Insignia was definitely different. It would be classified better as futuristic than dystopian, with some fantasy. You've got a world where World War III has started but where is the war fought? outside of earth. In the solar system. The Indo-American alliance is fighting against the Russo-Chinese alliance. However what's different about this war is that it is fought between companies, not countries. We've got some powerful companies in all these countries that are fighting for position of Mars, or Venus. Also, get this, there are no deaths. People don't die in this world because they use automated machines they control from earth to fight outside. They are all teenagers that hold the Camelot Company position.
Our main protagonist Tom gets picked up for his gaming skills and enters this boarding school with four separate divisions (think hogwarts in harry potter). You get promoted to several positions before you enter Camelot Company, and that is what every trainee is aiming for. Now for Tom, all he wants is to fight against Medusa, a Russo-Chinese fighter that has been running in circles around the Indo-Americans with his/her skills. I loved how Tom was different and didn't straightaway aim to become Camelot Company. He just wanted to enjoy what he had and his new super brain. He made some great friends, pulls pranks, joke around, and just appreciate his new position. However when one company becomes interested in Tom, problems happen. I loved the humor in this novel. The secondary characters were such an entertainment to the readers including me.
I have to admit the beginning was a bit slow and it bored me however when he started the school. Some of the tech stuff I didn't understand completely, but overall it was a very enjoyable novel and I loved how new and refreshing the idea of the novel was. I've been hearing that fans of Ender's Game will love it, but I recommend it to all YA fans. I am really starting to enjoy many male POV YA novels and hope this trend continues on!