By: S.J. Kincaid
Insignia book review
Tom Raines has no friends, and has fallen so far behind in his education that he has to attend an online school. He and his dad have to scrounge a living while travelling from casino to casino. Then he is offered a spot at the Pentagonal Spire, where Combatants train to fight battles with space ships over land in space. There are 12 major power holding Companies, divided in the middle between the Russo-Chinese alliance, and the Indo-American alliance. Tom must choose which company(s) to befriend, but he might not have one. Will Tom break down? Or can he succeed?
Insignia really captures the readers’ attention and puts you in Tom’s futuristic world, filled with excitement and action, and interesting points of view on technology and what can be achieved with it. I found some similarities to the real world in this book, one of them being that we depend on companies for our food, and the companies have abused this. Harbringer, one of the companies in the books, has put some chemical in all the water, and though there are no negative effects they charge the whole civilian population to drink or use water in any form. The Indian region refused to pay the tax and they were killed using bombs that didn’t damage the land. The area was repopulated with people who would pay taxes. This shows that companies are the major powers in this world and control most of the population. We can really compare this to today’s companies and it makes you wonder whether they will abuse our dependency on them. Now, if we go back to our book, I think that Tom is an excellently constructed character, very similar to a teenage boy around our age. And, towards the end it feels like the book has about million things to wonder about until they are wrapped up, and it leaves you wondering “What next?”
“Karl took a menacing step toward him, farting with each movement. The stench mounted in the air.
Dalton seized him. 'Karl, for God's sake, go to the restroom.'
'It's not my fault. It's Raines! I'm telling you, he ---'
"Karl dashed through the crowd of silent partygoers. Everyone in sight had hands clamped over their noses at the ghastly smell pervading the air.
They didn't realize it wasn't Karl they were smelling.
It was the septic tank Tom had reprogrammed.”