Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Synopsis: 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.
When this book was released in late 2016 it received a lot of publicity and attention among the YA book community, but after reading it, I feel a bit disappointed in the execution of the story.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought the premise of this book was extremely promising: following Nemesis, a Diabolic – crafted and created for the sole purpose of protecting the life of someone else with zero human emotions, as she takes the place of the heir of a Galactic Senator, Sidonia, when she is summoned to the Galactic Court in order to protect her with her journey and time at court full of twists and turns. I enjoyed many of the characters and the idea behind a political court full of characters fixated with power and willing to go to every cost to protect themselves – even if that includes murdering their own family. I also enjoyed Nemesis internal struggle with the realisation that she has feelings, which occurs throughout the entire book as she is in denial that although crafted to have no feelings, she can in fact feel as a humans can. The setting of this books was also intriguing – getting to understand the way the world was structured was initially complicated, but once understood, it was rather unique and fresh. This novel is set in the future, and although they can space-travel and have advanced technology to change their physical appearance at will, they have also taken a lot of steps back as they live off the creations of past societies. All the technologies were designed years before and all the knowledge required to keep advancing has been lost: machines do all these amazing new things, but machines upkeep these machines, so none really understands how they work as science and learning is, in fact, banned by the government as it is said to “corrupt” an individual. That being said, the world-building was definitely lacking in this book, every scene was described nearly identically to once before it (I understand they are on a space-ship but does that mean every room needs to look the same?) also other planets in the world were barely even mentioned and how the system worked and functioned was also missing. However, these are all things that could be further expanded on in future novels as this is the first instalment of a series.
My problem is, however, that all those “twists and turns” I mentioned were all predictable and all scneces, be that action, romance, political, etc., were ended rather abruptly. As soon as the story seemed to be going in the right direction and gearing up for what could be an amazing-twist, the intensity would drop and the twists just… happened. Moreover, this didn’t just happened once (which you could maybe look-over) it happened repeatedly throughout the entirety of the novel. I also stuggled to buy-into some aspects of the story, such as Nemesis and Tyrus’ romance. The same thing happened when someone extremely important to the main chracter died – twice. The emotion that you would expect was completely lacking – even though the character would repeatedly state that she was heart-broken, her actions would say otherwise. Lastly, all events and story-lines in this books wrapped-up a little too perfectly and nearly for my liking. Thus, this lead me to the rating a gave this book of 2.5 ★.
Overall, I enjoyed the “idea” of the story but as everything that occurred was predictable and the execution was abrupt, with the ending being a little too perfect, I didn’t find myself enjoying this book and, although I may pick up the second book to see where the story goes, I definitely won’t be rushing out to the stores to buy it.