Monday, July 8, 2013

Vortex: Review


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.


Overall this book is just as good as Insignia. But the first few chapters of Vortex makes me feel a tad detached from the storyline, while the chapters after that is like the most addicting thing in the world.

In this book, Tom is trained as a Middle, anticipating someone to sponsor him and pave his way to being a Combatant at CamCo. Unfortunately not only his promotion to the Upper Company looks grim, there are tons of people who don't want him to be promoted. After a sequence of events that are life-changing, Tom and his friends are facing the impossible, ready to outwit an enemy that is nearly impossible to be beaten.

There's a lot of action in this book and I love most of them. Like some of the outerspace scenes in various parts of the book. Tension is built much higher than in Insignia, especially when someone with so much power and money is out there trying to control you or put you into endless misery. The sidekicks are really nice and they can surely add more fuel to our anticipation. There are also some very beautifully-written scenes like Tom seeing the Earth from the outerspace.

The best part of the book is the characters. They have strong personalities and each of them has their own flaws. They don't hide their imperfections and they have a view of their own. Of all the characters, I like Wyatt and Tom most. Wyatt, because she's smart and funny in her own way. Tom, because even with his obvious imperfections, he's still loyal to his friends and Medusa. Both of them are lively characters and most importantly, they are honest and they don't bother to hide their flaws.

Insignia is one of those books that when you read them, you might not spot anything remarkable. But when you finish the whole thing and think all the way back, you will realize the brilliance of the story and the background.

Rating: 7.5/10

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