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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Nemesis by S. J. Kincaid (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)


Official Author Website
Order the book HERE
Read Caitlin's review of The Diabolic
Read Caitlin's review of The Empress

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: 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.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Three years ago, Tyrus Domitrian shocked the galaxy by killing the woman he swore to love forever. The woman for whom he upended the Empire. The woman with whom he wanted to build a new and brighter future.

Now, the once-idealistic heir apparent has become the cruel Emperor Tyrus, wielding his authority with an iron fist, capable of destroying planets with a single word, controlling all technology with a simple thought. He has bent the Grandiloquy to their knees, and none has the power to stand against him.

But there is a muttering among the Excess. They say that Nemesis is not truly gone. They whisper of her shadow spotted in distant star systems. They say that Nemesis lives. That she will rise, and rally the people to topple the man who was once her truest love—and is now her fiercest enemy.

FORMAT/INFO: The Nemesis was published August 25th, 2020 by Simon & Schuster. It is 416 pages spread over 48 chapters. It is written in first person from Nemesis's perspective. It is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Nemesis Lives. That’s the whispered rumor across the galaxy that the Emperor didn’t succeed in killing his wife. It’s the last shred of hope the Excess of the Empire have, that the one woman who came the closest to dethroning the Emperor survived her failed attempt. Nemesis does live, but she’s staying far away from talks of rebellion. Her hopes of reforming the Empire ended in tragedy, with her husband Tyrus captured and drugged by their enemies until he became the mad and cruel Emperor the galaxy fears today. But when Tyrus threatens to unleash malignant space on planets that don’t support him, Nemesis realizes she can’t let the man she once loved destroy a galaxy, even if that means killing him.

The Nemesis starts off a bit shaky, as it begins by flashing backward and forward to cover the months since we last saw Nemesis. These back and forth jumps made the opening a bit disjointed, but eventually the narrative smooths out and it becomes a sprint for the finish line. There’s a particularly good space ship stand off between Partisan forces and the Emperor’s, as they both try to manipulate a particular space anomaly for their own advantage. It’s less a frantic battle and more a series of chess moves to force the other side to capitulate. Nemesis is, as always, a force to be reckoned with on her own, and once more does not hesitate to get her hands dirty to accomplish her own goals.

Nemesis goes through some heart-breaking emotions in this final outing. She knows the man she loves is “dead,” that the drugs he was subjected to have twisted his mind. It still takes a tremendous amount of emotional fortitude to contemplate killing her husband, let alone actually going through with it. But this is also a Nemesis who is just DONE. She has always been a character of extreme emotion, especially given her genetically engineered protectiveness, but her frustrations at the people she’s lost and the different groups that have tried to manipulate her over the years (including her own allies) leave her with very little trust.

One drawback of this last book is that there were a few too many betrayals and twists, to the point where the unexpected became a bit expected. The author has made some great plot swerves in the past that have completely upended the status quo. With the end of the series in sight, however, I was ready for a more straightforward final ending.

CONCLUSION: The Diabolic series has been a great YA sci-fi adventure. It doesn’t pull punches and features an unapologetically brutal heroine who will always do what it takes to protect the ones she loves. Those who like court maneuverings with the occasional literal backstabbing would do well to check this series out!

1 comments:

Aaron Volner said...

I had been on the fence about reading the Diabolic series but it sounds like I may need to give it a try, even if there are a few too many plot twists in the final outing :)

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