Author: S.J. Kincaid
Series: Insignia, Book 1
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Earth is in the midst of WWIII, but it may not be as you had imagined it would be...it's in Outer Space! That's right! BUT, it is being fought by teens who are fighting the war virtually! Here's the thing...it's a bit more than that and when Tom stumbles upon Medusa, the biggest baddest fighter of all, and realizes they have something deeply in common...what should he do next? Does he keep going?
My thoughts: War Games! Seriously!? I can't believe I loved this, but I DID! It was fabulous! I wish I hadn't been so dang distracted by work and life because I would have probably read it cover to cover instead.
When the government can't find a perfect fighter in their perfect little teen virtual fighters they turn into perfect little robot warriors to fight their enemies...they turn to Tom. Who's Tom? A nobody! That's who! He's the son of a washed up gambling, drunkard who basically has to gamble himself by playing virtual video games against people to win enough money for a room for each night so they don't have to sleep on the street or in a shelter. He rarely gets to actually go to school, and so when the government notices his "killer" instincts in the virtual gaming worlds they decide to go out on a limb and recruit someone VERY different from their "normal" criteria!
The future world that Kincaid has created with alliances between multiple countries and corporations is absolutely BRILLIANT! I was completely fascinated by the layers, and layers of depth that were created in this world and it's creation! I was completely satisfied, which is something I am left lacking so often lately. I can't wait to see where she's going with everything!
One thing I was a bit frustrated with from time to time, was the way that they kids were with each other. It was just so "typical" I guess. I wanted more support from one another in their fight, in their struggles to learn and "survive" the changes that happen. His friends that he makes ARE fabulous and delightful and most importantly loyal...they really do make his life so much better by "having his back." He's never had that before.
Last thought: You have GOT to try this one! I can't wait for the next one! How is Tom going to make up for the ultimate betrayal? IS there a way to make up for the ultimate betrayal?