The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Here we have something a little different from S.J. Kincaid - another futuristic sci-fi tale, but with a bit of a fantasy twist, centering on imperial court dealings and backstabbings in a space-opera setting. It's not as quick and easy to get into as Insignia and its sequels, but The Diabolic does live up to the Kincaid hype with its compelling lead character, the titular engineered assassin, and the pulse-pounding action and suspense all throughout the whole book, even when we're focusing on upper-class people doing upper-class things.
I believe I saw another reviewer - Joey from Thoughts and Afterthoughts, I think - say that The Diabolic feels like an entire trilogy in a one-book package. I think he might be right. Up to page 170 or so, it feels like there's one story going on, then it kicks into a higher gear for the next 100 pages, and finally, the conclusion.
That said, though, I really hope there's a second or even a third book at some point, because I trust Kincaid to always keep things interesting with all the stories.
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