Friday, May 19, 2017

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Diabolics are created to be the ultimate bodyguards.  Raised in horrible conditions where they are rewarded for violent behavior, they are ultimately purchased to bond with and protect one person.  Nemesis is a Diabolic sworn to protect Sidonia, the daughter of a Senator who has spoken out against the corrupt Emperor running the galaxy.  When Sidonia's father goes too far, the Emperor demands that Sidonia be sent to the galactic court for an audience.  Knowing that the Emperor could possibly be bringing her there to kill her, the family decides to send Nemesis in her place.   Now Nemesis is thrust into a world of complex politics and emotions as she works to convince everyone she is Sidonia. 

This is exactly the type of sci fi I love - a big sprawling space opera that keeps me guessing.  I was only confused by the world for a short while and even then, only in figuring out the titles and hierarchy of the nobility.  Nemesis is a great character who struggles with her humanity (as in, does she have any) but mostly deftly navigates her way through a pit of vipers at court.  There were twists and turns a-plenty that kept me guessing and even had me gasp aloud at one point, then left me with a smile I couldn't wipe off my face because of the delight of the plot twist.  There was even a turn close to the end I didn't see coming and that hardly ever happens.  One issue I had was that I pictured Tyrus as Tyrion Lannister, undoubtedly because of the similarity of their names and their cleverness.  I like Tyrion but I was pulled out of the story while I had to remember that Tyrus was not that character.  But otherwise, a smart, well-developed story that kept me enthralled.  I will be recommending it to everyone and am already haranguing my husband to start it so we can discuss.

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