Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 4, 2016 | 2 Comments

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. KincaidThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Series: The Diabolic #1
Published by Simon & Schuster (11.1.2016)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss

4.5 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.

My thoughts

I’ll do it or I’ll destroy this empire trying.

HOLY. WOW. YOU GUYS. I was totally blown away by this book! This is one of the most unique concepts I’ve read in a very long time! The Diabolic has a very vivid setting with thought out, complex world building. It felt very real and I was super impressed! (A map would have been nice though. Hopefully in the finished copy!)

This book felt much like a mixture of Red Rising & Hunger Games. Everything about the Chrysanthemum strongly reminded me of the Capital. But it had a very strong Red Rising feel to the story and society. (I loved Red Rising – if you loved it too then you’ll probably love this one!) Yet it was still completely different! I LOVED the concept of Diabolics, it was amazing! I will admit that the pacing was a little slow at first. It seemed like the first half took forever for some reason! I wasn’t really bored, but it did seem to take a long time to get to the last half.

“The Emperor wishes me to send my innocent little lamb to the slaughter. No. Instead, I’ll send him my anaconda.”

Nemesis was, of course, a badass. She was born and bred for it. At times it was hard to relate to her because she was so invincible. But, at her core she struggled greatly with her humanity and what she was, and that made her more human. Her internal struggle was what made her relatable.

The relationship between Nemesis and Donia was beautiful! Literally everything she did was for her. She was engineered to be bonded to her, sure, but it wasn’t purely chemical or instinctual. Despite the doubts Nemesis had about her humanity, she truly loved Donia.

I had no soul and very little heart, but what heart there was belonged to her.

I’m very glad that romance took a back seat in this one. Tyrus and Nemesis grow close, yes, but I love that it didn’t glorify their relationship; because she was still a diabolic. (And it wasn’t instalove-y!!) While she did discover her own humanity, she was still a ruthless killing machine. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to protect Donia. The book didn’t make light of what she was by building a fluffy romance.

This book was BRUTAL! And I freaking loved that! I love when authors don’t spare characters, it makes it so much more realistic. It also adds a strong emotional attachment to the book, which is extremely valuable to me! View Spoiler »


Favorite quotes

“It’s a terrifying thing, to realize your own decisions will shape your destiny.”

Having a heart that burned with emotion meant having a flame that could be extinguished – doused in an instant by forces you could not fight, perils you could not see. To care was to be helpless in the worst possible way.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4.5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4.5/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Feels: 4/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

  1. OOoh nice! Glad to hear this one was enjoyable! I initially had doubts about it but they seem unfounded now! Everyone is raving about this one and it sounds rather good! Going to just keep it right htere on my wishlist and hope to read it someday soon! Great review!

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