The Diabolic by S J Kincaid is a young adult sci-fi novel from the perspective of Nemesis, a Diabolic who’s been genetically engineered to protect Sidonia. She’s not human, she’s deadly, and she’s been launched into the centre of court politics in Sidonia’s place to ensure Sidonia’s safety. This can only end well.
A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for… I would be a Diabolic who forged a new future. Not just for myself, but for all the real people too. And in that way I would have the truest revenge of all: I would make my life mean something.
The beginning of this book was pumped full of sci-fi goodness: the spaceship talk, the technological description, the faith of the people (Helionics). I was impressed immensely by the world building, I couldn’t get enough of it!
Nemesis, on the other hand, was a little repetitive at the beginning. I found this mildly frustrating; we understand that her purpose is to kill in order to protect. However, Nemesis develops considerably after being sent to the Emperor as an insurance policy for Sidonia’s family. The Emperor thinks he has Sidonia, so Sidonia’s family won’t engage in treasonous acts of science any further.
It is from here, naturally, that everything turns to sh*t.
IT WAS THE BEST.
In all seriousness though, I usually predict the plots of YA books fairly easily. I find the patterns pretty repetitive, but The Diabolic genuinely surprised me with every twist. I found that like Nemesis, I couldn’t trust anybody I met in this world. This book grossly captivated me (it was violently graphic at times, just a warning) and I was pulled along with Nemesis’s choices and the court politics.
My heart was broken (more than once) but I still rooted for Nemesis the entire way. I also really enjoyed the cunning uniqueness of Tyrus. This pair seemed stereotypical, but the last part of the story circumvented that to an extent, which I really enjoyed!
I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a surprising, fast-paced sci-fi. If I didn’t work full time, I would’ve devoured this book within a day. So good and so quick!
4 / 5 stars.
You can buy The Diabolic here.