Brodie's Reviews > Insignia

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, favorites
Read from May 02 to 06, 2012

Tom's never really had the chance to make friends, to live a life of routine or attend a proper school. He and his father are constantly on the move, town after town, feeding his father's gambling addiction. Waiting for that 'big break' that will set them up for good. The break that never comes. But then Tom's incredible gaming talent is noticed by the military, who manage to track him down and offer a once in a life time opportunity. The chance to train at the exclusive Pentagonal Spire to become a future combatant, a soldier in World War Three. A war like none before it, fought by teenagers through virtual-simulation, with real-life effects. Kincaid has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into crafting this world and making it feel 100% completely believable given our current scientific and political status. While it all could be information overload for the reader, she manages to lay it all out for us to easily follow along and become just as swept up in this fascinating way of life as Tom does.

The technology is seriously so freaking COOL. It's been years since I've played a video game, but Insignia? It made me want to find the nearest port, grab a virtual-sword and jump into the fray. VR simulations allow students to plug into a port (through a handy chip implanted in their brains) and literally find themselves in a 3D gaming landscape, all as part of their training for the simulations that actually play a part in the future of our world. Fly a spaceship to Mars? Battle in the Trojan War? Find yourself in a woman's body (er.. avatar) when you're actually a guy in reality? (OH MY GOD I JUST REMEMBERED A SCENE. Pause review while I giggle. Giggle some more. And a little more. Okay, we're good to continue). Psh. Easy as plug-and-play. With such a creative tool in providing a varied landscape, Kincaid never fails to make her action scenes exciting, fresh and exhilarating. And the technology is not just limited to gaming-simulations - the ways in which Kincaid has adapted it into their everyday lives will tickle your awesome-o-meter.

Tom is a brilliant main character. He's not perfect. He's far from being a genius, but he's smart in a different kind of way. Thanks to years spent having to fend for both himself and his father, hustling the unwary out of their money, he's developed a talent in observing. He picks up on things that others don't. Tom knows how to play the game and loves every minute on it, thriving on the action and desire for victory, to be seen, to be known, to be important for once in his life. He can be a sneaky little bastard at times and I love him all the more for it. He has his moments of sweetness, moments of zero-tact and sometimes there's a downright devilish glee in his eyes (Tom + Vik = bad, BUT OH SO GOOD), but his heart is truly in the right place. From the loner kid who considered himself a loser, to a boy who shone in a beautifully rebellious light, Tom has definitely made it onto my Favourite Character List.

Insignia is nothing like Harry Potter in plot, but what it does share is that essence of friendship, wit and sense of growing up. Behind the awesome technology and corrupt politics, this book has spirit, thanks to its outstanding characters. Tom, Vik, Wyatt and Yuri are all so different, a band of misfits who slowly come together to form fiction's newest Awesome Foursome. I LOVE THESE GUYS (and girl) so much. I kid you not, they had me CRYING tears of laughter at times. And the best part was, some of those weren't even intentional on the characters part, they were just total screw up moments that blossomed into some of my most memorable scenes of the book. Tom and Vik are like Harry and Ron 2.0 with a healthy dosage of Weasley twin mischief. If they don't have you cheering, "Doctors of Doom!" by the end of the book, then you have no sense of humour.  I am beyond excited to continue reading this series to watch as all their friendships strengthen, alive with insults and banter, arguments, respect and secrets. 

There wasn't one thing alone that I made me love this book, it was a multitude of AWESOME, all blended together to form one of my new favourite reads. The action and imagination, war and cleverness, comedy and personality; it will appeal to boys and girls, reluctant readers and those with too many books on their to-be-read pile. It has something to suck everyone in. If you're tired of the same old stories, if you want something new and innovative, a book that POPS out amongst others in it's genre, a book that will make you think as much as it has you snorting laughter, or sitting wide-eyed and attentive, then INSIGNIA is for YOU! And you! And yes, YOU YOU YOU! Go! Order it! Now!
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Quotes Brodie Liked

S.J. Kincaid
“Come on, Beamer! I beheaded you for your own good.”
S.J. Kincaid, Insignia
tags: humor

S.J. Kincaid
“He likes her."

"Yuri, no!" Vik said.

Yuri turned redder, confirming it.

"Yuri, come on, man," Tom cried.

Yuri gave a helpless shrug. "Divisions cannot divide human hearts."

"Oh God," Vik cried, clapping hands over his ears. "He's even spouting cheesy lines now. Make him stop, Tom!"

"I can't!" Tom told him. "My ears... They're bleeding. Bleeding!"

"It's a brain hemorrhage! He's murdered us!" Vik said.

"Murderer!" Tom cried, fake collapsing onto the ground.

Yuri shook his head. "This is not very mature.”
S.J. Kincaid, Insignia

S.J. Kincaid
“She needs a proper supervillain name. Man Hands isn't doing it for me."

"You're right. How about 'Evil Wench from the Darkest Reaches of Mordor'?”
S.J. Kincaid, Insignia

S.J. Kincaid
“Tom became distracted by the sight of his own boobs. He reached down to grab them. Wyatt cleared her throat.

"What?" Tom said defensively. "They're mine."

"You aren't seriously planning to just sit there groping yourself in front of me, are you? That's kind of rude."

Tom dropped his hands, a bit sheepish. "What, come on. You've got some new equipment, too. You're not curious?"

Wyatt's armor clanked as she shifted awkwardly in her seat. "It's not like I haven't played sims as men before."

"Right." Tom grinned. "So you've already done the groping thing."

"That's not what I said! ”
S.J. Kincaid, Insignia

Reading Progress

05/02/2012 "I am in the worst reading slump lately, hoping Insignia will pull me out of it!!" 3 comments
05/03/2012 page 89
20.0% "I'm kinda freaking in love with this. It's so COOL. And I lovelove the characters! <3" 1 comment
05/04/2012 page 207
47.0% "I am not ashamed to admit during that first 'attack' scene, which gave birth to the Doctors of Doom... I was in tears of freaking laughter. THIS BOOK <33333" 2 comments
05/04/2012 page 238
54.0% "You are so oblivious, Tom."

Comments (showing 1-8)

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Erin I can't wait to read this book. Jealous you have a copy. :3 hehe

Brodie ERIN. IT WAS AMAZING! Dying for the sequel already! I think you might love it :D

Erin *cries* Don't rub it in . . . haha.

Alice ♔ It was totally amazing? A must pre-order?

Christ my preorder list for the second half of the year is fucking massive. *sigh*

steph Yessssssssssss!! :D I am thrilled that you loved it, too, Brodie!

message 3: by Shirley (new) - added it

Shirley Geezz Brodiee! If I fail my upcoming maths exam, I'M BLAMING YOU. Hehee I think I'll get started on this like TODAY or TOMORROW or SOON!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

What is this an advertisement?!?!?!?!?! Nice review loved it. I've read the book aswell and its like super-cool-mercilessly-hysterical-on-the-edge-of-your-seat book and i just fell for it. The Humour! The action! The Drama!Gotta read the second book now!!!

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

What is this an advertisement?!?!?!?!?! Nice review loved it. I've read the book aswell and its like super-cool-mercilessly-hysterical-on-the-edge-of-your-seat book and i just fell for it. The Humour! The action! The Drama!Gotta read the second book now!!!

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