The Diabolic

Posted 20 January 2017 by Kim in Book Review / 2 Comments

The DiabolicThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Series: The Diabolic #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2016-11-01
Genres: Romance, Sci Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: library | Hardcover

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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From the back cover...

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...

My Review

Diabolic is the first in a new series of the same name by author S.J. Kincaid.  The book is science fiction in every sense of the world.  It takes place in the distant future that in no way resembles are own.  The power structure is an Empire and it is based on a sun religion.  The Grandoliloqy are the nobility of the empire and control all of the technology, and thus all of the people, within the empire.

The theme of religion and science/technology is key to this story, as is the questioning of what it means to be human.  Just as in real life, ideologies differ and cause fracturing.  Nemesis, a genetically created girl, has one purpose for her existence… to protect her master, Sidonia.  Diabolics are stronger than the average humor and bred to feel no love or loyalty to anyone beyond their master.  Her mission puts her into the middle of the growing galactic unease in unexpected ways.

Prior to reading this, I saw a lot of complaints about different aspects of the story.  One was the seemingly senseless brutality.  Yes, there is a lot of brutality.  But I didn’t find it to be unnecessary.  I thought it was very much in keeping with the Diabolic concept.  Emotions breed compassion and without it, brutality happens.  It was entirely appropriate for the nature of the characters.

Another complaint was about Nemesis herself, and her character’s emotional journey.  She was genetically enhanced to be something more than human, or at least something different.  She was bred to be virtually emotionless.  As I mentioned earlier, her character explores what it is to be human.  I think many people saw her as a genetically different being than human, whereas I saw her as an enhanced human.  Love and compassion and empathy are vital human emotions that, given the opportunity, will rise.  This is why I loved her changing nature.

Overall

I really loved this book.  When I got it, I thought it was a standalone, but I am happy that it is going to be a trilogy.  Can’t wait!

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
three-half-stars
Overall: 4

About S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.

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