Tag Archive | Insignia series

Book Review: Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

Vortex cover

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Please note this is the second book in the Insignia series and does contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book, Insignia.

“The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process. 

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.”

What I see: Hmmmmmm, I really enjoyed the first book, but that new feeling has rubbed off and I feel this sequel kind of coasted through. It was enjoyable, there were a few major things that happened, but I didn’t find it as gripping as the first.

In not so many words, it’s kind of a YA Ender’s Game version of Harry Potter. I don’t want to discredit the book at all, I did like it and was surprised by some of the turn of events, but first book kind of hit everything really hard and now there’s not too much more to expand on. I want the focus to be drawn back and I’m hoping that will occur in the third and final book, that’s currently untitled. 

Book Review: Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Insignia cover

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“The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S.J. Kincaid’s fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy. The planet’s natural resources are almost gone, and the war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning.

The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn’t seem like a hero. He’s a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom’s life completely changes. Suddenly, he’s someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there’s a price to pay…”

What I see: This is another fantastic example of why male YA leads get all the fun and interesting stories! From the first page you’re sucked straight into the story and totally on Tom’s side. There is some romance, but I love how Insignia makes practicality of it. It’s like biology attraction. Absolutely fantastic. 

Great premise, interesting story, and relevant issues for the future of the world. Is it kind of a knock off of Ender’s Game? I haven’t read it, but all signs point to yes! Nevertheless, since I don’t have firsthand experience, I can only express how wonderfully written Insignia is!

I loved it and can’t wait to read more!