Dystopian · Review · Science Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: The Diabolic

I have to say that I’m a little partial to science fiction novels. I think it runs in the family as that’s basically the only genre my dad and brother reads unless I force a book on them. It’s also a genre that’s not really popular in YA, though I do think it’s gotten a lot more popular recently. So when I first heard about The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

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.

The Good

  • Action – Yep, there’s killing and stabbing and poisoning and breaking necks happening all over the place in this book. AND I LIKE IT! I need more women in YA just kicking ass and taking names. Yes, it’s probably mean and ruthless but I don’t care, sue me!
  • Nemesis – I loved the character development that her character went through. She spends most of the book thinking that her only purpose is to protect someone else and that she is incapable of having any feelings or the ability to sympathize. However, as she continues her mission, she is able to develop new emotions and recognize that there is more to her than just being a Diabolic. She’s an actual human being, even if she is genetically modified.
  • Political Intrigue – I’m a sucker for it. Give me a book that’s full of backstabbing and power hungry people, and I’ll fall in love. It’s amazing what kind of psychological insight you can learn from reading books that use this as a major plotline. But maybe it helps just a little that I think I’d be pretty good at playing the game. Does this make me a bad person?!
  • Tyrus – Oh man, I think we’d be a match made in heaven.

The Bad

  • Ending – The climax felt a bit rushed and messy for me. I would’ve liked to have seen even just about 50 pages more to bring it all together. I also didn’t like how the “twist” happened that was the catalyst for the ending. It didn’t really make sense in that Nemesis had been a very skeptical and critical thinker for the entire book, so this seemed a bit out of character for her.
  • Similar to Red Rising – There was quite a bit of similarities to the plot of Red Rising, more so than what I originally thought when I read the synopsis. And let’s be honest, you can try to imitate that book but you will seriously fail at it. It’s far too good for any of that!

I’m gonna give this book 3.75 stars. It’s a really fun read and very entertaining, but because I have read Red Rising and it’s probably my favorite series ever, this book just can’t get a higher rating from me. It probably deserves it but I’m biased on this one, sorry! I do highly recommend it though to anyone who’s interested in reading some good YA science fiction or is just looking for a fun ride!

Final Verdict: 3.75 Stars


Have you read The Diabolic? What are your thoughts on this book? Do you like to read science fiction?

34 thoughts on “Book Review: The Diabolic

  1. Great review! I agree that there really isn’t a lot of YA science fiction and I do enjoy that genre so I’m glad to see a bit of a rise in it! Glad to see the good outweighed the bad a bit and since I have yet to read Red Rising perhaps I’ll enjoy this one a little more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I havent read Red Rising or any other series set in space in recent years so maybe thats why I enjoyed The Diabolic so much..
    I have heard so many good things about Red Rising, guess I have to pick it up soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love your new review style. I know I told you this for a while now, but it’s so fresh and snappy and I really enjoy reading them. I can totally see why you rated down for this book. Red Rising similarities would’ve had me rolling my eyes for sure. 😂 There is no other Red Rising. Right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thanks! That’s so nice knowing that people are enjoying it. It makes it easier to write my reviews as I’m very A.D.D. when trying to gather all of my thoughts 😂… But yeah, as much as I enjoyed this book, I kept comparing it to Red Rising. I think that was probably my biggest issue with it. And you are so right! There is only one of those!! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I have only heard raving things about Red Rising, so I’m definitely going to follow your advice and read The Diabolic first. There’s nothing worse than liking a book less simply because it just cannot live up to a personal favorite…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 😀 I love the point about Political intrigue… I also love me some backstabbing alongside some brutal action… it does make one wonder about their normality and sanity!

    I have been wondering about this book for a while now and it’s in my TBR pile. After your comment (and many raving reviews) about Red Rising, I think I’m going to start with The Diabolic and then move to Red Rising… build up the goodness gradually, yea? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I always love books that have political intrigue. I really enjoy trying to figure out who this or that person will do next, it’s so fun! It’s a big part of why I love Game of Thrones so much!
      I think that’s the best way to read the two different books! Because if you read Red Rising first, it’ll be harder to enjoy this one as it’s the better book overall. It’s honestly my favorite series ever! I can’t wait to see what you think about them! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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