Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Google Custom Search

book cover

Kincaid, S. J.


New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2012


Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Tom Raines life is screwed up.  Dad is a down-on-his-luck gambler who loses more money than he wins, so often, Tom must win money for food and hotel room thru his prowess betting on the results of Virtual Reality games.  His luck finds a turn - whether for better or worse is up to the reader to decide - when the government taps him for special training.  His amazing gaming abilities will be used as a force for the Indo-American alliance in World War III.  Since having battles on the earth would obliterate all resources, teenagers have been enlisted to fight space battles via VR type consoles.  Tom agrees, but initially balks when the concept of an internal (as in brain) neural processor installation is discussed.  However, he realizes the safety and protection of the Pentagonal Spire and the importance he will gain as a member of the Intrasolar Forces will finally show the world he has worth.  But with all the speed and intelligence he has gained, what will he be asked to give up?
Kincaid has given the YA environment a humorous glimpse at dystopia, to the point that at times I actually laughed aloud.  As YA books can be way to serious & angst-y, particularly dystopia, humor is MORE than welcome.  The books pages seemed to turn themselves as the reader watches Tom evolve from a short, gangly, acne-riddled kid into a tall, muscular, and confident teen.  I totally disagreed with the Booklist review that Tom was a “flat character from a story-driven plot”; rather, I see much character growth and a character driven to make the best place for himself in his world.  Technology and gaming abound in this book, which will delight the gamers visiting our libraries. 
(New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)


                        Virtual reality -- Fiction.

                        Video games -- Fiction.

                        War -- Fiction.

                        Science fiction.

                            War stories.

Main Page ** Author List ** Title List ** New This Month ** Interest Level ** Subject List ** FAQ's ** Contributors ** Booktalking Tips **Book Review Sources ** Reading lists ** Reading lists ** Awards **Nancy Keane's Children's Website **
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License