So I suppose not many people would read this book because it screams “Another Dystopian Novel!” but trust me, it became a book that I want to read over and over. In fact, I’ve already read the sequel.
Insignia by S. J. Kincaid is about a boy named Thomas Raines who lives through each day by beating adults at video games for money. He travels through casinos with his father until he is offered a job – become a Combatant for the United States and their allies. The book travels through his time at the Pentagonal Spire as he learns how to fight in space and get used to the computer in his brain.
Insignia was an excellent book because it weaved the problems of teenager with this cool sci-fi idea. Kincaid transformed the world into a future littered by the influence of the world war, where teenagers fought the battle by using neural processors to control ships. Along with the technical side of things that made this book action-packed, there were typical moments that can be found at any high school: friends goofing off, bullies beating others up, and planting viruses into other trainees’ neural processors (you know, the computer in their brains). There was a serious side of this book where the war was being fought and the trainees tried to move up the ranks, but there was also a humorous side where Tom and his friends would pull pranks or make jokes. I found the book really interesting because it interweaved a cool technology being used in a war with modern problems. When the book began to drag because it became a repetitive day at the Spire, Kincaid threw in a new problem or tension with others, on a scale of a bully to the enemy of the war.
I would recommend this book to anyone, and once you finish don’t worry, the second book, Vortex, is already out.
Since this book has a cool technology, I’ll ask you this: How would you feel if you had a computer in your brain? Would you want one?