The Diabolic, S.J. Kincaid Book Review

This is one of those books that I just couldn’t seem to escape (in a good way). Every blog post I clicked on seemed to mention The Diabolic in some way so, when I saw it was up for grabs on Netgalley I thought it might be some kind of sign. I absolutely love the cover, even though it’s not to my usual taste at all (I normally go for darker covers) but did the book live up to all that hype?

Goodreads Summary: 

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. 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…

This is one of those novels where, within about ten pages you know exactly what you’re getting. That is by no means a bad thing in this case, there’s a certain comfort to predictability. I could tell from the off that I was getting a pretty standard YA main character, even if Nemesis is by definition not a standard young adult.

Having said that, I can see why this concept has grabbed people. The idea of someone designed not to feel (or to only feel for one person) becoming something so much more than they were originally intended is one of those stories that captures the imaginations of quite a lot of people. There’s something almost Beauty and the Beast about the transformation. A ‘well who’d’ve thought they had it in them?’ shall we say.

The writing in this book was, as I say, pretty standard YA. There are some incredibly cool concepts within though. My personal favourite was the idea of a ball held in zero gravity, clearly the author had thought about what that meant and all the things it would entail, right down to the shoes you would wear in that scenario. There’s an attention to detail in this book that surprised and delighted me. You all know I like a well thought out world.

The plot of this was, in my opinion, not particularly surprising, but that didn’t make it bad. It was interesting seeing how the things I had predicted played out.

Finishing this book reminded me of the feeling I got when I finished The Hunger Games way back when I was a teenager. There’s that release of emotion as you get to the finish but also a huge sense of anticipation for the sequel, which thankfully releases pretty soon!

All in all, this is a really strong YA sci fi novel. It’s got a great concept and it has something very reminiscent of other great YA books I have read in the past.

My rating: 4/5 stars

By the way, I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Have you read The Diabolic? What did you think? Are you excited for the sequel? Let me know in the comments below!


8 thoughts on “The Diabolic, S.J. Kincaid Book Review

Add yours

  1. Good timing, I’m halfway through this now. I’m really glad that a friend warned me it was batshit crazy (in a good way) before I started and I’m really glad she did! I’m not sure I would have liked it as much if I went into it expecting something more…serious? Regardless it’s just so much fun, and I’m really enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the Diabolic. It was one of those books I picked up at the library on a whim knowing very little about it. I had literally no expectations so it completely blew me away. Think I read the whole thing in an afternoon.


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