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…
The Diabolic is a book I’d been seeing all around the bookish community before I even cracked open the first page, so it’s fairly safe to say I was expecting great things with this one. I’m definitely someone’s who’s hesitant about reading new YA sci-fi because I feel there’s a lot of these books out there, and some of them are great, but others aren’t so. However, The Diabolic was a novel that drew me in from the very beginning and allowed me to become immersed in this world of death and genetically-modified beings and space. This is one that can’t be missed.
My favourite thing about The Diabolic was the world in which it was set. I loved learning the history of this new and dangerous place, and thankfully found that everything was explained in a way that flowed into the plot and didn’t slow the plot — you don’t have to worry about info-dumping here. Although the world Kincaid has meticulously created is intricate and full of detail that allows us to completely understand what this place is like in order to connect with the characters and the setting, I never felt overwhelmed by everything that was explained. What’s even better is that Kincaid drops us right into the action and doesn’t set things up before launching into the action, which is a part of what made The Diabolic such a fast-paced, enthralling read.
I also really enjoyed the idea of having genetically-modified humans made to ‘protect’ the one they are bound to. While I’ve heard that this idea is similar to other YA novels out there — such as Spark, though I haven’t read this one yet — I still loved learning about how these people operated, what their purpose was, and how they were almost slaves for the wealthy and upperclass. This idea both intrigued and disgusted me, which I think is exactly what the author was hoping to achieve. It was fascinating to hear all about the origins of these beings and how they became ‘illegal’, which led to a whole series of events that formulated the spectacularly intriguing plot and a narrative that glued my eyes to the pages. I couldn’t have wished for a more satisfying, thrilling read.
Perhaps one of the biggest let-downs of this novel was how disconnected I felt from the main character in the beginning. As Nemesis is a genetically-engineered weapon, like a bodyguard for her mistress, she isn’t meant to have real feelings or do anything apart from protecting her beloved Donia at all costs. And that’s where the problem lay. Because she was so cold and calculating in the beginning, effectively a death machine, I struggled to connect with her on a personal level and get to know what she was actually like. Thankfully, as the novel progressed I got to know Nemesis better and ended up forming really strong feelings for her, desperately but helplessly trying to keep her safe from the slaughter taking place around her. I never thought I’d want to keep a genetically-engineered killer safe and wrap them in a hug, but that’s exactly how I felt about Nemesis. Please protect this gorgeous creation.
The brutality and violence in The Diabolic was honestly one of the greatest things I’ve ever read. Sometimes novels that have a lot of killing in them can come across as fake, or I wouldn’t care about those being killed, or maybe it would put me off the book altogether. But with this sensational novel, the gruesome murder made it all the more enjoyable. Maybe I just don’t have a soul, but the vicious ways in which these characters died was really interesting and honestly, very fun to read about. I also loved how so much of The Diabolic was about mind-games and backstabbing families, which meant this book contained more twists in it than everything I’ve read this month combined. It was deliciously savage, and I utterly adored being made to hover on the edge of my seat for the entirety of The Diabolic — which I ended up devouring in one sitting.
Overall, The Diabolic is a vicious, engrossing novel about genetically-modified people and backstabbing families that will take you on one heck of a ride and leave you craving more. If you’re a fan of sci-fi or anything slightly murderous, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Diabolic.
Have you had the chance to read The Diabolic yet? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Have you read any other novels about genetically-modified people? Is sci-fi one of your favourite genres? What other sci-fi books do you like? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!