4.15 (14,901 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Insignia expertly combines humor with a disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won't be able to put this book down."--Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent and Insurgent

The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and 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. . . .
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 148 x 216 x 37mm | 535g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062092995
  • 9780062092991
  • 612,823

Back cover copy

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?

Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid's futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR INSIGNIA "Insignia expertly combines humor with a disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won't be able to put this book down." -- Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DIVERGENT and INSURGENT

"Hip, high-tech, and hilarious, INSIGNIA made my heart soar and left me with impossible-to-shake questions about technology, reality, and war."--Rae Carson, author of THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS -- Rae Carson

"An unlikely teen is selected to attend Hogwarts-at-the-Pentagon. With action, real humor and a likable, complex protagonist, this fast-moving, satisfying adventure also provides some food for thought." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Kincaid's debut novel, an ambitious, high-concept mélange of the teen hacker and teen spy genres provides a fast-paced and exciting tale." -- Publishers Weekly
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Rating details

14,901 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 43% (6,419)
4 36% (5,363)
3 15% (2,303)
2 4% (559)
1 2% (257)

Our customer reviews

The beginning gave me this 80�?????????�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�¢�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�¢?�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�¬�?????????�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�²s vibe because of all the Virtual Reality games that the main character, Tom, plays. The set-up is very similar to Ender's Game, but the rest of the story was different enough that it didn't feel like a copy-cat. There's a lot of technical stuff and details at the beginning that made it hard to get into at first. The pace feels a little slow because there are some long historical passages about the world. I didn't see how all these details could be relevant at first, but she utilizes all the details you know about the world to make some really cool conflicts. About half-way through, the pace picked up and the author's attention to detail spilled over into the interesting, funny and sarcastic characters and their complex relationships. I flew through the last half of the book. The author surprised me more than once with some awesome plot twists. She did something with computers that I haven't seen done before and then made it so funny. If you're a fan of science fiction or video games (like I am), go grab this more
by Jessica B
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