book review
4 Stars, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

by S. J. Kincaid

Genre: Young Adult, Scifi
Pub Date: Nov 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYFR
Length:  416 pages
Spoilers: MARKED
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($10.93)

I received this free ebook from the publisher via Jellybooks as part of a reading study.


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.


Dark YA Fiction
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I don’t know about the majority of the population, but I’m so sick of these gushy, fluffy, overly nice YA stories where no one dies, no one gets brutally maimed, and the main character is a gosh, darn sheep who faints at the sight of blood. RAWR! *inhale* *exhale* Okay. So, I loved this book because it was brutal. It was dark. It was even downright gory at times and you know what? That’s awesome! This book wasn’t afraid to scare readers with its intensity and I respect it for that!

However, I don’t respect it for its predictability. To be fair, all YA has some level of predictability to it nowadays. Still, I was a little disappointed with the parts of the book that were predictable. That’s not to say the entire book was predictable. Quite a bit of the main plot offered surprise twists and kept the book interesting, but other parts left me sorely underwhelmed.

World Building
If you don’t know already, this is basically a space opera. It takes place in space with new religions, new societies, and new rules. As such, there is a lot for the reader to learn to know what’s going on and that’s great! There were so many awesome details that went into the story. So much of the world fueled the plot and gave it meaning.

However, I would have liked the details of this world and its backstory to have been implemented a little better. Too much was info-dumped at the beginning, which offered a slow pace while the reader is chomping at the bit for the real action. Still, I give props for the world-building… as always. :p


Nicey Nice Ending…
Ugh. *headdesk* So, I loved how dark this book was. I loved how gritty and brutal this book was and then… the ending. Really? Really?! You had to add a sappy happy ending to a book like this? Aw heck no! That ending was totally wrong for the style of book it was and I am so frustrated with that ending that I just… no! No! no. 


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16 thoughts on “{REVIEW} The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid”

    1. I believe I have heard that. I’ve also heard rumor that the series is being picked up for a movie. (Hopefully, they don’t ruin it like they do so many other YA adaptations. sigh) But I would think I’d enjoy reading the second book whenever she gets around to writing it. I just… wasn’t a huge fan of the romance in this story, I suppose. :/ That will bother me in the sequel for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I liked the ending! Remember the comparison to the two scorpions traveling? It’s so fitting. I thought for sure it would end differently and I was pleasantly surprised!
    I got the book from the Jellybooks campaign too! What an awesome thing, right? I’ve got to review it today! I’m behind on my reviews bc of graduation and my Thesis presentation!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do remember that part, but that wasn’t really what molded my opinion. I guess, my opinion comes from the MC always getting the guy in the end. That just really bugs me. :/ And I was really hoping given the amount of empowerment she had in this story that she wouldn’t fall victim to it as well, but oh well!

      And Jellybooks is awesome! ^.^ Good luck on your review! Hope your last week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! (I know what you mean about the getting the guy in the end, but I guess I was sympathetic to her being a Diabolic and feeling like no one cared for her but the girl)
        I am crossing my fingers that everything works out ok!
        I love Jellybooks and hope they let me know when they do another campaign…and at least you didn’t choose The Beast is an Animal (I did not like that one very much)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I dunno. I kind of wanted Nemesis to pick her out of choice, like she overcame her bond and learned to love her anyway kind of a thing. Though, Sidonia wasn’t a very strong character so… it might be hard for a character like Nemesis to ever truly fall for her.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s kind of how I felt…Sidonia was very weak, character-wise. I always knew she loved her in “that” way…but I could tell Nemesis didn’t feel that way. I kind of liked the crazy boy. I loved the Emperor’s New Clothes reference when he was naked at the conference…I had to reread it several times to see if he was joking or not. I kinda wish this one was a serial: I would totally read more about Diabolics, wouldn’t you?

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Great review, Melanie 🙂 I think your opinion mirrors most people’s: it’s a pretty good book overall but it’s not as great as one would have expected. Which is a shame, because from what I’ve gathered it had so much potential! Hopefully, if there is a sequel or something, it will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

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