The Empress (The Diabolic #2) – S. J. Kincaid

The EmpressFrom the publisher: 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? 

The Empress is the second book in a planned trilogy and it definitely has that middle book feel.  It is imperative that The Diabolic be read first.  The series follows the typical pattern: describing the corrupt government, overthrowing the government, grasping the newly found power.  It is not so easy to wield power and avoid corruption.  The plot twists and turns with misplaced trust and betrayal.  Despite traversing the universe and a plethora of violence, the story felt plodding to me.  There were times when events happened suddenly and I had to flip back, thinking I missed something.  The first half of the book bogged down with too much of Pasus and the political infrastructure of the Empire.  We do learn why the Domitrians hold power and that is key to understanding so much of this world.  Neveni’s character is my favorite as I grew a bit tired of Nemesis and Tyrus.  I am not sure what I want from the third book.  Do I want Tyrus and/or Nemesis to succeed or does every hint of past power need to be shucked to start anew?

eGalley review                                             Publication date 10.31.17

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