Regular price: $27.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy's most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator's daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

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. Amid all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life - and the empire.

©2016 S. J. Kincaid (P)2016 SImon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    109
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    117
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid start that descends into YA cliches

What did you like best about The Diabolic? What did you like least?

Based on the summary and reviews here, I was expecting a light sci-fi read with plenty of action and subterfuge. I was surprised then when the second half turned into a mushy teen romance novel. The book begins by introducing us to Nemesis, a genetically engineered killing machine (known as a titular "Diabolic") whose sole purpose in life is to protect Sidonia, the daughter of a galactic senator. Aside from an instinctual need to keep her ward safe, Nemesis was bred not to experience emotions and has little understanding of them. The first person perspective works great here, giving us a look inside the Diabolic's head as she tries to make sense of the affection and care shown to her by Sidonia. Their complex bond was the bright spot in the book for me. The introspection that happens throughout the story as Nemesis explores what it means to really be human was the only thing that kept me engaged in the later on.

As the above synopsis tells you, Nemesis has to travel to the center of the galactic government to impersonate the senator's daughter. And then things start to go downhill from here. She makes a lot of decisions that are out-of-character compared to how she was depicted in the first act. YA tropes begin to pop up (particularly with the galactic court being the equivalent of Hunger Games' Capitol, and the "lovers from two different worlds" cliche). The unexpected, mushy romance further detracted from the story for me, but I understand now I'm not exactly the target audience for what this book was trying to do. There is some interesting political intrigue and deception, but the scope and complexity of those aspects are relatively light.

I really enjoyed the writing style for 85% of this book with things faltering a little when describing the romance (seriously, how many times is she going to mention the love interests "muscular arms"? Change it up every once in a while). Fortunately the narrator is excellent, and her dynamic intonation adds variety to some of those repetitive passages. I can't say enough about how much I liked her performance. Dialogue is well done and appropriate for each character, ranging form the detached Nemesis to the empathetic Sidonia to the calculated, reserved love interest (don't want to spoil it by mentioning the name). While some character's voices don't differ much tonally, the little nuances in cadence and accent give each a unique identity. For these reasons, the narrator rescues some of the weaker parts of the writing.TLDR: Interesting exploration of human emotions and light politics bogged down by CW-style teen drama. If you don't mind that sort of thing, and you're looking for somethign sci-fi, this is the book for you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the narrator dialogue was just awful

the World building was wonderfully done for a one novel story. I'm going to have to go back and read this instead of listening to it because while I feel like the character development was done well the narrator did such a terrible job during the dialogue scenes that it completely ruined any suspension of disbelief. The actual narration where she told the story or let us know how the character was feeling had a lot of emotion, articulation, and substance. unfortunately almost every scene involving dialogue was choppy, poorly read, with a tone that was often times at war with the emotions the characters are supposed to be feeling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a thriller!

This dystopian novel of a dangerous futuristic society is full of intrigue, sabotage, and excitement. Nemesis and Tyrus are two of the most well-rounded and fascinating characters I’ve read in YA literature. I am completely addicted to their story, this world, and the incredible imagination of S.J. Kincaid. The second installment, Empress, is also available, and has left me speechless, waiting for the final novel of the trilogy. A FABULOUS science fiction foray into the unknown!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't wait to read next book!

Where does The Diabolic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the top 10 audiobooks I have listened to. The only thing that would have made it better was a little stronger ending.

What other book might you compare The Diabolic to and why?

Diabolic reminds me of Scythe because it is people rising against a system and their place in that system

Which character – as performed by Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

Nemesis was my favorite performance because you could feel the personal changes she made throughout the book and Candace captured the new emotions as they emerged beautifully.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The jealously that Nemesis felt when they were beginning to launch their plan, even when she knew it was an act. I could feel that.

Any additional comments?

Read this book!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

progression preferred

I liked the reader at first because her voice reflected the numb sensations that the characters personality reflected. as the character developed and changed the voice stayed numb. I guess what I'm saying is a wish the reader developed some feeling in her voice to reflect the characters developing personality.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good story telling.

The story had twists I saw and those I did not see coming. Very well written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Thrilling as an Audiobook!

What did you love best about The Diabolic?

It's Originality as a story, and the well written Universe that our characters live in.

What did you like best about this story?

It draws you in. I've read the book and now listened to the audiobook, because it is an original story that keeps you invested and interested through your journey.

Which character – as performed by Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

Ohhhhh that's a dirty question! I really don't have one. Candace Thaxton really made me lean forward and notice some of the things in the book that I missed the first time I read it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes! It made me experience a very wide array of emotions.

Any additional comments?

An immersive Story in a beautifully written world. Worth every minute!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book!

this book was amazing from start to finish! would recommend to anyone​if their looking for a quick read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beyond loved it !

Really enjoyed this book !!! Had you caught in moments of the book from the very beginning.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kara
  • Baltimore, MD
  • 01-27-17

Well done.

The narrator is good. Which is everything. And the story is like futuristic but still relatable. I had to listen to it twice to fully appreciate how the plot was crafted and it was well worth it. The love between characters was surprisingly accurate - the complexity of each relationship was relatable...it's been awhile since a YA storyline really hit the mark for me. Good work, SJ.