The Diabolic

Deception of the highest order lies at the heart of the entertaining, action-packed teen novel The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (Insignia). In a remote future, humanity is spread across the universe into various factions united under the cruel rule of the Empire. As members of the Empire's upper class, Senator von Impyrean and his wife acquire a "Diabolic" as a lifelong bodyguard for their young daughter, Sidonia. A Diabolic is a fully customized humanoid killing machine "fashioned to be utterly ruthless and totally loyal to a single individual."

The story is told in the engaging first-person voice of a white-blonde "girl" Diabolic named Nemesis who is programmed to value Sidonia above all else: "A constant roar within my skull now, changing me, shifting me. I wanted to help this girl. I wanted to protect her." As Sidonia comes of age, the status of the Impyreans is endangered by her father's blasphemous interest in science and technology, subjects long forbidden by the Helionic faith of the Empire. When the Emperor abruptly summons Sidonia to his court without explanation, her parents fear for her life, and it seems the only way Nemesis can keep her charge safe is to impersonate her.

The Diabolic sings with intrigue as Nemesis finds her way among the upper echelons of society who indulge their every whim in the Emperor's outer-space court. Because appearances shift as quickly as loyalties, Nemesis must waste no time learning to navigate the realm she's always known to be out of her reach: humanity itself. With unpredictable twists and mounting suspense, The Diabolic is a breathless journey into the very center of what it means to be human. --Kyla Paterno, former children's & YA book buyer

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