Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: November 1st 2016
Series: The Diabolic #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Science Fiction, Thrillers & Suspense, Young Adult
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 fairly brutal YA science fiction novel. Sci fi is a genre that I have always struggled with, but I found THE DIABOLIC to be a fairly easy read to get into, despite overall mixed feelings.
The world in this novel is pretty complex; there are different religions, classes of people, and government hierarchy. I think this world had the potential to be very satisfying and involved, but it wasn’t totally fleshed out. There were Senators, Grandees, Emperors, Servitors, Diabolics, and other terms that you sort of had to figure out for yourself, which was a huge feat in the beginning of the book.
There was a lack of history as well, I wanted to know how all these systems and norms were established but that was missing. Also the space setting, which could have been the novel’s shining star (no pun intended), wasn’t even used that much.
Nemesis, our main character, is a Diabolic, a genetically engineered humanoid meant to protect one person with her whole existence. However, certain events lead Nemesis into a situation that she was never trained for and we get to see her gradually come to terms with who she is. Nemesis was definitely one of the stronger features of the book. She doesn’t believe she can feel or has a soul, but as she forges different connections she realizes that might not be the case. This transition is a good addition to the book and it really added to the character development.
The side characters were quite interesting as well, especially since all of them had sides that were not immediately revealed to the reader, making for some interesting twists. In terms of romance, I shipped the ship but I thought things escalated a little too fast.
I lost track of the pages when reading THE DIABOLIC so for a somewhat large novel, I think it had good pacing. There were a few areas were I thought some things were a little drawn out or lacked clear direction, but the rest kept a relatively fast pace without being rushed. I do have to say that some bits felt really polished when others did not, making for sections that did not have a cohesive feel with odd writing or dialogue, but there isn’t too much else to fault.
Overall, I would recommend this to fans of YA science fiction and anyone interested in the Diabolic concept because the discussion of humanity makes for an interesting and thought-provoking read.