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 III. 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?
Corporatocracy’s Brave New World
S.J. Kincaid’s Insignia inhabits a frighteningly real future where corporations not nations run the world. In this world, anyone who wants to eat food or drink water, needs to give a cut to this or that company. It is in this milieu that WWIII is not just fought but sold to the citizens of the world. A bloodless war fought in space by remote controlled machines, powered by golden boys and mysterious girls with the aura of sports heroes and rock stars combined provides the only entertainment and rallying point that the huddled, impoverished masses have.
Enter the Outsider
So in this sad world of 1 percenters and those who aspire to be them, it’s rare to find anyone who’s lived off the grid long enough not to have bought into the system. Rare…but not impossible. For Tom Raines’ father, an itinerant gambler, has kept his son isolated in all night vid lounges and in and out of cheesy Vegas clubs. In all that time, Tom’s honed his skills as a gamer and a hustler and it’s these skills that finally that brings him to the attention of the military.
While Tom is good at gaming, he’s tired of the rootless lifestyle of his father. So when he’s offered a prestigious spot at the Pentagonal Spire, he’s interested. Fortunately for him, he has enough skepticism and smarts in him to keep him a player in the new game he finds himself in.
Face-paced, high-energy excitement
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I loved the audio version of this book! Lincoln Hoppe, the narrator, does a fabulous job with the varied characters, from blonde, genius vixen to Indian Dr. of Doom! With just the right pacing and inflection, the audiobook is a fantastic way to enjoy this superb book!