Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic book review heading

Published: November 1st, 2016 by Simon & Schuster  | Series: N/A | Length: 403 pages | Genre: YA, sci-fi | Source: I received a free copy from Simon & Schuster and Jellybooks so they could collect reading data.

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Summary from Goodreads:

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…

You know how when you really love a book, it’s impossible to write a review for it because all you can think is “WOW I LOVED THIS BOOK”? Yeah, that’s the problem I’m having right now.

This was one of my most anticipated reads for the second half of 2016 and it did not disappoint me at all. In fact, it exceeded my expectations.


One of the things that I really enjoyed was how much political intrigue was involved in this. There is so much scheming, betrayal, etc. and I LOVED IT. I loved seeing how much thought was put into every single action and  into trying to figure out how others would respond. There were tons of twists and turns, too and I just didn’t know what to expect.

I also really loved the character development for Nemesis. She’s a Diabolic and she can’t – or at least thinks she can’t – feel love or fear or anything besides complete devotion to her master, Sidonia. But as she spends time away from Sidonia, she begins to see parts of herself that she didn’t believe existed. I loved getting to see Nemesis discover herself and realize that there’s more to her than she thought. It was desperately needed, too, since in the beginning of the book when Nemesis is very… robot-like, I had a hard time connecting with her. This certainly is resolved, though, as she gets more in touch with her human side.


I initially thought I was going to take a half star off, but I decided not to. This paragraph is going to be SUPER spoilery, so if you don’t want any spoilers, skip ahead to the end! There’s one LGBTQIAP character in this book: Sidonia (we don’t find out what her actual identity is, hence me calling her an LGBTQIAP character rather than lesbian, bisexual, etc.). She confesses to Nemesis that she’s been in love with her. At first, I thought this was great because, hello, who doesn’t like to see LGBTQIAP representation in books? However, later on, Sidonia ends up being killed. This is a big problem in all types of media for the LGBTQIAP community (where characters who are a part of the community end up dying, often being murdered, sending the message that if you’re part of the community, you can’t have a happy ending) and so I was initially really upset that Sidonia was murdered. The reason I decided to ultimately overlook it is because the more I thought about it, the more I had a hard time coming up with alternatives to her death while still ending up with the same result. I’m sure there were some, but I couldn’t really think of any. She ends up being killed so that Nemesis will feel betrayed by the future emperor, Tyrus, in a way that will make it impossible for her to trust him. And I just can’t come up with another scenario that would have made Nemesis experience that same sense of betrayal. This is definitely still something I wanted to mention in my review so that if anyone might be upset by this, they would know about it ahead of time.

I honestly don’t know what else to say. I simply loved this book and it’s easily become one of my favorite reads of this year. If you like sci-fi or books with political scheming, then you need to read The Diabolic. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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14 thoughts on “Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

  1. Great review Kourtni! although I didn’t read the spoilery part, saving that for after I read this book lol. I keep reading rave reviews for it & that’s encouraging because for the most part we haven’t really seen too many dystopians lately. I’m glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I skipped the spoilery part but either way I will definitely have to read this at some point. It sounds so interesting and I love the fact that the main character gains humanity in a way or I guess human feelings. There had to have been great character development. Great review as always, Kourtni! 😊♥

    Liked by 1 person

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