Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Published: July 10th, 2012 (Katherine Tegen)
Source: for review via Edelweiss
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: Insignia, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.
Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
As one of my most anticipated titles of 2012, Insignia had a lot of expectations to meet. But with a great male lead, a well developed world and an intriguing plot, it did just that, and I was unable to put it down.
Where do I even start? Let me just say that I *really* enjoyed reading this book. I liked the world building, the characters, the plot, the way everything developed.. At some moments it didn't draw me in as much as at other times, but that is really my only complaint. Tom is a character who is easy to relate to and I liked following him around.
What really made the story for me was the whole world and the setup of this book. We're at a military academy where the students are quite literally war machines and I *loved* how everything was worked out, with the initiation and then the classes after that. I'm really tempted to point out specific points that I loved and enjoyed, but since it would spoil part of the plot.. I'm not going to. I do want to say that I loved the 'climax' and I can't wait to read more!
It was nice to follow a male lead around instead of the typical female main character. Tom wasn't overly confident, though he did get a little cocky at times, but I really liked following his thoughts and found myself chuckling with a certain scene (you'll know it when you read it).
Anyhoo, I'll round this review up before I keep going on and on about the same couple of things. If you like sci-fi, male leads and/or fast paced stories, you'll want to put this one on your wishlist. I'd definitely recommend it!