Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Tom lives on the road, supporting himself and his gambler father on his winnings from the virtual reality parlors, until he's asked to join a government program training teenagers to fight remote wars in space.  Once he's there, he finds out it's not enough to just be good at video games.  You also have to play the politics.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid is the first book in the Insignia series.

This book should be the next stop for readers who enjoyed Ender's Game and/or Ready Player One.  A true science fiction concept (no dystopia here!) combines with a sophisticated political landscape where most of the control is in the hands of major corporations to paint a picture of an all-too-believable future.  Tom is a likable underdog we love to root for while still having enough shortcomings and weaknesses to be a fully fleshed-out character.  The supporting cast is equally impressive, ranging from his hodge-podge group of fellow plebes to the morally-compromised military higher-ups to the Russo-Chinese combatants (who may not actually be his greatest enemy).  The plot is filled with action and political subterfuge, and while one particular devious scenario played out a bit too long for my tastes, it was well worth it in the end.  This is a must-read for science fiction fans or for anyone interested in a book that's heavy on playing the game with a side of truly compelling characterization.

Insignia is published by Katherine Tegen Books and retails for $17.99 (hardcover).  I read an advance readers copy provided by the publisher (although this review was not solicited or otherwise compensated).  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

Join us at 7:00 p.m. Monday, July 9, at Ethical Society of St. Louis (9001 Clayton Rd., 63124) for Dark Days Tour, featuring Veronica Roth, Aprilynne Pike, Dan Wells and S.J. Kincaid.  All four authors will be reading from and signing their latest books.  If you can't make it to the event, call the store at 314-367-6731 x. 1 to reserve a signed copy of any of the books.

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