Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Published: November 1st, 2016
Source: ARC from bookstore where I work
My rating: 5 stars
I have been very interested in this book since I first heard about it last May when there were samplers put out at the B-Fest, teen event, that we had at Barnes and Noble. I was extremely thrilled when an advanced readers copy of this showed up at the bookstore and my manager saved it for me! I probably did a little dance when I saw it on her desk for me. I picked it up to read last week and it turned out to be a really good book. The first part was a little odd. I felt like we would get a little bit of the story, then it would speed up to another part that we'd spend a little time on, and then it settled into the main time period for the story. At about a quarter of the way through, it got really good and I was hooked!
The title refers to the main character, a girl named Nemesis. But she is a Diabolic, so not really a girl. She is biologic, but she was made to be a killer, and in the end, she was taught, no programmed to have one person that she would protect above everything else. One person that she would kill for. For Nemesis, that girl was Sidonia. Sidonia treats Nemesis as if she is a best friend, or even closer, a sister. But soon the new leader decides that all the Diabolics must be destroyed. They are considered to be against the new religion. Sidonia doesn't want to lose Nemesis, and her family also doesn't want to lose the best protection for their daughter. Since Sidonia's father is a bit of a rebel, and the Senators and Emperor do not like his ideas, it is felt that it is important to keep Sidonia's body guard.
But then, the Emperor calls for Sidonia to come to the Imperial Court. Since no one has ever seen her, and they don't trust the Emperor, they send Nemesis instead. At court, Nemesis must do her best to become Sidonia. But once there she will have to fight off the people who don't trust her because of the family she comes from. There is all kinds of intrigue in the court between the people there who may not agree with the Emperor, as well as within the ruling family itself. The heir to the Emperor is a boy/young man who seems to be a bit mad.
Soon it seems as if all the children of the families that are considered the rebels have arrived. And at this point, the Emperor makes a move against the families, thus leading Nemesis to wanting revenge on the Emperor in any way possible. It is then that she will begin to find an ally in his heir, Tyrus. It seems maybe he isn't quite as crazy as he lets everyone believe. If it gets out that Nemesis is really a Diabolic and not Sidonia, things could get really bad. And Nemesis must depend on the allies of the families that are on the same side as the family she comes from. But along the way she will begin to feel that she may be more similar to the humans that she thought. Maybe she isn't just a robotic killing machine that cannot care for others. Maybe she can be Sidonia's friend, maybe she can care for more than just protecting the one person she was programmed to protect.
I really enjoyed the story. There were some parts that I was in shock about and unsure how things would happen next. And that is the way I like a good story! I liked the characters as well, another big favorite of mine. I've seen some not so great reviews and some DNFs on this one, but if you can get to about 25%, I think you'll definitely get sucked in to the point you don't want to quit!