Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Review: The Diabolic, by S.J. Kincaid

Guest review by: Karen Doerr

“You are extraordinary.”

“What?” The word slipped from me in a stunned whisper. I had been waiting, dread-filled, but there was nothing but admiration in his voice.

“He spat out more blood. “I understand the brute power, the speed, but where did you learn technique?”

I blinked. Normally I disliked any questions about my upbringing in the corrals, but since I’d just nearly killed him, I felt I owed him an answer…

As a sci-fi nerd, I found the premise of The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid intriguing. I’m not normally big fan of Young Adult fiction, but this one managed to keep my attention. I found it very similar to The Hunger Games and would recommend it to any one who enjoyed that series.

Official Synopsis:
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.

One of the things I liked most about the book was how it managed to throw a little bit of everything into the mix to appeal to a wider audience. Enough blood was present to remind me how dangerous the main character really was. Just as I was craving a bit of romance, a kiss would suddenly appear and make my heart flutter. I feel that this whole review could have been me explaining the different aspects from different genres and well known stories which were so skillfully combined. I also genuinely liked Nemesis, the main character. It was fun to explore this alien world through eyes lacking tear ducts. The author did a good job of twisting the usual coming of age story with a monster finding her own heart.

Overall, I enjoyed this light read. The author presented an interesting world where humanoids are a common fixture among the upper classes. As with most Young Adult fiction, the writing is at times a bit fast paced and I wished that more time had been devoted to describing this society. I favorably compare it to The Hunger Games, but of course there are some stark differences. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot but the one thing that I found the book really lacked was an understanding of daily life for those not among the Elite. While I did understand the motives of the rebellion, I couldn’t sympathize with the everyman plight as all of my interactions were with the upper crust. It really could have taken a page or two out of Star Wars.

3 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}


Karen K. Doerr is a Hufflepuff from District 6 who takes her coffee with far too much sugar.

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Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 70 books.
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