The Diabolic


“They look like us but they aren’t truly human beings. They’re predators.”  

Love a little violence?  Looking for a world with some truly evil and ambitious politicians?  Enjoy some inhuman tendencies in your humans?  

Nemesis is a killing machine, a diabolic,  that looks like a young woman and has the ability to splinter skulls with one swing of her arm.  She has been created to protect, defend and have unchallenged devotion to the human she bonds with.  

Sidonia, daughter of Senator von Impyrean and his wife, the Impyrean Matriarch, is that human.  A lovely, innocent, intelligent and caring well-born young lady who sees more in her diabolic than anyone realized was there, Sidonia lives in a world of intrigue and domination.  

In a world ruled by an emperor, political power players wield their influence on their own planets but all are subject to the word and directives of their ruler.  Sidonia’s father is not playing by the rules and when he is caught at his subterfuge, Sidonia is summoned to the royal court.

But it isn’t Sidonia who boards the ship; it’s Nemesis, her bones shaved and muscles reduced so she can play the part of a human being.  There, disaster strikes and the deep devotion of Nemesis morphs into virulent, untethered  viciousness and  is unleashed.  Her determination to murder the emperor will not be stopped.  Or so she intends until she meets the heir presumptive to the throne, Tyrus, a madman.

The story reads like a roller coaster ride complete with the deepest  and most unexpected drops.  Nemesis is a very likable character despite her ability to suddenly turn into a killing machine.  

Action, adventure, intrigue, violence and a world inhabited by many characters of no conscience whatsoever.  

Ages 14 and up  403 pages    978-1481472678

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,

Read alikes: If you like Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell; If you liked Cinder by Marissa Meyer; ****** S.J. Kincaid's exciting new adventure story takes place in space where senators rule a galactic Senate keeping all technology away from the common people, the Excess, and their planets. In this way, mere humans will remain subservient.Science is forgotten and only machines can fix other machines. Humans lack the knowledge to repair any of their spaceships and many are breaking down and vanishing into deep space. The powerful senate would rather lose a few ships then give humans knowledge and power that could overthrow their rule. Diabolics were created from human DNA to be ruthless and to kill in order to save their masters. Diabolics lack feelings like empathy and love; they kill without emotion or remorse. Diabolics are not human and they undergo genetic modifications to imprint them on their masters. Nemesis is selected out of a training pen by a powerful senator's wife to guard her young daughter. Nemesis and Sidonia grow up together almost as sisters, at least in Sidonia's mind. Nemesis cannot feel love, but she knows she would do anything to protect Sidonia. The Emperor declares death for all Diabolics, but Nemesis is hidden away by Sidonia's parents. When Sidonia is summoned to the galactic court by the powerful Emperor who is angry with Sidonia's father for studying science, the Matriarch decides to use Nemesis as a stand in for her own daughter, keeping Sidonia safe at home. Nemesis must now fit in among her superiors; she must pretend to be meek and mild Sidonia and not the trained and ruthless killing machine Nemesis. If she is discovered, she will be killed--and even worse, she will bring death to Sidonia and her family. One slip of the tongue, one misused phrase, one gaff in manner can give her away. Nemesis isn't afraid of the powerful and treacherous court; she is terrified of hurting Sidonia. Nemesis crushes down her instincts to break necks and stomp on heads. There is much to debate and discuss in The Diabolic: what place does religion have in science and vice versa? Should religion fear science? Should science be maintained only by a select few? Artificial intelligence--when is enough enough? Just because we find a cure for something, when do we know whether it is right to use the cure if it causes other events? What part does power play in science? In religion? The Diabolic is a solid YA sci-fi adventure that is sure to appeal to the masses. Though I am not usually a sci-fi reader, I was drawn to The Diabolic due to the character of Nemesis--the girl who is not a girl but so much, much more. Highly recommended for high school readers and collections. Violence, mature situations, and debauchery at court make this a high school pick. Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA See more of her reviews at:

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