MINI MONDAY: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic is S.J. Kincaid’s most recent novel, and since its release on November 1st, 2016, it has quickly sky-rocketed in popularity – and for good reason. The Diabolic is a strong addition to the Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre, with memorable characters, strong motivations and mind-blowing events that will leave readers reeling long after they’ve closed the book.

“Perhaps scorpions were the only ones who could save each other.
Whatever lay ahead, it would always be the two of us above the rest of the universe, and woe to any who dared step in out path.” – S.J. Kincaid, The Diabolic

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 (chapters.indigo.ca).

the-diabolic

Continue reading

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My earlier review for Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff can be found here

After reading Illuminae early on in the summer, I was quite excited to pick up Gemina. When I first picked up Illuminae,  I started off a skeptic, because the whole “found documents/recordings/we blacked out half the words” thing was a bit offputting, but the story and the execution of this unique writing style quickly drew me in. And then blew me away with its originality and complexity. Gemina  was no different – except this time I started off excited to delve back into this unique mish-mash of found documents.

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

gemina

Continue reading

Morningstar by Pierce Brown

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war. My name is Darrow of Lykos. You know my story. It is but an echo of your own.” – Darrow (Pierce Brown, in Morningstar, page 180)

After reading the first two books in this series in a matter of days, I could hardly wait to finally read Morningstar. Thus far, Brown had done an exemplary job when it came to word building, character development and story telling – Morningstar is no exception to this. From beginning to end, I was enthralled by Darrow’s journey to at last overthrow the Golds in an all-out rebellion, following the shocking conclusion to Golden Son.

If you’ve not read Red Rising or Golden Son, I would recommend doing so prior to reading this review, as it may contain some unintentional spoilers!

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. Finally, the time has come. But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Morningstar

Continue reading

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

As Marie Lu, author of the Legend Trilogy (which I am not a fan of, in case anyone was wondering) aptly said, this book is “wholly unique and utterly captivating”. It truly is. I started off a skeptic, because the whole “found documents/recordings/we blacked out half the words” thing was a bit offputting, but the story and the execution of this unique writing style quickly drew me in. And then blew me away with its originality and complexity.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Illuminae

Continue reading

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

“I turn to the sea of Gold faces. This race- what a beautiful monster. They carry all of humanity’s strengths, except one. Empathy.” – Darrow (Golden Son by Pierce Brown)

WARNING: This review will potentially contain spoilers for Red Rising, the first book in Pierce Brown’s Trilogy. If you have not read Red Rising, I recommend doing so before you read this review! 

After finishing Red Rising, despite the lack luster plot, I couldn’t wait to pick up Golden Son and start reading. Pierce Brown took something I had deemed unoriginal (I mean, come on, Red Rising screams The Hunger Games. If you don’t believe me, check out my review) and made me care about it. How? I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t care a whole awful lot about Darrow, about Mustang, and about Sevro and his Howlers, just to name a few. So, inevitably, I found myself back at the book store, picking up Golden Son.

Golden Son picks up two years after Darrow won the competition at the Institute on Mars. Darrow, now twenty, has left Mars to further his education at the Academy, where he learns the art of war and how to command warships, as the Sons of Ares wish- despite the fact the Sons of Ares have not contacted him since his graduation from the Institute. At the Academy, Darrow continues his feud with Cassius and the other Bellona, who following his loss at the Academy, publicly shame him, causing Augustus to disown him and plan to auction his apprenticeship off. At this time, all the major houses travel to Luna for a summit with the Sovereign. While on Luna, Darrow is contacted by the Jackal, who seeks a alliance with Darrow against his father, who has banished him from Mars following his disgrace at the Institute. However, the summit on Luna is far from over, with the excitement just heating up. Leaving his explosive meeting with the Jackal, Darrow is cornered by the Sons of Ares, who instruct him to blow up the banquet the following evening, quite a turn from their previous clandestine tactics. At the gala, Darrow discards the Sons of Ares’ plan by declaring his desire for a duel with Cassius. Just as Darrow is about to win the duel, the Sovereign intervenes to save Cassius’s life, declaring her word is law. This leads to arguing and then fighting amongst the families, which in turn leads to bloodshed and civil war. Darrow declares the Sovereign to be corrupt. He knows that the Golds can deal with terrorism, and has come to believe terrorism itself is wrong. But he does know the Golds fear; that their society will not survive open civil war. Following an attempt on their lives, Darrow and the Augustans flee, bringing to their side the most loyal of their allies. Following a desperate campaign to survive and maintain power, a massive invasion of Mars is launched, in which all the classes (Gold, Blues, Greys, Obsidians, etc.) fight alongside one another in order to defeat the Sovereign and the Bellonas.

So that’s basically the gist of the plot in this book. I’ve left out some major points, which I’ll discuss below (spoiler alert!), but for those of you who haven’t read the book, let me just say this- I loved this book! It was significantly better than Red Rising, for several reasons, least of all it’s inherent originality.

Continue reading

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.” – Darrow (Pierce Brown, Red Rising)

My love for sci-fi, dystopian novels has all but died off of late, probably because of the repetitive, dry nature of most new books in the genre of late. And I mean, if I’m to be honest here, Red Rising is essentially just a more intricate, well written, less romantic version of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Brutal caste system designed to oppress the low and bolster the high? Check. Secret rebellion in the making? Check? Throw a bunch of children into an arena and tell them to fight? Check (I’ll concede a bit here- they did tell them that the goal wasn’t to actually murder each other, but that went to shit pretty fast and no one stopped them). If it weren’t for the poignant lack of star-crossed lovers, I would have almost though that I was reading The Hunger Games. Well, that and the fact that Red Rising doesn’t even take place on Earth (hence the sci-fi).

Red Rising’s story takes place in the distant future. Humanity (if it can be called that) has spread out across the solar system, and has also divided itself with a caste system of Colors. Golds rule over society, while lowReds like Darrow live out their entire lives beneath the surface of Mars, mining for helium-3, believing their hard work and sacrifice are all in an effort to eventually terraform the planet and make it habitable for future inhabitants. Darrow, like the other Reds of his colony, believes himself to be a pioneer of what will one day be a great civilization. This lie, fed to the Reds by the ruling Golds, is shattered when Darrow is recruited by the Sons of Ares, following the death of his wife. For the first time, Darrow sees the world above the surface- a world already terraformed and habitable, filled with the other Colors. Through the influence of the Sons of Ares, Darrow is Carved in a Gold, and thrown into the Golds most elite competition- the Institute. There, he fights among the children of the Peerless Scarred to become one of them. Should he win, he’ll be given the chance to apprentice to a Peerless Gold and further infiltrate their society. Should he lose, the penalty could be death.

Continue reading