The Diabolic: Where a Girl Rips Out Someone’s Heart With Her Bare Hands

The DiabolicThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Series: The Diabolic #1
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 1, 2016
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Space
Pages: 416
Source: BookExpo America
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★★

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

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.

My favourite part about The Diabolic is easy: it’s about a “killing machine” who actually kills.

Often in YA the synopsis will describe a “killing machine” or “female badass” or “epic assassin”, but they never actually show any true badassery or brutality. This is so not the case in The Diabolic.

Nemesis murders people. And yes, she literally ripped out someone’s heart with her bare hands. OH MY GOD.

ARC of The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic has some similar elements to Beta by Rachel Cohn. The actual books are very different, but they both explore the idea of whether or not a genetically created ‘person’ can have true feelings (love, devotion, loyalty, hate, jealousy).

On top of that, we have this intense political game, where one wrong move can get you killed. There’s treachery, backstabbing, and a lot of not knowing who to trust.

I thought The Diabolic was pretty predictable in that I foresaw most of the big twists.. but I was fine with it because the book took the exact direction I was hoping it would take. So although I could predict almost everything, I was super happy with it because they were all the twists I was hoping would happen.

The Verdict


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  1. This book sounds amazing!! Too bad I haven’t been paying attention to what ARCs I could’ve been reading for the past bit. I wish I would have requested this one. Oh well…definitely adding it to my TBR!

  2. We do love a bit of murder and mayhem, but we particularly like when the synopsis tells you the main character will be creating that murder and mayhem and then witnessing it. We might just check this book out!

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