My review 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?
The first quarter of the book has a lot about what has happened in the worlds history to cause World war three and why the war is fought in space, including an actual history lesson that actually felt like I was in a history lesson, I found it a bit boring and slightly tedious after a while but once it started getting more into the story I found myself becoming more immersed in the world and found it hard to put down.
I really loved the idea of the Pentagonal spire and the neural processors combatants have implanted into their brains, S.J. Kincaid has created a feasible futuristic setting that could very well be a world we might live in some day full of politics and intrigue. The idea that the world is at war over territory in space was also something new and exciting, because really, no one owns space, but one day someone may try to claim parts of it and this really could happen! The book really is very thought provoking in that way.
I found Tom to be an interesting character, he's desperate for a stable living and a family but he thinks differently and struggles with authority which means he's constantly risking his place at the Spire which he so desperately wants because he can't stop himself being defiant, it made for a volatile mix that I enjoyed seeing play out. I also really liked his friendship with Vik, the author did such a great job of writing the relationship of two young boys, I was actually laughing out loud at their banter.
So overall, despite a slow start, as I slid further into Insignia I found it more addicting with an easy writing style and tons of very different characters, I can't wait for the next one.
My thoughts on the cover
I really like the bright red of this cover, it's the first thing I noticed, I also like the big title and the funny little eagle thing below it. All the circuitry is what really makes it really stand out as different, I like it.
Sorry, no favourite quotes as I read an uncorrected version of the book.
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