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 Three. 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.
About the Author
S. J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire. She also interned for a politician in Washington, DC, and received degrees from universities in Illinois and Ohio, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Edinburgh, Scotland, that she realised she wanted to be a writer. Several years, several manuscripts, and several jobs later, Ms. Kincaid now lives outside Chicago, and Insignia is her debut novel.
'With its mixture of school intrigue and space battles, Insignia reads like a mash-up between The Last Starfighter and Harry Potter. It's exciting . . . a good cyber-adventure for teens.' Will Salmon, SFX Magazine
'Alex Rider meets Hogwarts in space in this futuristic action adventure debut! In the first book in this fast-paced and futuristic trilogy, S J Kincaid asks significant questions concerning the use of technology, the value of human life and if games really can save the world.' Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids
'Blending hi-tech science fiction with all the familiar dilemmas of school life, Insignia is an original and entertaining debut novel. S.J. Kincaid rises to the challenge of writing about gaming in an engaging way, asking plenty of timely and thought-provoking questions about the role technology plays in our lives. However, this is ultimately a funny and very readable story about friendship which will particularly appeal to boys: the rebellious but good-hearted outsider Tom makes for an appealing hero.' Booktrust's 'Books We Like For August'
'Insignia is Harry Potter for gamers, with a six-pack of Top Gun thrown in for good measure, and reading it was like playing an incredibly addictive video game - once I started I just couldn't put it down . . .' Book Zone 4 Boys
'Insignia is definitely going on my top ten favourite books of 2012.' The Book to my Heart
'Insignia completely took my breath away! Guys and girls, geeks and technophobes - everyone is going to love this book! It's absolutely amazing, and one of my favourite books of the year! You must read this book!' Once Upon a Bookcase
'Insignia takes 'boarding school story' to another level; a highlight of its genre. The highly technical World War III set in space, and the remarkable band of young teenagers put at the forefront of the battle, will blow your socks off!' The Pretty Books
'This pacy, thrilling book is the first in a trilogy, but the reader need not worry about cliff-hangers. Every major plot point is satisfactorily resolved, the baddies have been put in their place and Tom is free to look forward to a future which may be precarious but is nonetheless exciting and full of promise. ' Bookbag
Series: Insignia Trilogy
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 13 - 17 years old
Number Of Pages: 452
Published: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 2.8 x 12.9
Weight (kg): 0.38