Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

October 31, 2016 Review 16 ★★★

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Publisher
Pages: 416
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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

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.

The Characters

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.

The Writing

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.

Rating Report
Overall: 3

16 Responses to “Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid”

  1. Uma Shankari

    The cover is plain genius and I love the blurb but I’m hearing mixed reviews about this one! Science fiction is one of my favorite genres so I think I’ll just give it a try and see! Great Review :)

    • Alise

      The cover is definitely very clever! Yeah if you like sci-fi I definitely would. Thank you ;)

      Side note, I tried to comment on your blog but it brings up the message that I’m trying to comment too fast and need to wait. I left the window open for ten minutes and it still won’t let me comment.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I see everyone commenting about the hype for this one and here I am never having even heard of it before this moment! Oops! I enjoy sci-fi quite a bit though so I’m curious now. It’s too bad that the world-building potential isn’t fleshed out but the characters and pacing seem to make up for that in some respect. GREAT review and thank you for putting this on my radar :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    • Alise

      I know, I totally miss things like this too xD Yeah I think if the world building and setting was used more it could have been an awesome read. Thanks :D

  3. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Ooh nice! Hearing good things about this one! Glad to hear you liked it instead of loving it. It sounds like an intriguing read and I like the concept of nonhumans being more human than humans! LOL! That’s a weird sentence to type! I might just have to give this one a try someday!
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday

  4. Chiqui

    I too have seen this book EVERYWHERE. The cover is stunning *u* Shame about the lack of worldbuilding though, although if the lead character is the strong point in the book then I might just have a look at it anyway! :)

    • Alise

      Agreed, it’s pretty cool what they did with the cover! Same here, usually if the characters are good I can put up with a lacking world.

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