Diabolic, The

S. J. Kincaid
Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.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. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-06-08
Title:The Diabolic Author:S. J. Kincaid Narrator:Candace Thaxton Published:2016 Listen Time: 12:31 Page Count:403 Read Date: August 28 - September 1, 2017 Description:Red QueenmeetsTheHunger Gamesin this epic novel about what happens when a senators daughter is summoned to the galactic court as a hostage, but shes really the galaxys most dangerous weapon in disguise. A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person youve been created for. Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senators 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 Sidonias 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 Sidoniaa killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators children. Its a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her lifeand the empire. My Rating:5of 5stars My Review: First off, let me start by saying I went back and forth between reading and listening. The narrator had a voice that was very easy to listen to, and I could somehow truly picture Nemesis. Second let me say that this book is told in first person, which can be very off-putting, especially if not done well. This was done very well. I don't want to give too much away, but the story is about Nemesis, who is a Diabolic, or a biologically engineered being. Her sole purpose is to live (or die) to protect Sidonia. When the only way to keep her safe means posing as her at court, Nemesis does so without hesitation. Nemesis has been told for her entire existence that she is a thing. Property. She has no soul, she cannot feel or laugh or love. Sidonia doesn't believe that and tells Nemesis so, but Nemesis just chalks it up to Sidonia's affection for her. She has been her only and most loyal friend for most of her life, even if she is considered Sidonia's possession. Nemesis' whole world gets turned on its head when she is at court pretending to be the heir of a high senator. And that's all I'll say for fear of spoilers. This book is filled with anguish and intrigue and so many feelings. There were a few spots that were triggering for me, but only because of recent incidences in my life. Had I read this book 6-7 months ago, certain scenes would not have been an issue. I'm just mentioning it as my personal issue, I do not believe the book has anything so harsh that others should fear reading it. There were so many ups and downs and plot twists! Some you can almost anticipate, and some just take you completely off guard. I'm very impressed with how the author weaved the plot to lead you in one direction and then take you by surprise. It's not easy to do these days because everything has been done--in some cases overdone! I am truly looking forward to the sequel!
Reviewed: 2018-01-25
Trigger warnings: violence, torture, attempted rape using drugs, mentions of rape, homicides, character deaths, animal/creature death

The Diabolic is set in the far future, when humans have colonized the stars, and despite all scientific advancement, have turned their back on science and exploration, and reverted back to a religion-fuelled state. The Empire is ruled by a sadistic Emperor, who rules over a Grandsoliquy of nobles and old families, all of whom live in massive spaceships, while the common folk, called Excess, live on planets that are used for resources. The society has breeded engineered humans for the sole purpose of serving the elite, and Nemesis is one such entity, called a Diabolic. The hierarchy of the Empire places engineered humans as non-human entities and treats them barely above creatures. Nemesis is a lethal bodyguard, and when her charge is endangered, she is sent in her place as a hostage, Prince and the Pauper style.

Nemesis personal journey is from being born and considered a non-human, to finally accepting that she is worthy of love, her own destiny and path in life. Her entire existence has always been bound to one purpose - protecting Sidonia, whom she grew up alongside. She is very aware of the position she is in, and how limited her rights are, and believes what the society has dictated to her, despite Sidonia's objections to the contrary about how she is a person in her own right. When she has to ally with the heir of the Empire to complete her Diabolic duties, she starts to grow into her personhood, to realize that there is a path she can take besides just living and dying for Sidonia. Her love for Sidonia does play a major part in her decisions, though, and defines her milestones. Even when others tell her, it is still up to her to realize that she is a person, and one who is capable of much more.

As for the world constructed, Kincaid makes a good case for the existence of such a dystopia. It derives a lot from the monarchies of Ancient times, and how caste systems and court politics play into the creation of such a divided world. The Diabolics and Servitors are very much a stand-in for slavery, and Nemesis rising to challenge it for herself, not for a revolution of sorts, makes for an interesting storyline. The ending was a little wobbly, with all the constant switching in loyalties, and Nemesis' own ideals, but overall, the book is a great start to the series.
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