The Diabolic, S J Kincaid

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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

Warning, this DOES  contain spoilers!

I have…extremely mixed feelings about this book.

Like, sometimes, it was amazing. The whole universe and how it was set out was brilliant. The idea of this new religion, and the idea of these test tube grown people who are not really people was awesome- but at the same time, I felt like there was something lacking. I never really  understood how this whole new way of living happened, or how the ‘not-people’ first became made (I like backstory, I question everything)

Like, the whole point of our main character was that she was a Diabolic, yet most of the time, I didn’t feel like that mattered. It almost turned into just another ‘Oh no I can’t let you love me’ thing that so many YA books seems to think is cool. There were so many lines about ‘oh Diabolics aren’t human’ and ‘they are all different’ and how they were judged and hated, but whenever it came out she was Diabolic, everyone just shrugged and carried on. Any anti-comments were almost an afterthought.

The first half of the book was amazing. The first eight chapters, really, were the best, when we see Nemesis and Sidonia at home, how they interact and learning the culture of everything. (Maybe this was because I had hope, because reading their relationship was all ‘I cant live without you’ and  ‘you are my whole world’ and I was like what, do we really get a lesbian couple. HAHAHA WHO AM I KIDDING OF COURSE NOT.) (we will get to that later)

And, then, of course, off Nemesis goes in Sidonia’s place to this place that is meant to be full of danger and evil and everything. And it is. For the first chapter. After that, all the mistakes Nemesis makes, all the problems she causes herself….no one seems to care?

At the start, the characters were all brilliantly thought out. Tyrus, when we first see him and for the first few of his chapters, was interesting. I liked who he was and what he got away with, and right back at the beginning of their alliance, I thought he was great. But after that, it was as if his whole personality disappeared. This whole massive insanity ploy he had- it went within pages, and no one questioned it? I thought it was meant to help him SURVIVE.

TALKING OF SURVIVING. I know I use the phrase ‘death count higher than Game of Thrones’ but I don’t mean it as a challenge to standalone books. But this one- I swear, every other character was killed off, most of them for no reason whatsoever? Like. I have a big thing against books that kill off dogs JUST BECAUSE. IT DOESNT EVEN FURTHER THE PLOT LINE. And I get it, this was meant to be a horrible world where no one was safe, but you know what pissed me off more than anything in this book?
The fact that Sidonia (Who actually does explain to Nemesis that she loves her romantically) gets killed off, not once, but TWICE. (I mean, obviously the first time she survives, but the reader nor the characters know that for a while, so it count) I mean, the only actually LGBT character in the whole book and TWICE they kill her (not only that, but she dies broken hearted because the girl she loves would rather love the emperor in line)

…As you can see, I am rather angry at this book.

But you know the stupid thing? I still enjoyed it. Sure, I’m pissed off with all the problems, but it was still an interesting read, and I kept reading because it had so much more potential. I wanted it to get better because I wanted a reason to like it. I wanted it to get better because under all the romance, it was a really good idea.

Plus, the cover is seriously beautiful. Like, wow.

three stars

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