The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid has been billed as a mashup of Red Queen meets House of Cards meets The Hunger Games. Others have compared it to Dune, The Vorkosigan Saga and Game of Thrones (in space) but it is so much more than that, so don’t let the descriptors fool you. This epic novel is about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court stands on its own, no comparison necessary. This is an intoxicating blend of space opera, political maneuvering, bloody action and dark humor.
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.
The premise is as follows: 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 participates 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 Diabolic sounds like the perfect read for those who loved The Lunar Chronicles. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “Philosophical, twisty, and addictive.” Early reviews have had nothing but praise for this novel, sure to be the hit of the YA market and beyond. S. J. Kincaid is also the author of the Insignia trilogy