Insignia Review

Insignia - S.J. Kincaid


That computer in your head is a weapon, but it is a double-edged sword.

- page 103


"War evolves over time. It's better to say, 'No one kills in this war yet.'"

- page 105


"People are expendable. Period. The only difference between the nineteen fifties and today is that there are billions more of us expendable human beings."

- page 106


"All the technology in the world can't change the fundamentals of human nature. There will always be war as long as human beings are capable of envy, hatred, and fear."

- page 118


I love this book. It was highly recommended to me by one of my fifth-grade students. In fact, she repeatedly told me that I "had" to read this book. So, of course, I read it. And I am so glad I did.


In this world, war is fought in space and there are no casualties. The war is fought by teenagers with computers implanted in their brains. They interface directly with the ships to control them. But, the war is not between countries, exactly. Oh, there are alliances between countries, but the companies are really controlling (and profiting from) the war. Tom Raines goes from a nobody with a drunk, gambler for a father, to a highly prized asset of the government. And, for the first time, he belongs somewhere, he has friends.


I'm sure you can guess that having a computer implanted in your brain isn't all sunshine and rainbows. And Tom complicates it by being impulsive and maybe a bit crazy. But he is a teenage boy, so...


The story is exciting, with enough twists that you aren't exactly sure who Tom should trust, but you root for him anyway. 


This is a Sunshine State Award nominated book in the 6-8 grade category.