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The Diabolic (Hardcover)
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“The perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.” —TeenVogue.com
A New York Times bestseller!
Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when a senator’s daughter is summoned to the galactic court as a hostage, but she’s really the galaxy’s most dangerous weapon in disguise.
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. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
About the Author
S.J. Kincaid originally wanted to be an astronaut, but a dearth of mathematical skills turned her interest to science fiction instead. Her debut novel, Insignia, was shortlisted for the Waterstones prize. Its sequels, Vortex and Catalyst, have received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. She’s chronically restless and has lived in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Chicago, and Scotland with no signs of staying in one place anytime soon.
"Exploring what it is to question society’s definition of what you are and who you should be...the first-person narration makes the story immediate, and the political plotline could yield some thought-provoking discussion."
"Philosophical, twisty, and addictive."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Kincaid has crafted incredible characters who readers can relate to and care for...these protagonists and the complex setting will thrill the YA audience. VERDICT Fans of Marissa Meyer’s “The Lunar Chronicles” will enjoy Kincaid’s latest. This story of friendship, love, loss, suspense, and galactic beings will grab the attention of sci-fi fans and general readers alike."
— School Library Journal
"Sings with intrigue...With unpredictable twists and mounting suspense, The Diabolic is a breathless journey into the very center of what it means to be human"
— Shelf Awareness
"You start loving Kincaid's second science fiction novel on Page 2...Watching Nemesis cut a violent swath through the vile, duplicitous aristocracy is a joy...the tension is nearly always high, the characters memorable, and the bond between Nemesis and· Sidonia genuinely moving. "Diabolic," itself a genetic experiment blending "I, Claudius" and "The Terminator," appeals to both our better and more devious angels."
— The New York Times Book Review
"The Diabolic is a solid young adult sci-fi adventure that is sure to appeal to the masses...Highly recommended for high school readers and collections."
— The El Paso Times
"The perfect kind of high-pressure adventure"
"The world building is excellent...readers will soak in the nuances of this complex post-Earth society"
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Readers who love a good dystopian plot with violence, twists, and romance will enjoy this novel."