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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 listeners say about The Diabolic

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Some overlying issues, but a beautiful story

First off, this story felt like a rollercoaster. An enjoyable one that had some sudden jolts. Like those jerks on the Mouse roller coaster at Lagoon. And still, I enjoyed them. I do not dislike this story.

Only a few plagued this beautiful story. There were some predictable outcomes and some.. Unfavorable ones that seemed forced. I can tell a forced plot device when I see it and it came up few times, though the story saved itself quickly after. The final hours of this book were the only shaky portions that truly made me feel less inclined to finish, but I'm so happy I did.

The only other issue I have is that the narrator did a poor job at times articulating a male's voice. Though, it honestly added to some characters due to their personalities. If I could give half stars, I would since this isn't a 5 nor is it a 4. A solid 4.5 is my final verdict.

I highly recommend this and already see myself downloading the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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excelente

esta historia me atrapó desde el primer momento y me mantuvo enganchada hasta el final

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't put this one down.

The Diabolic is a brilliant YA scifi centered on a young woman who denies her own humanity even as she demonstrates her humane nature, balanced with a violent one bred into her, next to the elitists of her society.

Scenes of defeating/overcoming caste systems, animal cruelty, sex predators, religious zealots, and poisonous politicians make this glittering space epic exceptionally satisfying.

Nemesis is my kind of heroine. Long may she slay.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Some reviews are overcritical

Before I read this book I read some of the reviews and tbh I almost didn't read it because of that. I'm glad I took a chance. Now I read mostly YA that being said I probably don't go into these books expecting the literary genius but im still critical. This book does a good job and twists and character development something I think was deemed to quick of a change. Reading this novel i felt that nemesis's emotional development isn't rushed because the author does make a point that the character never gave themselves the chance to feel because she wasn't supposed to not that she couldn't. So with that being said I feel it was gradual enough that it didn't feel rushed. It's got romance, action, and twists. I would rank it pretty high on my list. Take a chance because im glad I did.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good find

I was into this find with pretty low expectations after some duds recently, however compared to some recent releases I have this was great. I don’t know where it has been hiding or how I managed to miss it. Now I’m not saying it was amazing. It was good though. I found it was worth my time and kept my attention long enough to see what happens next. It’s not always easy to find a decent read, but I felt like this was.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Kept Me Up Late

Title says it all. The twists and turns in this book kept me wanting more, right until the very end. Great story. Great performance. Great buy!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great listen!

I enjoyed this for a number of reasons. The plot had me guessing until the very end. There were a number of plot twists that didn't involve the main character. The science fiction was original. it grabbed me from the beginning.