Even though Labor Day is behind us, we’re just not ready to relinquish summer yet! Hey, we have until September 22nd (technically), right? In that spirit, we still have a few more Summer New Voices titles to share with you, and next up is INSIGNIA, by S.J. Kincaid. This is delightful, thought-provoking science fiction teen set in a futuristic world at war, and we gobbled it up like Ender’s Game and The Maze Runner– fun, fast-paced, and full of questions about morality, technology, and humanity.
A few words from the editor, Molly O’Neill:
“One of my absolute delights as an editor is when a manuscript takes me entirely by surprise, becoming a book that I had no idea I was dying to publish. And that’s precisely what happened for me a little over a year ago with Insignia, the story of a teenage video gamer recruited to become a superhuman government weapon in World War III.
I’m decidedly not a gamer, so I distinctly remember thinking on page one of the manuscript, “Hmmm, a sci-fi war story about a gamer kid? I’m not quite sure this is gonna be for me….” But by page three, I was hooked: gaming, neuroscience, military boarding school, and all! Insignia is action-packed and intense, full of fascinating technology, high stakes, and provocative questions. But it’s also just pure fun to read—full of masterfully sly humor and laugh-out-loud hilarious scenes—something I’ve found to be a deliciously welcome change from so many of the relentlessly grim futuristic worlds currently jockeying for space on YA bookshelves.
Tom Raines is instantly likeable and relatable as a main character, brimming with perfect measures of sarcastic wit, cockiness and insecurity. His yearning to be someone important, to truly matter will feel utterly familiar to teen readers—and to anyone who’s ever been a teen. And Tom’s not the only character that you’ll adore in Insignia: his comrades at the Spire are by turns hilarious, brilliant, nerdy, and fiercely loyal: they’re characters that feel so vibrant and real that I desperately want to follow off the final pages of this book and become friends with them myself! (Currently, author S. J. Kincaid is working on the second book in the Insignia trilogy and each time she sends new chapters into my inbox, it feels wonderfully like the first day after summer vacation or winter break, back at school, where you can’t help getting giddy about how good it is to see everyone again: “Oh, look, it’s all my friends—we get to hang out again! Omigosh, Tom, and Vik and Yuri and Wyatt, I’ve missed you guys!”)
We’ve just received a blurb from Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, so Insignia may be just the right book to put into the hands of her fans who are clamoring for a new read. She says Insignia is “A disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won’t be able to put Insignia down.” And bookseller Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books summed up the reading experience of Insignia perfectly, saying: “S. J. Kincaid’s debut is one of the best YA novels I’ve read in years—original, thrilling, funny, smart, and not at all predictable. I will follow this writer to the ends of the Earth—she is the real deal.” I hope you and your readers will likewise want to follow S. J. Kincaid and her storytelling powers to the ends of the earth. ”
Thanks Molly! Check out an excerpt of INSIGNIA here, or go find it on bookshelves now!