Insignia by S. J. KincaidInsignia by S. J. Kincaid


byS. J. Kincaid

Hardcover | July 10, 2012

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"Insignia expertly combines humor with a disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won't be able to put this book down."—Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent and Insurgent

The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay. . . .

S. J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire. She also interned for a politician in Washington, DC, and received degrees from universities in Illinois and Ohio, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Edinburgh, Scotland, that she realized she wanted to be a writer. S...
Title:InsigniaFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.41 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.41 inPublished:July 10, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062092995

ISBN - 13:9780062092991


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Suspenseful and Intriguing Scify Adventure! “Insignia” the engrossing, and imaginative first book in the science fiction series begins when fourteen -year- old Tom Raines, an enterprising video gamer is recruited to train at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy to eventually become a Combatant, a soldier of the Intrasolar Forces fighting WWIII in outer space. Plagued with a down-on-his luck gambler for a father, abandonment by his mother, Tom suddenly finds himself with friends, no acne scars, a spurt of growth, and a possible girlfriend when he agrees to having a neural processor in his head to interact with his brain. Set in the future, the author creates a world where powerful corporations in a race to gain territory in space have split their Coalition into two factions; Indo- American and Russo-Chinese. To resolve their territorial issues and stop any devastation, injuries or death affecting Earth these two opposing forces fight in space enlisting teenagers using virtual simulation to inflict devastating outcomes in every real-life battle. To defer the high cost of the war, the corporations provide the military with funding for equipment, and sponsor the Combatants (CamCos) who fight it. Most come from political or good backgrounds or have connections until Tom Raines is enlisted with his virtual-reality skills that defy logic. Fast-paced and action-packed the story holds you hostage as Tom’s need to be important in life and find a place in the CamCos leads to internal conflict with a bully and one of his instructors as well as to being shanghaied by a Corporation Executive who uploads behavioral modification and compulsion feeds into his neural field to gain his co-operation. Intensity and suspense ratchet higher when Tom connects with Medusa, the Russo-Chinese’s ultimate warrior who has been inflicting one defeat after another on the Indo-American faction. Connecting as they battle one another, their relationship soon takes on overtones of friendship and much more. Skilfully the author brings to light issues like the creation of cyborgs (humans with technology), intolerance, free will and hints of socialism. As events unfold with twists like the divulging of top secret military information, the story quickly and smoothly progresses to a heartbreaking conflict at the end. Of the characters that bring excitement, complexity and power to the story, Tom Raines is a defiant rebellious teen dealing with a neglectful father and constantly missing school at Rosewood Reformatory. He’s loyal, protective, likeable and honest masking his underlying impulsiveness and viciousness in battle. Of his friends Wyatt Enslow is the smart, blunt and brilliant hacker who has a hard time relating to others; Vikram Ashwan good-humored but immature; and the scrambled Russian Yuri Syrevich trustworthy but tongue-tied. But it’s the twisted, cruelty of Lieutenant James Blackburn; the arrogant narcissism of Dalton Prestwick; and the spiteful bullying of Karl Marsters that add a chill to the story. I loved “Insignia” with its shades of Ender’s Game, and highly recommend it. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Out of this world...literally! This is thrilling novel, perfect for the young adult who is interested in gaming and/or virtual reality. Robots who fight in space will appeal plot-wise to many a young reader and the overall message of global unity will appeal to the adults in their lives.
Date published: 2017-02-08

Editorial Reviews

"Kincaid's debut novel, an ambitious, high-concept mélange of the teen hacker and teen spy genres provides a fast-paced and exciting tale."