Review: THE EMPRESS by S.J. Kincaid

Reading time 4 mins

I read THE DIABOLIC last year around this time and really loved it. At the time, I thought it was going to be a standalone. Obviously, with the publication of THE EMPRESS I learned that this is actually going to be a trilogy. Now that I shared that with you, let’s talk about how this series has taken a major turn that took me completely off guard.

This review will contain spoilers for THE DIABOLIC.

Nemesis has now fully come out as a Diabolic to the universe. The girl Nemesis was genetically engineered to protect is dead and her affinity for Tyrus, the next Emperor, is full blown. Everything is good for Tyrus and Nemesis, except the ruling class, the Grandiloquy, doesn’t accept a diabolic as being a person. There is also a religious faction that is the popular enough to make real trouble for Tyrus when he announces that Nemesis will be his bride and Empress. I rooted so hard for Tyrus and Nemesis to be happy and accepted. The author had other things in mind though.

It took me a minute acclimated to who was who in this story. It jumps right in with Tyrus ruling and Nemesis by his side. They aren’t married yet, but the plans are in the works. They are a good team. I loved how Tyrus and Nemesis trust each other above all others. They thwart quite a few assassination plots as some would rather see Tyrus’ cousin on the throne.

You’d think this would just be a cat and mouse game of Tyrus and Nemesis fighting off the evil in the universe. It definitely starts off like that, but then the author throws in these clever twists that make failing the most probable outcome. This story really kept me on my toes. By the time I hit the middle of the story, I was completely ignoring those around me to read this book and figure out how the lovers would get out of this.

The futuristic technology in this series gets more of an explanation in this installment. In book one it was science versus religion, and this book explains why. The person responsible for all of that will be known. There is also heavy use of narcotics in this book. I don’t remember much of that from book one, but Nemesis was so new to the universe we discover all the dirty details along with her.

Although the story does take us, once again, traveling through space and exploring, the details were not as descriptive as they were in the first book. I didn’t understand some of the scenes, especially in space, but it didn’t really matter since it wasn’t the point of the story. The struggle between the characters was the whole point of this story.

I loved that the author kept this whole story in Nemesis’ POV. We know everything she knows and yet we are all in the dark at what is going on behind closed doors. Nemesis still feels like a diabolic in this story, but she does have some things happen to her which opens here eyes to what it really means to be weak, and fully human.

It seems like some characters were new to me, but they probably were introduced in the first book and just didn’t seem as important at the time. Maybe reading book one then this book would have cleared things up for me. Once again, it didn’t really matter to me enough to take away from this story. I just thought I would mention it here, in case you are like me and forget character details a year later. Character relationships are important in the progression of this story line.

In the end, the author did things to make me feel some kind of way. Things are not working out the way I thought they would. Maybe you will see it coming. I held out hope for other things. I guess I still do. Admittedly, I didn’t love this book as much as book one but I would still highly recommend it. It is a really good science fiction series with a kick-ass heroine. There is no way I could not read the next book in this series. I need to see what happens next.

My Rating

The Diabolic series

Review: THE EMPRESS by S.J. KincaidThe Empress by S. J. Kincaid
Series: The Diabolic #2
Published by Simon and Schuster on October 31st 2017
Pages: 384
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Action & Adventure, General, Science Fiction, Thrillers & Suspense
Also by this author: The Diabolic
ARC provided by Simon & Schuster

AmazonAudibleBook Depository

The thrilling sequel to S.J. Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Diabolic that called “the perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.”
It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.
But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.
Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

About S. J. Kincaid

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. Her next book, The Diabolic, comes out in the Fall of 2016. 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. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012, followed by its sequels Vortex and Catalyst. The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016, and The Empress will be released October 31st!

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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By | 2017-10-31T10:51:50+00:00 Tuesday, October 31, 2017|4 stars, Fantasy, reviews, Science Fiction, YA|3 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. Karen is the owner of That Book Store llc. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight November 3, 2017 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Ooh I like when stories are twisty and unpredictable and keep my on my toes. I don’t actually know anything about this series, but I think I should go look it up since the struggles among the characters and everything sounds like it could be something I’d like!

    • Karen Blue
      November 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      The Diabolic, the first book in this series, totally blew me away. The second book is almost ad good. Thanks for checking out my review!

  2. Jo November 8, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    “The Diabolic” has been on my list for so long. I have to finally get round to reading it.

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