Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Narrator: Candace Thaxton
Series: stand-alone
Length: 12 hrs 30 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Source: ARC & audiobook received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

Before I even started The Diabolic, I knew I was going to love this book...I just wasn't aware how much I'd enjoy it. I had an ARC, but once I realized Candace Thaxton was narrating the audiobook, I decided I'd go that route. Candace also narrated one of my favorite books ever -- The Sea of Tranquility -- and does a great job of portraying Nastya, another girl who doesn't allow herself to feel. So I knew she'd do a fabulous job performing as Nemesis, a ruthless killing machine who only cares about one person: her master and charge. And, honestly, it was better than I could have imagined.

This was a book that I started listening to at work and continued listening to on my way home. Then I took my daughter to the park and cracked open my ARC while continuing to listen and followed along that way. And I continued listening while I was cooking and washing dishes. Then I went back to reading and listening after dinner. I just could not put this book down. I finished The Diabolic in one day and I regret nothing.

The Diabolic was damn near perfect. It had everything I was looking for: political intrigue, characters with violent tendencies, forbidden, it's set in SPACE. I don't think I picked up on that in the summary the first time I read it, but yes, political intrigue of galactic proportions. SO MUCH YES!

But probably my favorite aspect of this novel was that of a cold, calculating being having to come to terms with her humanity and actually allow herself to feel things. And it was glorious! She freaks out when she laughs by accident. She bonds with a mutant dog-thing and it's ridiculously adorable. And she allows herself to love, which is no small feat. I just adore characters who basically start out as robots and are a big ole pile of mush by the end of the story.

Even when they're being exceedingly violent. Especially then. Like, you read all the time about badass characters who do violent things but you never actually experience any of that once the story gets going. Not so for Nemesis, whose philosophy in life lies somewhere just shy of Kill or be killed. There is all manner of brutality between the pages of this book, and it was gory but also awesome.

Also, I SHIP IT. So hard. It's pretty much forbidden. Except she's pretending to be someone she's not, so it's kinda okay and accepted? But it starts out as a partnership in a revenge plot. Then they become sparring partners. And then friends. And, well, it just snowballs from there. It's only a little angsty, and mostly because Nemesis is SO freaked out by all these new feelings she's experiencing. And she's afraid. But they are such a good pair because they've both done unconscionable things, in the name of the greater good and those they love. And it just works.

So...yay for evil tendencies? At any rate, this book was amazing, plain and simple. And it's a stand-alone! Which makes it an even more perfect fit for me because I hate waiting for the next book. :P I highly recommend the audiobook version, but whichever route you go, I guarantee you won't be disappointed with The Diabolic.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.

Find S.J.:

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  1. I've heard so much good about this book and it sounds like SO much action!! It's not my usual type of book, but I think I'd like to try it. Glad you loved it!! Also, Sea of Tranquility is on my MUST READ BEFORE 2016 ENDS list.

    1. I was a little overwhelmed by the hype, but it was so worth it. And you will LOVE TSOT. It is absolutely one of my favorites. I do hope you get to it before the end of the year. :)

  2. Yes, Jen. YAAASSS!!!! I loved this book. And I absolutely agree with everything that you said. The plot really has everything. I loved the political intrigue, the setting of space, and the super dark characters. So good. One of my favorites of the year. Top five, definitely. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. Oh, it's definitely on my favorites list, too. It was just such a great read! More like this please!!!

  3. I loved this book too for the same reasons that you mentioned. I read some reviews after I read the book and I noticed quite a few people DNF because they couldn't connect to Nemesis. She was way too cold for them. But I loved that she was cold, and that I could see that she was cold. I have way too many "I loves" for this book.

    1. I saw quite a few DNFs, too, but knowing that I wouldn't connect to Nemesis from the start helped me get past her initial coldness. And I loved that, though she developed some compassion, she was still that cold Diabolic at heart. I don't think I'd have liked a tender-hearted killer...that's been done too many times, especially when they say in the summary that she's supposed to be badass and then she's just like the rest of us.

  4. I've seen this book around, but this is the first review I have read for it. Sounds like a great read! Added to the TBR and I hope I get to read it soon!


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