April 2012 Indie Next List
“At 14, Tom Raines is recruited by the Pentagon to train to fight in World War III, a war that is being fought in space by ships controlled by teenagers. While training, Tom learns that the line between enemy and friend is often blurred. With exhilarating battles, some great pranks, and a group of teenagers who are trying to survive military high school, Insignia will keep you riveted from the first page.”
— Rebecca Olson, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Toms 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. Someones been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and hes offered the incrediblea place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Toms instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, hell become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, hell 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 Toms always wantedfriends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action mattersbut what will it cost him?
Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaids 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 realized she wanted to be a writer. Several years, several manuscripts, and several jobs later, Ms. Kincaid now lives in California, and Catalyst is the conclusion to the Insignia trilogy.
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
“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.”
“Kincaid’s debut novel, an ambitious, high-concept mélange of the teen hacker and teen spy genres provides a fast-paced and exciting tale.”