By: S.J. Kincaid
Release Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young
Format: Print ARC
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
I think that The Diabolic will be a great hit with many readers. It’s an action packed story with intrigue, a touch of romance and wonderful setting. For me, I really enjoyed this book but at the same time I felt that some of the pacing was rushed and I wished I’d had a deeper connection to the main character, Nemesis.
There were aspects of this book that I felt were incredibly strong and well done. The world building was really interesting and I loved the descriptions and the issues that Kincaid drew out with the Diabolics, Excess and Royals. Because of there being such extensive unrest in this world there was real tension in this book and it made the reading experience exciting.
The characters were a mixed bag for me- I really loved Tyrus the nephew of the Emperor. His character was the most interesting to me and I would have liked to have read more about him. I loved how he interacted with the main character, Nemesis. I honestly liked her the most when she was interacting with him.
Speaking of Nemesis- I enjoyed her character on a whole but there were times her decision making really aggravated me. I could understand her motives but it didn’t take away from my frustration while reading. I do think she was well developed and her history as a Diabolic was horrifying to read about. I appreciated that Kincaid chose to tell this story from a Diabolic’s perspective but I do wish I could have connected a bit deeper to her.
The side characters were less thrilling to me. Many, like Nemesis’ charge, Sidonia was sadly not all that well developed to me. I never was able to connect to her and at times I feel her storyline was there for the sole point of advancing the plot or being an inconvenience to it.
I found The Diabolic to be an exciting read and well worth the time though I couldn’t connect deeply with the main character. I found the world and story to be well done though and I would read a follow-up if there was one. I’d especially love to read more about Tyrus.