S. J. Kincaid’s The Diabolic ARC Review

This, in my opinion, is a pretty big one.

Release Date: November 1, 2016


Author: S. J. Kincaid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: November 1st, 2016
Format: ARC 
My rating: 5/5
Buy it: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com |simonandschuster.ca


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.

The Cover:

Once you read this book, you’ll understand how perfect the deadly butterfly matches with the storyline. Kincaid was not fooling around, she and her team captured the perfect Sci-Fi cover. A blank white background with the detailed butterfly give the reader a futuristic effect. Although it’s simplistic, I feel less is more, and I always want to look at a cover that doesn’t overwhelm me.

As I mentioned before, it goes well with the story line, and as you can see what’s written on the cover: Be deceived… or be destroyed. It goes along. The top half of the butterfly is in its natural beauty, and the bottom half is artificially done with killer blades. Very deadly. Might I suggest it reminds me of Shakespeare’s “serpent beneath the flower”?

The Story:

I obviously don’t want to say anything that will give away too much. So I’ll be as discreet as I can be.


Phew… now that’s out of the way.

I’m confident in saying that The Diabolic is so close to Orson Scott’s Ender’s Game. I haven’t read many Sci-Fi books, but that’s the best way I can put it.

I could not put down the book, let’s get that straight. I was tweeting Kincaid at three in the morning, and I hope I wasn’t too annoying. Every single time an intense moment happened in the book I would start jumping up and down and screeching like a dying cat.

Just a disclaimer for sensitive readers, this book does contain violence. Like… a lot. But in a very good way, for me anyways. But aside from that, the abstract in the storyline is astonishing.

Kincaid perfectly captures the human condition in a teenage humanoid… if that makes sense. As I was reading Nemesis’s narrative, I found myself nodding in agreement. Sometimes the occasional whimper slipped because of how true and raw the emotions were in this book.

The plot was well done. I don’t think I found any holes in it, and Kincaid did a good job on letting her readers understand what’s going on the society the characters live. It’s complex in a very good, satisfyingly scratching an itch, way. There were some moments where I could feel myself getting trapped, wondering how Nemesis would get herself out of a very deep hole, but she would and I cheered her on.

This book is a standalone, so be prepared for whatever ending is coming your way. I’m a huge fan of endings not going my way, it makes them that much realistic.

The book goes over topics such as love, courage, and friendship. It’s hard not to feel everything Nemesis feels, I was so entranced by how easily I was influenced by her. I normally can see through an author’s attempt to make me feel whatever a character is feeling, because they make it choppy and hard to believe. Let’s face it, it’s really hard to make readers experience what a character is experiencing. But Kincaid did not disappoint me.

It kind of reminded me of when I was reading Carol Rifka’s Tell the Wolves I’m Home.

There are moments in our lives where we have to ask ourselves what our purpose is and how do we find the answers to our existence, and when Nemesis brings up those questions I kind of nod and think, “yeah… what am I doing?” If Kincaid can bring her young readers to think that way, I say kudos.

Have you ever read a book and just appreciated it as well? I just want to thank Ms. Kincaid for the masterpiece. I also want to thank Simon and Schuster and Indigo for giving me an ARC. And if in the near future this book becomes a motion picture, I would be first in line to buy my movie ticket. Before reading this book I had EXTREMELY high expectations, as I usually do, and it did not disappoint. If anything, it excelled the further I read.

Like I said, if you get an ARC treasure it, but if you can’t, preorder it as soon as possible. It’s worth your time, imagination, and money. However, prepare yourself for suspense and violence. I’m the type of reader who enjoys authors like Jeff Lindsay, Barry Lyga, and S. E. Green. But I honestly think this book is perfectly fine, especially for readers ranging from 14 and up. I highly recommend for schools to start including it in their English syllabus as well.

Note to author if she reads this:

To S. J. Kincaid:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really hope your book sells out and makes it to the top of charts. You’ve created something amazing and I can’t stress how important this book is to me now.

I haven’t cared for a book in so long. I don’t even want to let my friends borrow it from me in fear that they might physically damage it.


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