Review: Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

VortexSource: Won from EpicReads
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Insignia #2
Edition: Hardcover, 390 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

Insignia was one of my favorite reads for the year so I was super excited to read Vortex when I won it…of course life and review books happen so it kept getting pushed back. Until I recommend Insignia to my boyfriend and he blazed through it and forced begged me to read Vortex with him. I want to touch on the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t like reading…in fact if he reads 1 book in a year it’s something worth noting, so the fact that he’s read both of these books back to back says something about it. It’s just that good.

I have no clue where to even start with Vortex, because it’s one those books where I just want to squeal and thrust the book at your face until you decide to read it…just to shut me up. Vortex is just as much fun as Insignia was, in fact it may be more fun. We get to see more of the Spire and more of the awesome technology everyone has access to, and we get to see more simulated battles…which I think might be my favorite techy aspect. Just the thought of being able to pop into a simulated situation and ‘live’ it like it’s truly real makes me want to tell scientists they need to hurry up. Of course there are downsides to technology and while we got to see some of it in Insignia we really get to see it in Vortex. We also get to see more of the Camolet Company combatants at work and we are introduced to a whole new host of people.

Tom is just as stubborn, reckless, and hilarious as before but I’m happy to say he experiences a lot of growth in this one. Tom is the kind of character that gives you a headache because you get hitting your forehead over the stupid stuff he says and does. I can’t even remember how many times I yelled, “Tom just shut up!” Needless to say he ‘kind of’ learned to shut up before I gave myself a concussion. Vik, Wyatt, and Yuri are also back! These four go through some tough situations together and I really love the strength of their friendships, even with all the name calling and crazy problems. Then there is Medusa. God I love this girl! She’s such a tough character with a vulnerablity that she tries to hid underneath all of that cool badassery. We do get to learn a bit more about her and even with her flaws displayed she never becomes a puddle of goo.

There is just so much I want to tell you guys about, but there would be so many spoilers that the review would be pointless. Needless to say I’ll be buying the third book when it comes out, even though we have quite the wait. If you haven’t read Insignia and you enjoy sci-fi books with awesome tech then I really recommend it!

4.5 Stars

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9 Responses to Review: Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

  1. Tom being hilarious and consuming sounds well done to me

  2. I really need to read this series, great review!
    -Scott Reads It!

  3. Lucy says:

    Oh wow…4.5 stars! I need to move this one up the queue! Insignia was so good and I’m glad to hear the sequel doesn’t disappoint.

  4. Jeez, this sounds soo good. I really want to read both the first and this. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  5. I’m glad Medusa is in there again. I thought she was really interesting. I’m so glad this one was just as good as the first! I was a little worried. I loved Insignia and I can’t wait to read this one as well. Awesome review.

  6. Your boyfriend is adorable. Hahaha. I should definitely get a copy of this book soon. I would love to see more of Tom and his friends.

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