The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
November 1, 2016
Young Adult, Action & Adventure
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 416 pages
Source: Bought
My Rating: 4 Stars

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.

THE DIABOLIC is a new YA science fiction thriller by author S. J. Kincaid that is filled with political intrigue, twists and dark deceptions complete with an anti-heroine who's trained as a lethal weapon: one that is masquerading as a senator's daughter being held a hostage of the galactic court where games of deceit can mean death.

Taking inspiration from Robert Grave's classic novel I, Claudius, THE DIABOLIC is ruthless. It is a standalone novel in which not everyone is safe. Characters die and the political climate is rife with deadly intrigue that ensures not everyone is going to make it out alive. 

Set among the stars in a futuristic sci-fi setting where technology is no longer studied but rather an enforced religion by the empire's leaders is used to ensure their continued power: rises the protagonist Nemesis, our anti-heroine who is about to kick some "twisty-mind games" butt. 

Nemesis goes from an unfeeling protagonist, one in which the heartbreaking opening scene ensures that you just want to hug her and root for her, to one of growing - if unpredictable, human feelings. Her contact with a few key players at court, one a friend and one a romantic interest, makes her sympathetic and relatable as she maneuvers through the many human (teen) feelings she has been trained to deny. I'm a fan of these kinds of heroines and Kincaid knows how to write one.

THE DIABOLIC is going to appeal to young adult readers looking for a heroine who is anything but ordinary and those who enjoy plenty of unrest and rebellion in their reads. Though the pace was slow in the beginning, intrigue and a slowly developing romance kept me curious. An increasingly tightening of plot and tension led to a great climatic ending. Nemesis' voice should appeal to those looking for a fierce if flawed heroine. 

THE DIABOLIC is emotional, twisty and dramatic!