Title: The Diabolic
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Published: November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic 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 corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…
*more like 2.5 stars….sorry…
I’m going to try to give a brief synopsis of the plot but I honestly don’t remember how Nemesis got into her situation? I’ll be honest, around the 20-30% mark I was just skimming the book and not retaining anything. I’ll tell you what I do know: Nemesis (aka the winner of the main character with the worst name award) is a Diabolic, a man-made robot…thing, designed to protect whoever she is bonded to and kill whoever seems like a threat. The person she ends up bonded to is Sidonia, a Senator’s daughter, who is the cutest and purest character and I love her. But then (and this is where my memory gets a little hazy) Sidonia is threatened by the Emperor, so Nemesis takes her place in order to protect her. So, she accepts the Emperor’s invitation to his starship party (or “galactic court”, if you want to be professional about it) pretending to be Sidonia and trying not to get her cover blown. Other stuff happens. None of it is that interesting. A whole lot of this book is just meh.
This book…took me two months to finish. It’s not because it’s bad, I just couldn’t connect with it. It’s really hard to feel for a main character who is literally an emotionless robot and doesn’t really feel anything herself. This book had an intriguing premise and it was exciting to watch it unfold, but ultimately it just fell short for me. There wasn’t enough substance to this book to keep me engaged. Also, there were just so many brutal, unnecessary deaths that didn’t drive the story forward. Regardless of what the Game of Thrones books has made us all believe, there is such a thing as too many character deaths. Any death that did matter in the grand scheme of things just seemed insignificant and didn’t have the impact it should have. It forced me to detach myself from the characters even further. It really didn’t work for me.
[The rest of this review is a little spoiler-y]
- Nemesis – She was so hard to understand and relate to. I questioned nearly everything she did and why the other characters liked her so much. She had 0 redeeming qualities, in my opinion. Granted, her character is more developed by the end, but for the good first half of the book I couldn’t stand her.
- Nemesis, part 2 – Remember when I said in the synopsis that Nemesis’ mission was to pose as Sidonia and not get her cover blown? Well, she did a horrendous job with that. She did not act like Sidonia at all and I am truly baffled why she didn’t get caught sooner. Ya’ll ready for a huge list of very-unlike-Sidonia things Nemesis did while undercover? Here you go:
- Attacked and poisoned two of the Emperor’s family members
- Publicly denounced one of Sidonia’s suitors
- Threatened way more people than a normal person would
- LITERALLY JUMPED FROM THE STANDS INTO AN ARENA AND FOUGHT A MUTATED BEAST WITH HER BARE HANDS IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
- Tried to kill one of the Emperor’s Diabolics
- The setting – This whole new world was created for this book, and yet around 80% of the plot was spent on one spaceship. It got pretty boring after a while, tbh.
Despite literally everything I’ve said so far, I still liked some of it:
- Nemesis’ character development – A robot who slowly learns how to feel things?? What’s not to love about that? And there’s a part where she gets a “dog” (more like a mutant hybrid bear thing) and starts to love it and take care of it. It’s so pure and cute. I loved it.
- The romance – I can’t help it; I’m sappy and I love the enemies-to-lovers trope.
- Tyrus!! – He was my favorite character by far. He was probably the reason I was able to finish this book. Any time Nemesis started to frustrate me (which…was a lot) I kept reading because I wanted to know how his story arc ended.
tl;dr: While this book had its strong points, most of the plot was a little underwhelming and pretty boring. Even though it had a really interesting premise, it fell short and didn’t connect with me at all. I can definitely see how people can love this book (and many do) and it wasn’t a bad story, but it just wasn’t my style, I guess. 2.5 stars
That’s my review! Did any of you guys read The Diabolic? Do you agree or disagree with my points? Let me know!