The Diabolic

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…

Goodreads, Amazon UK

I really enjoyed this book. I did. But there were several plot twists that annoyed me/could have been expanded on. I feel like some of them were personal taste though. What I didn’t like, you might love so we’ll see.

Things I loved: the setting. Space setting with races and genetically modified humans and people on planets who are far more normal than the ‘Empire’ up in the sky, all things I loved. The court: I really like court intrigue plots where there are always several things going on in the background and you never know quite who you can trust. The characters: Nemesis, Sidonia and even Tyrus and the Matriarch were all characters I enjoyed reading about and thought were interesting. Nemesis slowly becoming more humane, at first putting in context of Donia (like with the Emperor’s niece), and then caring about people for their own merits like Neveni, was a personal growth journey I could get behind. At the end of the book, Kincaid picked the perfect line to show that while Nemesis understood humans more now, she was still a Diabolic. (If you’re interested, the line was ‘If I ever discover this is not the truth, I will be merciless.’ ) Enmity was great and I hated what happened to her. Tyrus, being a magnificent bastard and still managing to be better than the rest of the family, made me like him. But not that much.

Things I was bit meh on: Cygna being behind what happened to Donia. Saw it coming from a mile off and I thought it might have been more interesting if Nemesis had to deal with Tyrus deciding Donia’s death was more strategic than her life.

Things I did not like: I liked Donia having feelings for Nemesis (I could have gone for codependent, slightly unhealthy relationship together) but come on. The only outright gay character in your book (apart from the Emperor’s niece but she’s a rapist so we’re not going to count her so much) and she dies? Not so good. I did like Nemesis’ threat to Tyrus at the end, because even if she loves him, she puts Donia first even in death. I did not like the Tyrus/Nemesis relationship. I think the two of them having other interests but coming together under a common goal could have worked out much better I think.

Overall I really liked the book. I got this in my Illumicrate book box and I especially loved the little letter from S. J. Kincaid explaining how she came up with the idea, that made me far more eager to read the book. It was just the ending I didn’t like as much as the rest of the book. Four stars!


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