Sep 14, 2017

Review--The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

I finally decided to give S.J. Kincaid’s The Diabolic a read after hearing rave reviews over it the past few months. And I must say I was quite surprised and delighted by what I found, and also a little puzzled, but more on that in a bit. The Diabolic was definitely not my usual kind of read but it was still entertaining and enjoyable!

For a long time now, Nemesis has been Sidonia’s Diabolic. She is the one who will protect Sidonia at all costs, even if it means her life. Without words, you could say Nemesis considers Sidonia her friend, even though Diabolics are without feeling or capable of it. But when Sidonia’s life is put on the line, Nemesis is willing to step up to the plate and go in her place. Due to political intrigue and Sidonia’s father going against the current emperor, the emperor has demanded that Sidonia come to his “palace”—really more of a spaceship, but I digress. Not wanting their only daughter be sentenced to die, they send Nemesis instead, after a few appearance modifications.

Instead of death, Nemesis finds that the emperor has other plans for her and several other heirs of the ruling nearby territories. This is in part is where things started to get a little muddied for me. The political mechanisms were a little hard to grasp. I’ve never been one for politics, so having it play such a deeply seeded role in this story already was working against me. I managed through it for the most part. I think what was hardest for me to grasp were all the names and terms used for titles. A glossary or index of sorts would’ve been most helpful in order to explain what these terms meant. Granted, there was some explanation as you go along, but it’s just assumed you’ll grasp what these terms are to mean in the long run and this made for a bit of a stifled reading.

But anyway, it’s not long before Nemesis realizes the emperor is not a good man. And his nephew, Tyrus, the one everyone believes is a bit crazy is actually one of the saner ones in the bunch. He concocts a plan where he will need Nemesis’ help in overthrowing his uncle from the throne, since he is next in line anyway. And soon things get even more intense as the political schemes ante up!

I’ve always had the tendency to struggle with space age type reads since they tend to be futuristic and that just opens up a whole new world to learn about. Like with the new vocab and having no idea what these words truly mean. I’m one of those readers who wants to know the details. I would gladly go back and forth with a glossary or such just so I can fully understand what I am reading. But since none was present, I do what I do best and carry on through the pages.

It was interesting watching Nemesis’ character develop. She’s a Diabolic, sort of like an android, she’s supposed to be incapable of feelings and other human emotions and yet, we start to see a change in her. Sure, we still see her dangerous side. Even she admits to having blood on her hands. But we see her start to gain more human like traits in terms of feelings and such. It was quite poetic in a way.

And yes, there’s romance! Naturally, any couple pretending to be a couple will end up falling for one another. I wasn’t sure of Tyrus’ character at first, he has the air of being a stuck-up rich boy use to getting what he wants and his “crazy” like tendencies almost just seemed like a scream for attention, but he ends up being so much more than that. Both he and Nemesis were very deep characters, so I was quite swept up with the feelings that were going around.

While it may not have been the easiest read for me, The Diabolic ended up being quite enjoyable. I can easily love any book as long as I can love the characters. If I can’t care about them, or at least one of them, I can’t find enjoyment within the story. And while some of the world-building in this one did present a struggle, I was immediately attached to these remarkable characters! And I was quite delighted to see that there was no cliffhanger in this one. True, we now know this is a trilogy in the making, but I was still thrilled to see a perfectly satisfying ending that leaves you wondering what could be in store next for our beloved characters. The Diabolic was definitely an intriguing read with the most memorable sort of characters, I can’t wait to see what will happen next! Now onto The Empress!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars—Remember for me, a 3 means it was a GOOD read! Pay no attention to Amazon’s meaning for a 3 star read. This one was just short of really good for me!


  1. I agree with you, I can love a book if I am attached to a character. I am a character driven reader for sure.
    I'm glad that you enjoyed the read!
    Ashley @ Books To The Tea

  2. I've had this on my shelf for quite some time - good to hear it was a good read! I'm a very character driven reader, so I'm super excited about the characters. Great review!


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