The Empress

The thrilling sequel to S.J. Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Diabolic that called “the perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.”

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?

First and foremost make sure you have read The Diabolic before reading this sequel or you won’t have the full nuances of what is going on which are in fact important in order to actually enjoy the story as it was intended.

The Diabolic felt like it was an encapsulated story with no further additions needed which was a breath of fresh air in the dystopian genre that seems addicted to sequels and trilogies. Obviously we have The Empress so you known Kincaid decided her story needed more and now it’s been said this is actually going to be a trilogy. I’m having a love-hate thing going on with that right now.

While I think Kincaid is a great writer who put out a FANFREAKINTASTIC first book with Diabolic and wanted more of her writing I’m also completely over the trilogy thing. You’d think after the commercial failure of trying to bring the Divergent trilogy to theaters to the point they just up and quit without filming the last part of the story the idea of doing any more dystopian trilogies would get a hard NO. Apparently not.

But it’s here so let’s not digress any more and just look at is Empress worth your time or can you live happily knowing how Diabolic ended?

The one not great thing that could potentially drive readers crazy is that Empress, as expected, reads like the middle of a trilogy. It feels incomplete and kind of like that point in the road trip where someone is bugging the hell out of everyone by asking “Are we there yet” a 1000 times to the point you want to throw them out of the moving car.

We get lots of build up in conflict, characters, settings and creating the bridge between Diabolic and wherever the 3rd book is going. This translates to slower pace and obviously not a nice, tidy, wrapped up ending. Towards the end we do finally get some action and the intensity factor skyrockets to a monster cliffhanger.

Now if you had Empress and whatever the 3rd book is so you can binge the trilogy you’ll probably not mind so much since after all you need the middle part of the journey so you can appreciate how you got to your destination. However until the 3rd hits shelves you could experience some irritation – decide whether you’re going to read now or later.

I firmly believe your level of enjoyment is going to be based solely on two factors. Did you like Diabolic and want more story? AND …… Can you handle knowing this is a bridge piece so you won’t get the full story until book 3? Even if you answered yes to the first and no to the second then just think about holding off on Empress until the 3rd hits so you can read them back to back rather than risk reading Empress now and getting irritated which could lead you to leaving bad reviews.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to review this!

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