The Diabolic (book 1) by S J Kincaid (book review).

March 3, 2018 | By | Reply More

‘Diabolic’ is book one in a three book series, but you could read it as a standalone book as that is what it was originally written as. Having finished this book, I feel that I could happily finish at this point but, given there are two more books, I would like to see what happens next. I feel it’s always nice to know if you can finish a series after book one and not really finish on any kind of cliff-hanger, just in case you’re not enjoying and you needn’t force yourself to read anything further.

In this universe, Diabolics are created to be the ultimate bodyguard for the most elite and their offspring. They are genetically created and then grown to bond with one individual who they will then guard with their life. The Diabolics look like humans but they are super-humanly strong, inhumanly fast and do not have the same emotions as a human meaning they will do anything they can to save the life of their bonded human and I mean anything up to and including killing their bonded humans parents. Nemesis is a Diabolic bonded to Sidonia, a rich and privileged but also lovely human. Nemesis takes on the most difficult task of any Diabolic, to pretend to be Sidonia after she has been called to the Emperor as a hostage after Sidonia’s father takes a stand against the backward thinking religion of the time.

I found this a really tough book to get into at first as we’re seeing everything from Nemesis’ viewpoint and she is, by her nature, a very cold and emotionless individual. I was interested in her background and how she had been created but I did find her voice quite dull to read. As the story goes on, we watch her learn about human emotions, how people can say one thing and mean another and how she must learn to reign in her impulse to kill now ask questions later. There was definitely a lot of character development for Nemesis which was interesting to watch.

This is a story full of twists and lots of betrayal between the different characters, you just get your head around one view of how things are going when another viewpoint is given to Nemesis and, as she’s struggling with her responses to everything, she just gets more and more confused. This means that as a reader we are completely confused and lot of the time and I have to say that even at the end I’m not 100% sure Nemesis made the right decisions. I was really hoping that some of the relationships in this book worked out while others I found to be too confusing and just wanted a conclusion to them. Some I was lucky with, they really did end spectacularly, but others are still ongoing.

Along with the main character of Nemesis, there are a load of interesting background characters, most of whom make it to the end of the book. I really enjoyed reading about the different types of people such as the richer people who live in old space stations left behind by previous races, then those that live on the various planets that the human race has colonised. There is still a lot I feel we need to know about the way humans are now living that we only really got the basics of during this book.

Overall, I was really starting to enjoy this book the further I got into it and I do want to continue with the series to see how everything pans out. Is Nemesis right to be trusting who she’s trusting or will it all fall into ruin?

Sarah Bruch

March 2018

(pub: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, 2016. 407 page hardback. Price: £10.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-47114-714-2)

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Category: Books, Fantasy


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