Thursday, October 30, 2014

Catalyst: Review


The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”
This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.


Catalyst puts the "last" to "last stand". I like both Insignia and Vortex, but I'm not in love with it. Catalyst is simply brilliant and impressive. A masterpiece indicating vast improvement from the previous two books. I'm not sure how Kincaid can improve from Vortex, but apparently I should think more highly of this trilogy. The ending is perfect. And totally well-earned.

Things are already tense when Catalyst begins. Tom is under watch - more so than ever. Someone is out there trying to use him for his own nefarious ends. Stakes build up when Tom and his friends discovers their terrifying plans. The odds are stacking against him. I love when this book is not all action and fighting. There are a lot of them, sure. And I'm really thrilled. But what's truly amazing in this book are mind battles. Tom is fighting himself. The struggles are intense and nerve-wrecking. I mean, I've lost all time sense when that part begins. That's how messed-up (in an exhilarating way) these mind wars are. This book is not just about wits and street-smartness anymore. It's willpower in a pure form.

A lot of things have changed in this book. More so than I could ever imagine, when the book starts a short time after the events in Vortex. It's full of twists and turns. And I'm truly impressed. I'm not impressed easily, in my own perspective. I always like to find plot holes or flaws. But I can find none in Catalyst. It's a fine and satisfactory last installment of a trilogy. I don't know why this trilogy doesn't get more recognition and attention. It's totally underrated.

I love every single second of me reading this book. This is a nice ride with the sci-fi trilogy.

Rating: 9/10

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