The book The Diabolic takes place in a dystopian future where machines run themselves and humans have relied so much on these machines that they cannot function without them. A young girl Sidonia, who is soon to inherit the senate throne, is arrested due to his father's idiotic rebellion against a true and selfish emperor of the solar system. A diabolic (which is a genetically made creature resembling a human in appearance and intellectual ability, but having a higher strength capability) is put into her place and is told to try and kill the emperor to stop his cruel and bad rule over the solar system. Throughout her journey, she encounters fear, love, and shattering of dreams that lead her to an achievement. This story is a very moving and shocking book that gives great incite on the behaviors and thinking of one that is similar, but very different from a human being.
Review by Ray Z.
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
With an almost superhuman protagonist, The Diabolic will sometimes seem like a superhero book, since the protagonist gets to have insane amounts of strength because she’s not quite human, but only a resemblance of one. Diabolics are essentially super humans- they are created using a human based, but then confined and trained until they are powerful fearless defenders who single-mindedly protect the one they were created to protect, who they are essentially forced to like by implanting their image into their brains. A majority of the book revolves around the protagonist, who is a Diabolic named Nemesis, and her journey towards becoming a ‘real person’. After all, to the people in society, Diabolics are abominations, only tools used to protect loved ones, and are not truly human. This is reinforced by how they have a distinctive pale appearance, and are emotionless and fearless. The plot as a whole at times makes little sense: the people use fancy technology for transportation and for many other means, but the government prevents people from learning about this technology or how to repair it or how to create new versions because the religion created after a catastrophe bans it. This seems ridiculous, but the author probably created such a weird situation so that the reader is aligned with the hero and hopes for a deposition of the government, and perhaps even to make a statement about the importance of religion in today’s world. As a whole, The Diabolic is an interesting book- the protagonist will be frustrating at times, but what is to be expected from a character who isn’t truly human?
Review by: Lucas H.
Diabolic, written by S.J. Kincaid, is a science-fiction novel about a futuristic and autocratic empire where scientific advancement is heretical. Because the story is centered around a skilled murderer who is unswervingly allegiant to her master but is soon separated from her, it shares many similar features with Megan Turner’s novel Thick as Thieves. However, the two novels also another thing in common: a lack of intrigue.
Straight from the start, the plot line is intended to grip the reader with a desire to know what happens next. To do this, the author ends many chapters with plot twists. The first one of these twists come as a complete shock when, in the second chapter, Nemesis realizes that she has insulted the heir to the galactic throne. Time after time, these twists surprised me with their abruptness.
However, everything is best in moderation, and while plot twists in stories do capture the intrigue of readers, they will soon lose that intrigue if there are too many twists. As the story went on, I began to expect plot twists around every corner. When they did come, they did not catch me off guard. Since this was the main force that drove the story forward, I began to lose interest in the plot.
In conclusion, while a healthy dose of a particular literary element is great, one must be careful not to take it too far. Instead, one should try blending in other literary elements and mixing them to create an interesting and beautiful story. Thus, I will rate this book a 4 out of 5.
Review by Adam T.
The Diabolic is set in the far future, where humans have established a galactic empire and access to technology that can modify DNA, warp space, change physical appearance, and huge spaceships. The empire is ruled with a caste system with the emperor at the top, the Grandiloquy (hereditary senators), and the Excess. The emperor and the gradiloquy are rich aristocrats that live in opulent space stations while the Excess live on planets and suffer from bacteria, hunger, disease, and natural disasters. Grandiloquy also hire servitors, which are Excess that are engineered to be incapable of disobeying, and diabolics, which are bodyguards that are engineered to protect at all costs.
At the beginning of the story, a diabolic named Nemesis is created by the Impyrean family. Senator Impyrean is very liberal in his views and wants to educate the Excess. However, the Emperor is a staunch conservative and asks for Senator Impyrean's daughter as a hostage in the royal court. Instead of sending their daughter, the family sends Nemesis to the court instead, were she meets grandiloquy allies, enemies, and the insane Tyrus, heir to the throne. She must be cunning and sneaky to help the Impyrean family make a more liberal government.
This book is mostly political intrigue, and involves many very evil people that try and outsmart each other. There are very few action scenes and it is mostly talking. People who have read "The Selection" will like this book as it is fun of plots and secrets in the royal court.
Review by Joshua Y.