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Insignia (Insignia Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
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5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(9)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Nonstop thrill ride of a unique virtual reality dystopic future

    INSIGNIA is one of those books that was really hard to stop reading at night to go to sleep-I never wanted to stop turning the pages as it was a nonstop thrill ride in a virtual reality, corporate-sponsored, dystopic future. At first, I was a little intimidated by the world the author created – because there are some corporations and sponsors and military terms that I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep track of, but it ended up being surprisingly easy to follow. This is definitely a plot-driven book, and at 464 pages, there’s a lot of plot. I was worried I’d get to parts where I didn’t really care or they felt slow, but that never happened! There was always some sort of action (either virtual or real) that kept the pacing moving forward at a perfect speed. The descriptions of the settings were perfectly done, and I especially liked all of the historical (including mythological) references in all of the virtual reality training scenarios. It was such fun to see how the characters interacted with these simulations, and nicely provides some subtle history lessons for students reading this book as well.

    This book has elements of a fish out of water story (kind of in a Harry Potter way of discovering a new “school” and people and how you’re changing because of it), corporate and political intrigue, an awkward teen wanting to be accepted, friendship, power, control, life or death fights, and the fate of multinational corporations and alliances hanging in the balance (no pressure there!). The author wielded a deft hand at balancing the action, technological, and teen self-esteem/friendship elements of the story in a way in which none felt over or underdone. There were also some great comedic moments to balance it all out as well.

    The characters really make this book though. All the action and excitement and plot an author could add, won’t make a difference if I don’t care about or like the characters. And in this book, I loved the characters. I adore Tom and was rooting for him the whole way, and the secondary characters who are his friends were so entertaining. There were some great teen girl supporting characters as well, and what I really liked was that they were actually some of the better computer programmers. And Vik, as Tom’s roommate at the new school, provides great comic relief in the midst of serious situations. INSIGNIA is just an exciting book, and a scary look at a future that might not be too far off.


    I absolutely loved it and can't wait for more people to read it and start talking about this fabulous debut! This is a book that my students (especially boys) who are into gaming or computers will love. I will be adding it to my “you liked this, try this...” list with BRAIN JACK by Brian Falkner, TEEN, INC. by Stephen Petrucha, and EPIC by Conor Kostic. I’d also recommend it to those who liked DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (both books have the same editor at HarperCollins!). I'm so glad to hear this one is going to be a trilogy because I can’t wait to see what happens after the big finale of this one (but thankfully, no cliffhanger ending)! Make sure to add this one to your list of July releases you’ll want to read!

    Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Insignia was, to put it plainly, fantastic. It has rightfully ea

    Insignia was, to put it plainly, fantastic. It has rightfully earned a spot in my top ten books list and shows no signs of dropping out of it anytime soon. Even though it was pretty long by most people's standards, it never slowed or dragged at all. This is certainly one of those books that you should not start right before going to bed. The characters were easy to relate and connect with, and Kinclaid managed to somehow create a sort of "hero" of a story that has plenty of flaws without overdoing anything. I was concerned part way in that what with the coalitions, and alliances and all that, that it would become too difficult to follow, but Kinclaid did a great job explaining it.
    One of my favorite parts of the books was the way Kinclaid spun her dialogue. It was funny, real, and flowing. You almost could imagine yourself right there with the characters.
    Honestly, I won't be forgetting this book anytime soon. It was so good, that after I finished it the first time, I read it again. And once more. This is a definite buy you won't regret.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Fantastic

    Really enjoyed this book. The first few pages made me want to keep on going. And I did. Look forward to a sequel. I also gave this book to my 12 year old grandson and he could not put it down. He loved it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    This book was fantastic! It had everything a reader could ask f

    This book was fantastic! It had everything a reader could ask for: characters that the reader will really love, a plot that kept producing unexpected twists, themes about where science and politics may take us in the future as well as the possible consequences of our stewardship (or lack thereof) of the resources of the Earth, and a fantastic ending. I could not recommend this more highly to teens or adults.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Movie needed

    Thus is better than many books that have movies this book needs a sequel and a movie

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    A good science fiction story

    I loved this book's story as well as its concept: war is no longer fought with people killing each other. Instead, battles are fought remotely in spaceto avoid any collateral damage or civilian deaths. The ships are controlled by teenagers with computers implanted in their heads that regulate evrything from information processing to eyebrow motions and blinking, as well as allowing them to interface with any electronics that are optimized for their neural processor. The friendships in this story are surprisingly realistic, as are the conflicts. The author obviously has had experience with describing emotions and bonds. I felt the ending felt a bit rushed and left me hanging, but this should be repaired in the sequel, which is coming out mid-2013.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Crazy good

    Being military for sevral years, and a big fiction lover. This was a true reading rush with amazing adventure and ossibility of truth in the words. I can not wait to read her next book. Please please continue to write more of these types not enough out there!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Ender's Game meets Last Star-Fighter meets Hackers. And I enjoyed it so.

    This book is a bit, Ender's Game meets Last Star-Fighter meets Hackers. And I enjoyed it so.

    The Pros:
    The MC, Tom, is a bit cocky, a lot stubborn, and desperate to be someone, but through all his over-compensations, his character doesn't alienate you, in fact you cheer Tom on, while understanding his motivations.

    Tom has friends, they have funny dialogue, they have a very male rapport, which means his friends care and intervene, but they aren't going to get all touchy-feely about it. The sense of camaraderie and establishing pecking orders and the stress of competition, I thought played out really well.

    In a lot of YA books, people are always blessed with these amazing fighter skills and good looks. And though Tom get's a lot of abilities handed to him, when he joins up, he still has to work really hard to get where he wants to be. He doesn't execute everything flawlessly, and know everything perfectly, and that makes him more real.

    Also I liked the diversity of the three main girls that Tom came into contact with, there was a typical, feminine wiles to get her way kind of character, a very socially stunted but brilliant girl that they unintentionally befriend, and then a girl that's is his equal and then some, who manages to be tough, but not, like in many movies/books, where a "tough female" caricature is trying way to hard on screen in tight black leather pants.

    The Cons:
    The world-building didn't have me completely into it. Basically, there aren't really any nations so much as there are giant corporations who have monopolies on everything. There's a chemical in the water, if you don't pay the corporation for drinking the water, then they will, bomb your entire nation out of existence.

    Everyone is fighting over space, as in solar systems and outer space - I don't know if they addressed why, or if I missed the benefits of "owning" the solar system, there wasn't a mention if the reason for this was something like exporting or colonizing other planets. Instead of using people, they use big machines to try and strategically win against each other, via teenagers with neural implants.

    Again...wouldn't that just lead to a world where all the corporations spent all their money on building more complex and giant machinery...are their rules of conceding defeat? I'm a bit murky on how this system actually works.

    And this is so very minor, but in the beginning where we meet Tom, I would have liked just a tiny bit more set-up into his personality and motivations, in some ways he's a very complicated character, he has good social skills with his friends, but in the virtual world has a savage and vicious mind for strategy. Which stops him from being too much of a team player. His desire to be someone and something, seems to conflict with his absolute dislike of authority. The way the author sets him up, you understand his conflicts and motivations, but not so much his darker side. Maybe it's setting him up, in a sort of good versus evil conflict within his personality, or he will give in to making nice with authority figures to get ahead.

    I'm excited for the sequel to come out - I hope the author can ride the momentum and take this story to greater and bigger places.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    The best book i've ever read.

    1. Get the book
    2. Read the book
    3. Love the book
    This is a trademark of Eldridge incorparated.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Great

    For the person who gave this amazing book two stars and called it slow - I very highly doubt that you can write a book with a sixteenth of the length and excitement of this book, so shut your mouth and keep it that way.
    On an other note, I loved the book, and I hope that there is a sequel very much. Thank you for the great read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Great!

    This makes for a highly intriguing read. A must-buy, this title deserves truly deserves those 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Great Read!

    I couldn't put the book down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Perfect

    Loved this book. Normally wouldn't read scifi, but found this through a sampler and was hooked. Would recommend, have recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    This book was straight up a-may-zing I couldn't believe how luck

    This book was straight up a-may-zing I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find it. I picked it out today during one of my random strolls through Booksamillion with my signature oreo candy blast frappe and when i say I didn't understand the journey that i would travel with this book as my guide, i truly had no idea. This book is a futuristic setting, with realistic characters, full of adrenaline, immense wit, and plenty of teenage hormones. I for one have to rate this among my top favorite books and then cry myself to sleep because there is no known continuation for it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The beginning gave me this 80′s vibe because of all the Vi

    The beginning gave me this 80′s 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 book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Awesome book

    I read this book so many times. I laugh out loud during every chapter! I recommend it to EVERYONE!!!!! best book i have read in like 8 years at least and im 13! The second book is just as good and i read them both in one sitting each!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2012

    why do i have to give a review? i just want to give it 5 stars

    why do i have to give a review? i just want to give it 5 stars

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great book

    great book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Insignia was definitely different. It would be classified better

    Insignia was definitely different. It would be classified better as futuristic than dystopian, with some fantasy. You've got a world where World War III has started but where is the war fought? outside of earth. In the solar system. The Indo-American alliance is fighting against the Russo-Chinese alliance. However what's different about this war is that it is fought between companies, not countries. We've got some powerful companies in all these countries that are fighting for position of Mars, or Venus. Also, get this, there are no deaths. People don't die in this world because they use automated machines they control from earth to fight outside. They are all teenagers that hold the Camelot Company position.

    Our main protagonist Tom gets picked up for his gaming skills and enters this boarding school with four separate divisions (think hogwarts in harry potter). You get promoted to several positions before you enter Camelot Company, and that is what every trainee is aiming for. Now for Tom, all he wants is to fight against Medusa, a Russo-Chinese fighter that has been running in circles around the Indo-Americans with his/her skills. I loved how Tom was different and didn't straightaway aim to become Camelot Company. He just wanted to enjoy what he had and his new super brain. He made some great friends, pulls pranks, joke around, and just appreciate his new position. However when one company becomes interested in Tom, problems happen. I loved the humor in this novel. The secondary characters were such an entertainment to the readers including me.

    I have to admit the beginning was a bit slow and it bored me however when he started the school. Some of the tech stuff I didn't understand completely, but overall it was a very enjoyable novel and I loved how new and refreshing the idea of the novel was. I've been hearing that fans of Ender's Game will love it, but I recommend it to all YA fans. I am really starting to enjoy many male POV YA novels and hope this trend continues on!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2014

    Pretty good

    I've been reading a bunch of books lately I never expected to read. This being one. I'm into mystical creature books (not twilight) but decided to give this a chance and I'm glad I did. I wouldn't call it my favorite or even close but it's interesting and a good read. I like the characters though they are all either slow or american to me. I have trouble doing accents in my head so I tend to see yuri as slow when he's not!

    Toms character annoys me the most. Why is he so proud? Is there really anyone out there this bad? I feel he needed a bit more leway but then apparently it wouldn't work for the books. I like the chick they hang out with. She seems to have aspergers syndrome which I have lol.

    If you like futuristic stuff you could like this.

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