Nemesis is a diabolic, basically a robot who looks and acts like a human. Diabolics are bonded to one person, to protect them for life at all costs. Nemesis is bonded to a senator's daughter, Sidonia.
When it is decreed that diabolics are illegal and all must be destroyed, Sidonia's mother plots to keep Nemesis a secret to protect her daughter. Sidonia is in danger because her father is rebellious. He wants to learn about science -- something that is forbidden in this world. The emperor summons Sidonia to the Galactic Court. Since her mother is so fearful, she decides to train Nemesis to pose as Sidonia and go in her place. It is very difficult for Nemesis to hide her special abilities and act like a human, but she must or all will be lost.
Once Nemesis gets to the court, she learns quickly of the corruption and pure evil of the emperor. She also learns more about herself and her capability to be much more like a human.
The tension ramps slowly but steadily. No one can be trusted, and Nemesis witnesses betrayal after betrayal. At the same time, she also learns to accept her feelings -- things she's never felt before -- and create a bond with someone besides Sidonia.
There is a nice balance between science fiction, political intrigue, and the emotional aspects of Nemesis' growth. The Diabolic has a solid ending and appears to be a stand-alone (surprise!) But the world is such that more stories could be coming, and I would welcome them.
I'm looking forward to recommending The Diabolic to my teens. They will certainly enjoy it.
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR (November 1, 2016)
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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