3.5 stars

S.J. Kincaid – The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1)

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. Nothing else. For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial 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 corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.


The first thing that got me about this book was the cover. It’s such a simple but beautiful picture that naturally attracts the gaze. Encouraged by this I read the blurb which only cemented my determination to read the book.

I have to be honest here I had a really- really hard time with the first 150 or so pages of the story and since it’s almost 40% of the book it’s a pretty serious problem. I just couldn’t comprehend the world S.J. Kincaid built for her story. I didn’t like the elite class ‘we are perfect and the best creations of the Comos even if there is nothing natural about us’ view or the tyrannical leadership which is probably necessary for these kind of plots so I really could overlook these parts. Oh, no. My biggest problem was with the way the leaders and their beliefs shunned technology and science. Really on itself I wouldn’t have a problem with this either but when you put your story into space and the people genetically create slaves and transform themselves with little bots then it’s kind of an impossible to ban science. It just made no sense to me. Come on they use it every they and I just couldn’t believe that they would be so stupid to forget everything they practically need to survive, live. And this just made it hard for me to get into the story when my brain constantly fought against the idea.
Not to mention the some of the words used in the story also makes it hard to get immersed in the book. Really the whole book is littered with tongue-twister titles’, descriptions of places and events. So let’s just say I couldn’t picture this world, story and for me it took a lot away from the experience.
Fortunately after the first 150 pages it gets easier to overlook these and honestly there is an amazing storyline behind the world building which makes it even easier.

As for the characters I adore Nemesis. She is different from the usual YA characters. She is supposed to be emotionless (in all honesty it’s kind of impossible to create a character like that) but she feels more than she should. It troubles her but she is strong, smart, capable, loyal and inquisitive which pretty quickly leads her to a lot of surprising discoveries about herself. Unfortunately her upbringing left her emotionally instable. She gets into a lot of trouble because of this. She changes a lot during the events of the book. Also she has a couple of contradicting move during the beginning. She plays Sidonia and constantly muttering to herself the ‘what would Sedonia do now?’ question but the does the exact opposite.
Sidonia doesn’t have a lot of ‘screen time’ in the story but her person plays a big part in it. She is the naïve, spoiled, innocent and curious girl who is really lucky that grew up far-far from the royal court because she doesn’t have one self-preserving bone in her body. They would have eaten her alive.
Tyrus personality was suspicious for me from the beginning. I knew that there is something more behind his crazy nature. I really liked him too. He is kind of born to lead. He is smart, strategic and diplomatic. He doesn’t make rash decisions and contemplates every side of the story before proceeding. Nemesis kind of represented a bit freedom for him since they both could be real when in each other company. Their romance is pure and honest.

The plot gets really eventful and exacting at the second part. Before that it’s mainly about Nemesis discovering the dark secrets of her new surroundings. This storyline is not a really action packed one it’s a more of low-key political machinations and hidden revolution. I was a bit disappointed with the ending of the book because after the huge build up and the insane amount of planning they did in the there the conclusion is kind of anticlimactic and quick. Everything gets resolved in the span of 2-3 chapters.


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