The Empress - S. J. Kincaid

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?

Unlike many (at least, according to Goodreads people) I was expecting a sequel to The Diabolic. There were just too many open subplots to finish up and there were too many questions I wanted answers too. I could have dealt with The Diabolic being on its own, but knowing that more of my questions will be addressed really does make me happy!

There's not a lot of recap, so I would recommend a quick skim through the previous novel to ensure you're caught up before you head into this one. It starts up right where we last left Tyrus and Nemesis, on the brink of an Empire about to collapse. With Tyrus's powers in question and his decision to marry a diabolic throwing the Helionics into chaos, Nemesis decides that a big change needs to happen to get the Empire reunited once again. But even after they embark on a journey to find the leader of the Empire's main religion, Senator Pasus still won't stop his fight for the throne.

There's a lot of drama (melodrama, even), that drives this space opera forward into he chaotic physical reality of the cosmos. Black holes, malignant space, the potential for genocide, and an entire galaxy on the brink of dissolution. If you thought The Diabolic was dramatic, you haven't seen anything yet! This is a sequel that fans of the first book will surely find favour with. And if you don't want a sequel, well then don't read this one, but I feel like you'll be compelled in the end!

This novel certainly will make readers question loyalties and even more will find themselves asking what the truth really is. Since the book is told from Nemesis' perspective, it's always a bit discomfiting wondering what others are up to and if they can be trusted, but that just makes the tensions and chaos even more realistic in my mind. 

Aside from the second act of the novel feeling somewhat far-fetched and melodramatic, the book as a whole is engaging and entertaining. Check it out if you dare ;)

Recommended

(NOTE: This review is from an Advance Reading Copy - Out Oct. 2017)

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