In the wake of the massive financial success of The Hunger Games, 20th Century Fox has snatched up the rights to the futuristic, young adult thriller Insignia. Written by S.J. Kincaid, Insignia is the first part in a planned trilogy, and, oh yeah, the book hasn’t even been published yet. It doesn’t hit bookstore shelves until July 10th.
While Insignia marks Kincaid’s debut, that didn’t stop Harper Collins from purchasing the proposed three-book arc for somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000 last year.
Insignia is set during World War III. Tom, a 14-year-old gamer with a deadbeat gambler father, enrolls in the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. When he gets to the school he has everything he’s ever wanted, girls, friends, a sense of purpose, an appreciation of a lifetime of videogame skills, but he soon finds out some horrifying truths about the school. The military intends to turn him into a super soldier by implanting a little computer in his brain.
The mention of gaming makes me wonder if the intention is to have other people control the soldiers, essentially playing them like a real life video game. Reading this description I can’t help but think of Ender’s Game and Gamer.
Young adult franchises are hot commodities—The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight, and more—but with a pre-emptive move like this I can’t help but think of I Am Number Four. In that case there was actually a movie contract before there was even a publishing deal. Let’s hope that Insignia is better than Number Four. It sounds like it has definite potential.