Thursday, August 22, 2013

Unraveling: Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

Vortex by S. J. Kincaid
Title: Vortex
Series: Insignia Book Two
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Publication Date: July 2, 2013

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.
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My Thoughts

I'm happy to say Vortex didn't join the innumerable amount of sequels that suffer from second-book syndrome. The plot was a tad weaker than in Insignia, but what happened in Vortex was necessary for both the general advancement of the plot and some character growth on all of their parts (Tom, Vic, and Wyatt)

Tom and his friends have to pass one more test to get that sponsor they need to finally do what Tom has always wanted, but this is a test that Tom has a very hard time pulling off. Why? Because Tom knows who he is, his ideals and beliefs, and he is not about to compromise himself and kiss ass just to get their approval.

"Tom wasn't sorry. He wasn't. And he wasn't delusional, either—he knew he was done for. There was no coming back from this, so he decided to embrace the moment."Good to see you again," Tom said to him. "I didn't recognize you at first, but then again, you're not naked and shrieking like a frightened little girl today. So, make any new friends in Jail?"

So, of course this puts Tom in quite the situations through out Vortex and his only resort is worst than any of the other sponsors. And with that ensues one hell of a fight interspersed with humorous training classes.

"I wonder which one of them will think something embarrassing first? The words scrolled across the screen.Don't think about Heather's boobs, Tom thought to himself, and to his mortification, the words appeared there.Yay, it wasn't me! Wyatt thought. Then after the words appeared, she thought, sorry, Tom.Tom. Wyatt. Try to focus. Heather thought. You can control your thoughts.Boobs. Wyatt thought. Aah! Where did that come from?"

Those lessons were so much fun to read! xD And the crap they got into in all their simulations was great. Specially loved the one with the sharks. Not everything was fun and games and there was a definite part in Vortex, actually multiple parts in Vortex, where it got down right depressing.

On top of all this Tom learns who his real friends are, how far his enemies are willing to go, and some cold, hard life lessons.

"-he was finally able to accept a cold, hard truth about life: the world rewarded sociopaths like Vengerov and destroyed good people like Yuri.Tom finally understood why his father saw humanity as worthless. It was hard to see much fundamental value in anything when the bad guys always won.Maybe this was simply what it was like to grow up."

Watching Tom struggle through all that and then his problems with his friends was heartbreaking and I loved every minute of it. But, Tom wouldn't be Tom, if he didn't fight back, and that ending was spectacular. Paves the way to the last book in this awesome trilogy with a bang. And so I leave you with Tom's challenge:


Would I Recommend it?


Other books in the Insignia Trilogy:

  1. Insignia
  2. Vortex
  3. Untitled


  1. Ooh I'm glad that you liked this one! I still need to read Insignia, and I'm thinking I should probably start it soon because there have been really fantastic reviews for it. Usually I would hate that the plot wasn't as fast as the first book, but with the character development happening I probably could forgive it :) Tom sounds like a dynamic character, as well, from what you described.

    Thanks for sharing! <33

  2. You really should! It's a great YA series with some great characters :)


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