Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Series: (The Diabolic #1)
Pub. Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Source: Read with Tessa
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.
She must become her.
Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…
The Diabolic follows Nemesis, a diabolic (a genetically engineered human made emotionless and deadly) who serves her mistress Sidonia. Ever since she was bonded to Sidonia, Nemesis’ mission has been to protect her at all costs, even if that means killing a few dozen people (actually, that might be encouraged). So when danger arises and Sidonia is in the most danger possible, Nemesis trains to be like her so she may take her place and face the danger herself. The problems with this? 1) Sidonia finds out and strongly disagrees with such a course of action, 2) Nemesis goes anyway because the galactic court is nowhere near safe for Sidonia, and 3) Nemesis tends to only do things that would put Sidonia in danger once the act has begun because, well, she’s not Sidonia and masquerading as a human being is hard when you were made to destroy everything in sight that endangers your master (or in this case, Nemesis because she must survive for Sidonia). All in all, this is a journey full of death (murder is popular), torture (why rush?), self-discovery (gotta learns something), romance (they like hearts, though usually when ripped out of the body…), and of course, political plots of demise and trickery.
Nemesis is a good character. She is brutal, passionate, determined, and honest (though she can lie very well if she wishes to). In the beginning she claims to hate what she is, but there are hints that she actually may not mind as she compliments herself at the same time. As time goes on within the novel and she walks around as Sidonia, she realizes how much she dislikes not being able to use her strength or intimidating stare. The more she pretends to be her mistress, the more she seems to become human. No matter what hardships Nemesis went through, she stood tall and imposing, deadly. She does have her moments of weakness however, and that makes her more human than anything else.
“He yelled out in horror, but he did not escape. I was too fast.” (1%)
Sidonia is a character we really don’t know much about. She is the sweetest, softest of everyone Nemesis meets, but how would she really react to what Nemesis sees? What makes her mad, sad, or happy? We know she and Nemesis have a bond, that they love each other, would die for each other, but where is all the proof, the examples? Who is she really?
Tyrus is a cunning, manipulative little heir. Stuck in a whirl of madness of his own making, how is he to come out unaffected? Crazy, unpredictable, a mastermind at deceit. Is he trustworthy? Nemesis sure thinks so. Tyrus is a pawn and the master all in one.
Predictable. We saw it coming, we knew it would inevitably come to be. It was well executed in the beginning, engaging and quite interesting to read. And then it was as if the two characters were thrown at each other. Merely a little nudge to move the plot along that was more of a hurtle across a football field.
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the twists and overall plot of action and death. However, I feel like some plot points were added in merely to show us how cunning some characters are even though we already have an abundance of examples. I also feel like many of the deaths were there simply to prove to us that people are cruel and Nemesis’ opponents are worthy of her yearning to end them, though all of this is proven without the excessive deaths and torture. This is easily overlooked for me because I enjoy murder and death and violence, and found that while some manipulations and deaths were unneeded, they were enjoyable to read about and gave the story more character rather than just romance and false humanity.
The beginning started off cold and distant, as you would expect from a diabolic raised to have no emotions. But even as Nemesis seemed to grow used to conveying emotions, the writing never really grew with her. It stayed lacking in the emotionally connecting department and that made it less riveting. Many of the situations were simply a list of what happens that read dull and monotonously. This definitely helped us understand just how far Nemesis had to grow in order to get to where she is in the end of the book however. This allows us to better appreciate her character’s growth.
“Donia might emerge from her chambers if she heard anything. I’d hate to murder her mother in front of her.” (4%)
The Diabolic is engaging and not what you would expect from the synopsis. Mystery, murder, thrill, romance, complex diabolical plans, this books has it all.