The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

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. 

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just a 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 (from Amazon).

When I read this I had been reading more contemporary YA fiction, so this was a nice change. Science fiction and fantasy are my two favourite things to read. Plus, the cover designs are so much more intricate in these two genres over everything else, and The Diabolic has a beautiful cover, and it already gives you a hint of who Nemesis is and I like that a lot. 

The story follows Nemesis, a creature bred to be a bodyguard. Sidonia is her charge, and Nemesis takes her charge very seriously; it is her reason for living. Sidonia has always viewed Nemesis as her best friend, but Nemesis sees their relationship differently but her loyalty is unquestionable. 

When the Emperor demands Sidonia's presence at court, Sidonia's mother and Nemesis hatch a plan to send Nemesis in her place. Court doesn't know what's hit it when Nemesis arrives. Though she attempts to keep her head down, channel the calm gentle nature of Sidonia, she does end up causing some trouble. As I remember by the end of her first or second day there she has already attempted to drown someone. She's not a calm or gentle person, and I like that. A part of Nemesis is so defiantly strong, so uncompromisingly focused; she's a very complex character. 

There are so many things I enjoyed about this book, and some I thought fell kind of flat. There were some issues with Nemesis' story arc, how she suddenly developed feelings, but at the same time it worked for her and the story. It just took the right set of circumstances, the right person, to make her challenge what she thought she knew about herself. It's a bit cliche but I liked it. I liked Prince Tyrus, as he was witty and charming, and he was a good match for Nemesis. Sidonia as a character was a bit bland, but again it sort of worked for her. A bit more political intrigue wouldn't have been a bad thing, perhaps more fleshing out of the characters outside of their positions at court. But it set up the world pretty well for the series and I closed the book excited for the next step of Nemesis' journey. If it had been a standalone like the writer initially thought, I probably would have been more critical. 

But book 2, The Empress, is coming out sometime at the end of October in the UK, and that took as a beautiful cover. I've read the sneak peak for book 2, and Nemesis is as Nemesis as she's always been and I actually can't wait.
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