that.
Have I gone on and on and on about the characters? That is because they are freaking amazing, but the story also merits itself a very long love letter. I am just enamored with this series because it's so different to every other book out there!
The space battles, the very real issues it deals with while at the same time not taking itself too seriously, the enemies, the friends, the lovers and the enemies. It's all a huge web of fantastic that I cannot wait to revisit. It's also a very good read for BOYS. BOYS AND GIRLS will LOVE these books, what are the odds?
So yes, I recommend everyone picks up this series before the media takes note and it becomes this huge thing. You can then say with confidence "hey I read that book BEFORE it was cool". Be one of the cool kids, and read Insignia. And if this argument doesn't work with you just know that it's world will enthrall you and you won't be able to stop thinking about it for days after it's over. I am still thinking about it, and I read it weeks ago.