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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 416 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 14+
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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. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

Okay, THIS BOOK! I have to admit, I wasn't super into the first third of this book, but once things started picking up I could not stop! I got REALLY into it! The beginning is kind of difficult to grasp (and that could definitely stem from listening to the audio version), but once I started understanding the core concepts and the cultural importance of everything, I really started enjoying everything.

Nemesis is a Diabolic. From what I gathered, that means she's a humanoid creature designed to essentially sacrifice herself for her bonded human counterpart. I'm not going to lie, every time they said "humanoid" all I could think of were the Orcs from Lord of the Rings. She's supposed to protect the human who "owns" her or her master. Nemesis's master is Sidonia, the daughter of an important governmental figure (a senator) who doesn't have much interest in the courtly life she's supposed to maintain. So, when Sidonia is meant to visit the court, they send Nemesis instead.

This is where things really started getting good. I was sort of bored with the whole origin story and tailoring of Nemesis, but once she was on her own I was OBSESSED. I LOVED Nemesis around all those crazy court people. She as fierce, strong, loyal, and watching her become her own person was just fascinating.

If you haven't picked up The Diabolic yet, I highly recommend it. Just get through the beginning bits and things will start to pick up, I swear! Great pick for anyone looking for an interesting sci fi read!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 295 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Magical Realism; Contemporary Fiction; Real Issues
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

“I am sixteen years old. I am a human being.”

Actually Sarah is several human beings. At once. And only one of them is sixteen. Her parents insist she’s a gifted artist with a bright future, but now she can’t draw a thing, not even her own hand. Meanwhile, there’s a ten-year-old Sarah with a filthy mouth, a bad sunburn, and a clear memory of the family vacation in Mexico that ruined everything. She’s a ray of sunshine compared to twenty-three-year-old Sarah, who has snazzy highlights and a bad attitude. And then there’s forty-year-old Sarah (makes good queso dip, doesn’t wear a bra, really wants sixteen-year-old Sarah to tell the truth about her art teacher). They’re all wandering Philadelphia—along with a homeless artist allegedly named Earl—and they’re all worried about Sarah’s future.

But Sarah’s future isn’t the problem. The present is where she might be having an existential crisis. Or maybe all those other Sarahs are trying to wake her up before she’s lost forever in the tornado of violence and denial that is her parents’ marriage.

“I am a human being. I am sixteen years old. That should be enough.”

Every couple of years a book comes along that really alters the way I view my own realities. Books like Hate List by Jennifer Brown and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Books that make you realize your own problems are trivial, that there are bigger things happening in the world. That some people have it much harder than you. That maybe you should stop and think before harshly passing judgment.

Still Life with Tornado is absolutely one of those books. It’s haunting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. It makes you take a step back and really think about all kinds of abuse and the effects it has on the abused, the abuser, and even the bystander or family members. This is a book that deserves a spot on every required reading list.


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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from unless otherwise stated.
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