DNF Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Book: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Series: The Diabolic #1
Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date Published: November 1st, 2016
Source: Owned
Date Started: February 1st, 2017
Date Finished: February 19th, 2017

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. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

Trigger Warning: Self mutilation/harm, Torture, Forced Drugging, Attempted Rape, Rape, Animal Abuse

When I started reading this book, I didn’t expect that I would be the black sheep on this one. It sounded totally unique, intriguing, and everyone has been just raving about this book over and over. I mean, it has a 4+ rating on goodreads! Instead, I found myself feeling so far removed the story that I just couldn’t keep my attention on the book and kept putting it down. I also want to do a discussion about the trigger warnings because I’ve seen very little talk about it, and that concerns me with a book that is so popular.

What Went Wrong? 

I mean, thats the question at hand, right? I’m going to give it to this book- it has a unique premise. A humanoid character pretending to be human in a science fiction space empire. It sounded amazing. But I just couldn’t get hooked. I felt so far removed from the characters that I ultimately just didn’t care about them all that much, which meant I didn’t care about the story that much and ultimately led to my DNF status at around the 30% mark.

I also wanted more world building. Whenever I see a story set in space, its always expected that the characters involved are human (or in Nemisis’ case- humanoid). I want more stories where there are different species. Stories with evolution. Adaptation. I also didn’t really understand how the empire worked. How does traveling between planets work? and so many more questions. I’m sure the gaps would have been filled in if I continued reading the book to the end, but I think basic facts shouldn’t be revealed well after the 30% mark. I needed a base to build upon and then mold. It felt more like I was building from the top down.

I know that there was a romance aspect to this story after reading spoilers and such (which I won’t reveal for those of you who want to read this book) but I really wasn’t all that interested in that plot line. From what I’ve heard, the romance plot line is relatively small.

Trigger Warnings. 

This book needs trigger warnings. From the 30% I did read, I found a handful of them. So I can only imagine that there are more. I will try to add the ones that I’m missing as I hear about them in the book community. If you know of any more trigger warnings for this book, and are comfortable with discussing them with me in private, my inbox/social media is always open.

There was one scene in particular that made me uncomfortable. I personally did not feel triggered by the scene, but I won’t go into particulars in case someone does have the potential to be triggered. But the reason I felt uncomfortable is the fact that the scene features tropes that I’m honestly tired of seeing in Science Fiction and Fantasy right now. The Diabolic is a brutal book and doesn’t hide that aspect at all. Its expected to be ruthless. But trigger warnings are still needed.

Final Thoughts.

I appear to be the black sheep on this book. It had a unique premise, and I wish I had been more interested in it. 

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