Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid


Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 444pgs

The Story

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 thier 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 Tom's always wanted - friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters - but what will it cost him?

Gripping and provocative, S.J. Kincaid's futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.

The Review

As one of the most anticipated titles of 2012, INSIGNIA was a young adult book I just knew I had to read! For one, I'm an avid gamer so I could definitely see some of myself in the main character as we share the same common interest - even before reading the book - and secondly, I'm a big fan of the sci-fi genre where others are not so much, which only increased my excitement and anticipation for this book alone. However, with that being said and despite the high praises and all the love I thought I would have by the time I finished this book, I, unfortunately, just couldn't get into this book. Sad but true and I hate myself for it.

The beginning of this book was . . . fantastic! I was really getting into it at first, but then several problems began to occur throughout the book. I mean, if I had to be really specific here, the main problems for me were most likely the book's pacing which is very important to me for the most part and all of the details the author covered in general in the book which didn't end so well for me. Obviously. Now concerning the pacing of the book, honestly . . . it had its up and downs. At times with certain scenes they would spread like wildefire and the action sequences just hit you like action should have hit me, you know? But then I found the majority of the pacing was far too slow for my taste and too . . . I hate to say it . . . boring.

Quite often in the book I found myself drifting off instead of eagerly turning those pages and that happened all the time for me, so as you can imagine I was pretty disappointed when it came to that part. The same goes with the book's details - both the big and the small. Like with many other sci-fi books I've read, I do love myself some government stuff and their super secrets of war involving teenagers trying to save the world and all that epic stuff but for this book in particular I felt there was just too much to take in . . . too much technical stuff that I was really, really wanted to get lost in. But when it comes down to it I do applaud the author for her details and I can see she did a lot of research, and while many readers - despite what I thought of it - just LOVED those details but for me it didn't win me over in the end. My mind was blown . . . just too much blown. *bows head in shame*

With the main character in INSIGNIA, Tom Raines was a great protagonist and he really up stepped up his game but he was the kind of character you'd eventually grew to love in time (maybe because he was 14-years-old and I don't usually read books with young protag's). But as his character slowly develops and he becomes someone else, a better Tom, in some way he actually reminded me a bit of Harry Potter, you know, a loner boy introduced to a whole new world and gaining friends in the most unexpected places, which some other reviewers also said about him, so in that case I was certainly surprised by that factor. And as for the supporting cast, they were quite entertaining, though some were more lovable than others. Of course I didn't love all of the supporting characters but the true highlight would have to be the character, Wyatt, a girl with so little social skills and yet had the knack for advanced programming and being a total genius so I just LOVED her to bits. Probably more so than the main character, I must confess.

Overall, INSIGNIA has everything going for it for the first book in a trilogy! Even with a slowly-paced plot and some technical stuff I didn't completely understand, but I still enjoyed it and I hope many other readers who aren't so big sci-fan fans (like myself) really give this book a go because judging by the high star ratings . . . many readers LOVED this book and be rest assured you will too!

The Rating
3/5 stars

16 comments:

  1. Ah I really hope I end up loving this one since I have a signed copy :P Great review though, thanks for being honest since I've only read positive things up to this point!

    Anna
    Literary Exploration

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    1. You lucky thing! Love signed copies! Anyway thanks Anna! Hope you love this one too!

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  2. Great, honest review, Erin! I enjoyed this just a tad more than you (I gave it 4 stars, I think) but I can agree with some of your negative points too. Hopefully the second book will brush up on those aspects. :)

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    1. Thanks Sam!

      I hope the second books wins me over too! Glad you enjoyed it though!

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  3. I have to agree with you spot on about this book - I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. I honestly did think so many of the scenes in this could have been cut out to make the plot tighter and while it was unique and interesting, I think younger audiences would have enjoyed it more than you or I did. Still, fabulous review, Erin! :D

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! There were plenty of scenes that could have been cut out but . . . I agree - this book is more for a younger audience.

      Thanks Keertana!

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  4. Aww, I absolutely loved this book, but I'm glad you did enjoy aspects of it. I'm not too into sci-fi but I liked the balance this had. Hopefully the sequel will be an improvement for you!

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    1. I adore the sci-fi genre to bits so it's a pity on my part in not liking this book all so much. But I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this more than me. I really hope the sequel is better so fingers crossed for that!

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  5. Awwwww, I'm sorry this didn't entirely make you fall in love as you were expecting! :( As you might have saw, I crazy LOVED this, but I can SO see why it wouldn't work for others. I found them engaging, but I know others (like yourself) may differ on some of the more details details details scenes.

    I ADORED Tom, Vik, Wyatt, Yuri and Beamer too <3 Wyatt is just.... I'm SO excited to see her grow, but I also don't want her to lose her indivituality. What makes her... HER is what is so special and screw-the-rest-of-the-world-because-she's-effing-awesome. I hope the sequel will blow you away more! Fantastic review!

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    1. I know! How could I NOT love this book! *hangs head in shame* I read your review for this book so at least someone loved it more than me. haha.

      WYATT! I really wished she had more scenes, especially with Tom. Just LOVED her character and I too am excited to see her grow later in the series. She has a lot to offer I reckon.

      Thanks Brodie!

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  6. Oh, Erin, I'm so sorry this didn't work out for you! It's even worse when it's one of those books you KNOW you're going to love and you're SUPER ampedmfor and then... Eh :(

    Still, very fair review! And hey, you can't love them all ;D

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    1. I know! It's such a pity. Thanks Sarah! :)

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  7. Aww, so sorry that this book just didn't work out for you, Erin! It has such interesting concept that I completely adore. I'm actually a bit of gamer too, so the premise really won me over. I think I may still check out this book since I adore Harry Potter, and wait... Wyatt? Sounds like my new favorite character! <3

    Thank you for the awesome, honest review, Erin! <3 :)

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    1. I hope Wyatt becomes a favourite character of yours. Loved her!

      Thanks Hilda!

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  8. !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm in shock. How can your mind be OVER blown?!! That's cray. I'm really quite surprised by your review, so many people loved it! But thanks for sharing your honest opinions. I'm definitely still going to check it out because I'm still intrigued. Great review though, Erin!

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    1. I know I'm shocked over my own opinion. haha. There was just . . . a lot for me to take in and it pushed my excitement away. But thank you! Hope you love it!

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