Review: Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Posted 6 December, 2012 by Pushy in Blog, Danny's Book Review, Pushy / 22 Comments

Insignia by S.J. KincaidInsignia

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Dystopian
Publication: July 10th, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Audiobook provided by publisher for review
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from Goodreads

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?

Sci-fi tech and political intrigue combine to make this dystopian unputdownable! *And, yes, that is a word! 🙂 *

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

While when this story started, I was worried it was going to be a re-hash of Ender’s Game, I quickly learned I was wrong! S.J. Kincaid succeeds in crafting a fresh new dystopian view of the future, complete with gritty details and breathtaking possibilities. With fresh characters and awesome plot twists, this book will definitely keep you turning pages until you get to the very end, leaving you desperate for more!

Bewitched Rating


Bottom Line

If you haven’t had the chance to pick this book up, run out and do so now! It’s worth it!!


Get your own Audiobook at audible: Title (unabridged, 15hrs 18min)

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!

Now go and get lost…in a book!
Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I’ll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I’ll listen forever.

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22 Responses to “Review: Insignia by S.J. Kincaid”

  1. I think I’d love this one. And I think as an audiobook, as long as I didn’t get lost with who was talking this one would work really well for me. Do you think I’d get lost with voices and who is talking? If not, I’d really like to try this one. I think it sounds incredible. Once again, awesomely fantastic review!

    hrose2931 recently posted..I Can’t Wait For These Books!!! WOWMy Profile

  2. O.o I want this, it sounds dark and I love dystopian..thanks for sharing this one Pushy.
    Danny, I know you love the new adult genre and I just read a novella called Christmas Kisses that was read hot! I think it’s like .99 cents on B&N and Amazon and I consumed it in a single evening.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Fate’s Mirror by M.H. Mead ~reviewMy Profile

  3. Wow. I mean, I’ve had this on my TBR list for the longest time, and don’t think I could want this more, but I think you’ve just changed my mind. I WANT IT SO MUCH. Insignia, you are now on my NEVER WANTED MORE list.

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