Where do I even begin with this book?! After listening to an audio sample for The Diabolic during the holidays, I was instantly sold on the plot. With the rush of family and friend get togethers, I forgot about it until I was browsing the shelves at the bookstore. There were a bunch of copies on display and I almost walked out of that’s without it, but I’m glad I didn’t. I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but no promises!
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a genetically engineered being who is created to serve as a “bodyguard” for the person they are bonded to. Her only purpose in life is to protect Sidonia at all cost, even if it means her own life. After Sidonia’s father upsets the Emperor of their galactic empire with heretical acts, Sidonia’s presence is requested to punish her family’s behavior.
With Sidonia’s safety in mind, Nemesis follows Sidonia’s mother’s orders to impersonate Sidonia at the Chrysanthemum. There, Nemesis is exposed to many experiences she’d never thought possible, including a tragedy she’d desperately hoped to avoid, and becomes so much more than the creature she was engineered to be.
Throughout all of my teen years, I (stereotypically) read nothing but paranormal romances. As an adult, I’ve come to learn that science fiction and science fantasy are my true niche. This is the first book I’ve read written by S.J. Kincaid and I look forward to reading her debut series, SOMETHING.
This book is definitely more than what I first believed it was, but as great as it is, there’s always a down side to everything. The first con I have with The Diabolic is how long the plot is. The beginning is so fast paced that the middle seems to drag on with event after event taking place. While it does help with the world building and move the story forward, I did find myself wondering how much longer until I finally finished. Another con is pronouncing some of the words and names through out the novel. I’m not necessarily 100% against this because it’s important to expand the mind, but I kind of wished I’d gotten the audio to learn how to say these things right. So, no serious cons at all.
Now on to the pros! Holy character development! I’ve never read a character so void of emotions only to, slowly but surely, become her own person. It’s absolutely amazing. In the beginning, Nemesis is sure with her place in the universe that she barely hesitates or thinks twice about taking Sidonia’s place at the Chrysanthemum. It’s always Sidonia’s life and safety first and above all. Then, things change when she has to pretend to be Sidonia. Suddenly she’s feeling compassion and worry for others. Then jealousy and, eventually, love for another person who isn’t her “owner”. This inner turmoil grows within her, desperately trying to remind her that she’s nothing more than a Diabolic.
Another great development is the relationship between Nemesis and Tryus, the Emperor’s “crazy” nephew. They start off as allies with plans to overthrow the Emperor and his monstrous rule and become so much more in process of it all. What I enjoyed the most is how it wasn’t the head over heels in love at first sight type of relationship. It grows from platonic to admiration to true love. They reach a point where they see each other as equals, Nemesis as a person with valuable intellect and Tyrus as a physically and mentally strong individual with the will to sacrifice himself to what is right.
I’m now even going to ask suggest this book, I’m telling you to pick this up. If a sci-fi isn’t your thing, that’s a damn shame because you are missing out. What’s most thrilling is that I finished this book wanting more and there will be! The Diabolic will be a trilogy and I look forward to see where Nemesis and Tyrus’s story continues from here. Be sure to share your thoughts and opinions if you’ve read this wonderful work of fiction or plan to do so soon!