Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Number of Pages: 416 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
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.
I'm a real sucker for any kind of epic story that takes place in space, so as soon as I heard about THE DIABOLIC, I was intrigued! Once I read the description about the Diabolics, Nemesis and Sidonia, I was even more interested!

It took me a few chapters to get into THE DIABOLIC because Nemesis is a fairly detached narrator, but once I got into the narrative, then I couldn't put it down! I thought that Nemesis was really intriguing, and I loved learning about the world that S.J. Kindcaid created! From the technology, to the ships, to the intricate religious and class systems, I loved getting to know more about the world within THE DIABOLIC, and I found it all extremely fascinating to read about!

While Nemesis wasn't the most affectionate of characters, she really grew on me. She was fierce, and her devotion to Sidonia was compelling, especially because of the way that the Diabolics were "designed." Most of all, I really loved seeing Nemesis's character change as she grew into herself and was able to expand beyond her dedication to protect Sidonia. I really, really loved seeing her develop relationships...especially when a certain member of the Emperor's family comes into the picture. ;)

With so much going on, I wasn't sure how everything could be wrapped up in one book, but S.J. managed it! THE DIABOLIC was an interesting mix of dystopia, sci-fi adventure, and dark roman empire with political intrigue all mixed together, and I absolutely loved it! 

After talking to some of my friends who've also read this one, I do think THE DIABOLIC is geared more towards readers who already enjoy sci-fi because it really isn't the type of story where you connect closely with the heroine. Nemesis struggles to accept the fact that she actually has feelings, so that does create some detachment within the narrative, but personally, I really loved Nemesis's confusion as she began to feel more and more, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her push herself when it came to her humanity! 

If you're a fan of sweeping stories with characters who are fierce without any kind of sugar-coating, then I think you'll love THE DIABOLIC...and if you already love sci-fi, then you're going to love this even more!

What do you think?
Does THE DIABOLIC sound like something you'd enjoy?

9 comments:

  1. The Diabolic is something I'd like to read. I think YA Sci-Fi is one of my favourite genres. I like how you mentioned that the characters and story weren't the only well developed things in the book. I love when an author can explain the technology and the social systems well without it coming across as gimicky or one dimensional.

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    1. I think you'll definitely enjoy The Diabolic then, Kimberly! If you're already a sci-fi fan and you like when authors flush out their worlds really well, then I think you'll love it. :)

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  2. Now I really want to read this. I had initially thought this was going to be a series, and I didn't want to start another series. I am super curious about this now (knowing it's got a definite end). I am glad you enjoyed this one- I enjoyed reading your review.

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    1. I thought it was going to be a series, too!! It was a nice surprise to find out it was a stand-alone! haha You should definitely give it a read, and I hope you LOVE it!!! :D

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    2. And THANK YOU! I'm glad you liked my review. Sara! :)

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  3. I like sci-fi! I think I just don't like hard sci-fi or fantasy, and it read like the former. I don't know. Whatever. Just rubbed me the wrong way. I am very glad others like it, though, because I thought it was well done.

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    1. That's true! That is more of the distinction here. It is definitely a harder sci-fi, and much less character-driven than other novels. We can't all like the same books, but I'm glad we both like Illuminae...which reminds me, I must start Gemina soon! :D

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  4. Oh excellent, I'm glad you felt positively about this one because I've been curious about reading it! I really adored Kincaid's Insignia Trilogy... Actually it's interesting because the characters' personalities were my favourite part of Insignia so the idea that the MC in Diabolic is more removed is intriguing and I wonder how I'll find that. I'll just have to try it out for myself! I'm also relieved to hear you mention that this one is a standalone - all the more reason to get it read sooner rather than later as I would still like to winnow my current series down before starting another one. Great review, Ambur :)

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    1. I haven't read the Insignia Trilogy, but I did really love Nemesis as a character! She's pretty withdrawn at first because she's supposed to be, but I loved seeing her character develop! Yes, yes!!! You should definitely read this one for yourself! I think you'll like it--and I agree, a standalone is always so nice!!!! Thanks, Eilidh!! I hope if you read this one soon, that you love it!

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