Author: S.J. Kincaid
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopia | Space | Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
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 (goodreads).
The Diabolic was a delightful read with a helping of humanity on top!
Plot: Nemesis was raised as a caged fight dog. She was tortured into submission until she was bought by a royal family and chemically bonded to their only child. As Donia's Diabolic, Nemesis is tasked with keeping her alive even if it means breaking a few necks. When Donia is summoned by the Emperor, the worst is assumed and Nemesis goes in her place. It was in this setting that Nemesis is able to see humanity at its worst, question things for herself, and even fall in love.
I couldn't think of a better word to describe The Diabolic than "space opera." This novel takes places throughout the galaxy with many betrayals and political backstabbing. The Diabolic moves at a slow and steady rate. It may seem as though it's lagging, but I do think that ever scene was necessary for Nemesis' overall development. I thoroughly enjoyed the political aspect of the novel and constantly wondering who was enemy and who was foe, but despite how much I liked this book...the ending left a bad taste in my mouth.
Characters: The entire novel is told from Nemesis' perspective which makes The Diabolic interesting. Nemesis is not human so she does not have the emotions or rational reactions that we would normally expect. Due to this, her delivery of events were fairly emotionless. I thought this was a pretty neat trick and loved reading the subtle change in her tone as she found her humanity. I liked Nemesis because she was our redeemable hero. While I felt for her journey, the ending changed my opinion of some of the characters.
Worldbuilding: I would kill to see the excel spreadsheets that S.J. used while planning out her worlds. The intergalactic scenes are thrilling and expansive. I loved that Kincaid wove history into her world's ideology and that she wasn't afraid to use her world to the fullest. With Nemesis and company, we visit different planets, travel through subspace, and settle on spaceship villas. It's fascinating and works very well.
Short N Sweet: The Diabolic will suck you in and pull at your heartstrings as you travel with Nemesis to find her humanity. If you're in the mood for a space opera, look no further!