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Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid with an #ARC giveaway!

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 416
Genre: Science Fiction

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.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I have not read S.J. Kincaid's previous series (even thought I own the first two books), but having The Diabloic be my first encounter with Kincaid's writing... Guys, I'm blown away. I have not been this engrossed in a novel since I read The Dregs. Holy nuggets. Fans of Illuminae and Gemina, this book is right up your alley.

In a world where political hierarchy and corruption reign, Nemesis, whose Diabolic kind is meant to be illegal, eradicated, is on a one way trip to the capital impersonating Sidonia, the galactic senator's daughter. Enemies around every corner, Nemesis must learn the rules and language of the sadistic galactic court, know her enemies moves and be eight steps ahead at all times. But how does a killing machine blend in with these people? Nemesis has to learn emotion, how to control her composure, and how to think less like a monster made to kill and more like Sidonia, sweet, caring, and human.

Gritty, there aren't many dull moments in The Diabolic because of how high-octane and manipulative the galactic court is. Reading the political insurrection put me on auto-pilot and swept through the book in a matter of hours. It was that good. I recommend it to my friends, I've re-read it twice. It was that good.

One thing that really intrigued me was the body modification. It make these people in high, authoritative positions seem otherworldly takes away from the humanity of them. The key features that they keep (eyes, lips, nose) in those transformations are the humanity of them. Nemesis body mods into Sidonia, going through these vigorous and draining modifications to make her smaller, meeker, more human. Shaving down bone and muscle, altering facial features. Yet the one thing that keeps her grounded is her broken nose. That his Nemesis's key feature. That is her steel rod in the lightning store. In college I watched the movie Brazil for my Lit Crit class, and the use of these body mods as a way of remaining eternally youthful, expressively powerful, and keeps the attention on the person is mirrored very much so in The Diabolic. Youth is prevalent; to be old is to be weak. To be modified is to hold power, as it is to hide away the insecurities and mask oneself.

I find that characters who find humanity in themselves when told they are not human are the most interesting ones to cater to. In the Reboot series by Amy Tintera, Wren was brought back to life, a decision that cost her her humanity. Nemesis was created to destroy, modified to be bigger, stronger, lethal. Nothing human was given to her, except Sidonia, to love and to protect. While humanity was either stripped or never put into the equation, humanity has a way of slipping through the cracks with other humans. It becomes a conforming ideal, where Nemesis is placed in a space, stripped of her identity, and must conform to her surroundings. We watch Nemesis transform into a monster she was raised and engineered to be, and begin to encompass a conscious and feelings, and love. Though predictable, it is enjoyable to watch the events unfold and watch the humanity dynamic come into play in a world where no one seems to be human.

 I need more books with political corruption and space

ARC Giveaway
Leaving a meaningful comment on this post enters you in a chance to win an ARC of this fantastic novel! Let me know how excited you are for this book. If you've read it, what did you like? What did you dislike? How do you feel about body mods or political corruption? Space? Let's have some fun :)
Giveaway ends 11/5