Friday, November 17, 2017

The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

Title: The Empress
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Simon & Schuster

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?
Review by Nara

*Contains spoilers for The Diabolic, although to be honest the title itself is a spoiler for what happens in the first book lol*

There were kind of two views on The Diabolic. The first was that it was a standalone science fiction novel, and it was praised for being such because there are so few standalone scifi novels in young adult. On the other hand, many people really liked the book and felt that it would benefit from having sequels, because while the first book ended on quite a good note, it could definitely expand onto what happened after the conclusion. I personally was in both camps, but leaning more towards wanting a sequel because I liked the characters and world so much.

I think The Empress is an excellent follow up to The Diabolic, with more of what made The Diabolic so good, including all the spicy political manoeuvring. I think there was actually more court politics involved in the sequel now that Tyrus and Nemesis are directly in the centre/focus of the Grandiloquy, and as a result the book did have a slower pace.

Poor Tyrus, seriously the guy just can't catch a break. So much has happened to him throughout his life and so much happens in this book that makes you want to give the guy a hug. I have to say, it somehow felt like many of the characters were quite different to how they were in the first book, including Tyrus and Nemesis. On the other hand, I did feel like this was realistic in the setting of the many things that have happened. One character in particular that was very different was Neveni, but that isn't too surprising considering the various things that happen to her.

The ending is a massive cliffhanger- I'm not sure that it's necessarily shocking, but it definitely leaves you wanting to find out what happens next. I'm very much looking forward to reading book three and seeing how Kincaid gets the characters out of the various sticky situations they're in at the moment, because some of them seem pretty hopeless (but still hoping they get out undamaged...).

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Cover: 4/5