Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

9781471147142The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, (Bad) Romance

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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.


I couldn’t help but repeatedly scrunch up my nose as I was reading The Diabolic.

It’s ridiculously brutal and annoyingly unsatisfying.

People die like petty, unimportant flies. No one even bats an eye, or so. I hated it. Normally, I only raise an eyebrow and then carry on (depending on who is dying) but the deaths in this book are revolting.

Come on, I get that this is a standalone and that, technically, the author can do whatever she wants with the cast since there will not be any sequels, but to me it felt like most of the killings were only happening to fill plots holes.

And that is enraging, especially since one of the characters who die (in quite a merciless way) is so, so sweet and I was even considering rounding my star-rating to three instead of two for them.

So now that I’m calm, I’m going to proceed with talking about the other elements. The world-building, to be honest, seemed very interesting in the beginning. I was curious about the ”Diabolics,” more precisely the roles they had to play. But here again, something happens… and my interest dwindled a little.

Aside from that, giving names to places and people does not constitute a world-building. Though, perhaps, it is simply me who finds life in space dreadfully boring, unless there are gigantic slides and pools and hotels hovering above the Earth, or something. But nothing like that here.

The romance is horribly unromantic. It’s also so expected, so I really wish the author had done things differently, especially since there is a huge case of unrequited love for one of the characters, and it made me feel sad. The love-interest aren’t bad, but they’re just so… unoriginal.

What kept me going, kept me on reading, was the heroine herself – Nemesis. I swear, if she had died, I would have trashed this book like never seen before. I would have been so, so mad. Fortunately, that does not happen. She is strong and there is real developed in her personality and values. I enjoyed her. Seeing her reactions to what was unknown to her was diverting. She always surprised me.

But sadly, loving her is not enough of a reason to concern myself with the future of this world. It can burst into flames, for all I care.

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