Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#Wednesday Review - The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid #YALit, Science Fiction @SJKincaidBooks @SimonKIDS

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

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.

Author S.J. Kincaid's The Diabolic is a young adult, science fiction, standalone novel that mixes a bit of religion and science together to make one helluva a story that will not only entertain you, but boggle your mind as well. I dare say that the synopsis does a good job of telling you what the book is all about. So, let me summarize without spoilers. The protagonist of the story is called Nemesis. She is an genetically engineered killing machine and protector.

She was raised in captivity, and had to do things that will probably make your skin break out in goose bumps. At an early age, Nemesis was bought by the Von Impyrean family to protect their only daughter Sidonia. Probably a good idea when Senator Von Impyrean has made more than a few enemies, including the Emperor. Nemesis and Sidonia were chemically bonded so that there is firm connection. One could say that Nemesis was created to have no emotions, or human feelings. Nemesis would give up her life for Sidonia. 

The story really kicks into gear when the Emperor summons Sidonia to Chrysanthemum (Galactic Court). In a bold move, the Matriarch of the family chooses to send her viper into harms way, rather than her own flesh and blood. This means making major alterations to Nemesis so she can pass as Sidonia. The Emperor knows that certain families have been moving against him, and thus using their sons and daughters as hostages to keep them in line, is a brilliant move. 

What's really interesting is that Diabolic's were officially banned by the Emperor, so, Nemesis being there posing as Sidonia, is a real feat of ingenuity. But, the Emperor has managed to be above the fray by keeping three of his own. Nemesis finds that she is actually feeling things that she was aware she could do. In the beginning, Nemesis is a cold, uncaring humanoid. By the time the story is over, Nemesis learns the ins and outs of human emotions, and even falls in love with one of the most twisted characters in the entire book; Tyrus Domitran.

There are a variety of secondary characters that need your attention. From Sidonia, who shocked me with her feelings for Nemesis. To Neveni Sagnau who befriends and allies herself with Nemesis against the Emperor and his staunchest allies like Elantra Pasus who I love to call the men girl of the story. Tyrus, though, is the one you really need to pay attention to. To being a madman. To becoming an ally of Sidonia. To being involved in a massive twisted scheme that will change the course of the Empire.

This book has everything. Rebels who want to go back to the way things were before the Emperor put a stop to schooling, research, and technology. To Senators who are lined up on both sides of the issue. To an Emperor who claims that he, not GOD, is the voice of the Empire, and what he says is law not to be trifled with. I liked that we didn't say just in one place. I liked watching as Nemesis got her first look at planetary life. I dare say that I liked Nemesis and Sidonia's relationship. It very much surprised me how much Sidonia thought she had to be the one to protect Nemesis and was brave right to the end.


  1. Nice! Hearing good things about this one! It's quickly making its way onto my wishlist!! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great review!

  2. Standalone?! Yas! Will definitely borrow this from the library