'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Review: The Diabolic

The Diabolic is unlike any other YA book I've read. This Dystopian/Sci-fi force of a novel is a blend of Hunger Games meets Star Wars meets The Red Queen. The protagonist is Nemesis, a Diabolic created with the sole purpose to protect and die for the person she's been created for, Sidonia, the Galactic Senator's daughter.

Nemesis is somewhat human, yet programmed only to be a physically powerful and ruthless protector. The plot reels in the reader when the cruel Emperor summons Sidonia to the Galactic Court, to his space station the Chrysanthemum.

Sidonia's parents realise it's in response to the Senator's support of banned scientific knowledge and train Nemesis to become feminine and regal, less fearsome, to send her disguised as Sidonia.

Nemesis doesn't hesitate to go in Sidonia's place. Sidonia has only ever shown Nemesis love and compassion. They have been inseparable for many years and a strong bond keeps them united. Nemesis will go in order to save Sidonia, even if the Emperor intends to kill her.

When Nemesis arrives at the Emperor's space station nothing is as it seems. She enters a world of excess, corruption, danger and deception and finds it difficult to keep her real identity a secret. What unfolds is captivating. The plot swirls around espionage, treason, political rebellion and something greater that challenges everything Nemesis has ever known about herself. The parts where Nemesis faces her humanity and emotions are the most captivating. Is she more human than we think?

Set in the distant future where most of life resembles a Star Wars type of galaxy, SJ Kincaid manages to create a world with futuristic aspects believable enough to let the story unfold. The early world-building chapters are complex although the story comes to life when Nemesis reaches the Chrysanthemum. Lots of entertaining futuristic elements add interest, such as med bots, beauty bots, antigrav chairs and zero gravity dancing. The plots and twists in the last third of the novel will keep you reading into the night.

Be warned, The Diabolic is interspersed with numerous acts of violence and death in the context of Nemesis's role as a Diabolic and the Emperor's cruel reputation.

SJ Kincaid is the author of the Insignia series and the movie rights for The Diabolic have been optioned.

Title: The Diabolic
Author: SJ Kincaid
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, $19.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471148385
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult