By S.J. Kincaid
Report by Jonathan Larson

World War III. A frightening idea and what many consider to be the end of the world as we know it. However in Insignia, things have taken a very different turn. In a future where giant corporations control every resource on the planet, war now takes place in outer space, fighting for control of the resources of other planets. However this is a war that has no casualties. It is fought by robots, being controlled by top secret - teenagers? Tom is just an ordinary guy who is very skilled at video games. He is so good that he catches the attention of General Marsh who recruits him to train to become a Combatant and help fight in the war. He trains at the pentagon and makes many new friends. H even gets the change to fight the best man on the opposing side. He loses horribly, but he becomes nearly obsessed with "Medusa." He eventually manages to contact her using a special talent he has, due to the computer in his brain, that was implanted when he joined the military, he can interface with the internet itself, and take control of almost any machine with relative ease; just as long as he remembers that he is a human. He and Medusa continue to fight on online games and a strange relationship starts to blossom. However he is threatened to be kicked out of the pentagonal spire because he has been accused of leaking information to the other side. His online fights with Medusa don't help this much. If he is able to beat Medusa at a national summit, he will have the support of the defense agency, because no one has ever beat Medusa. He manages to win, but only by using his ability to discover what she looks like. There is a reason she is called Medusa.

    • What did enjoy about the book?

I really enjoyed the way that the author talked about the future. It wasn't a nasty pollution filled world, it actually seemed really nice. I also enjoyed how the author portrayed the teenagers and their attitudes. The humor of the book really made me laugh!

2. What was the genre of the book?

The genre of the book was science fiction. However some of the things in the book don't seem like they are too far in the future. Such as the neural implants. They seem both exciting and frightening.

3. If this book is a part of a series, can you provide more information about the series?

This is the fist book in the series. I believe that there are 2 more books. They all continue on the battle between the side of Tom and that of Medusa. The second book is currently focusing on Tom trying to advance in the ranks and become a combatant.

4. Was the ending satisfactory (for fiction)? Why or why not?

I found the ending to be rather good. It was a cliffhanger due to the fact that it is the first book of a series. Other than that I think it ended rather well. Tom was off the hook and free. He gets to stay with his friends and keep is neural processor. However Medusa, who he likes, is very very very angry with him.