I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Series: Mirage #1
Published by Flatiron Books
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection...because one wrong move could lead to her death.
Mirage was a book I was really excited to read and it comes out later on this month, so make sure you pick it up here because this book blew me away! It was completely different to what I expected but in an outstanding kinda way! I was really worried that this was going to be a trope-filled YA, which seems to be a recurring issue with the books I have read in the past and I’m probably over cautious when it comes down to YA now. I have said in the past that I think I might be outgrowing it. Well I should never have worried, this book was fantastic and although there were tropes, they were well written and well developed, something of a rarity.
I think what makes Mirage great is the way the characters develop throughout this story. I loved seeing the different sides of the same people and how everything would fit together and move the story forward. Amani and Maram, although looking exactly the same both had completely different stories and also motivations but it was great to see them both in the same atmosphere and struggle with different insecurities. Which is what makes this book so great in my opinion, the two main characters are so similar but so far apart in most cases.
I really enjoyed reading about the setting and I loved the amount of culture that was given to the world especially seeing as it is technically a planet and space can be a cold and unyielding setting to have a book set in. But I found myself forgetting that Mirage was set on a planet purely because of how much detail and how warm the world was. I was extremely impressed if I’m honest. Usually, I find space to be a setting that can be quite repetitive and a little boring, this book blew me away in that aspect.
I will say and the main reason that this book didn’t receive a five star review is basically because the romance element was really predictable and tropey. I struggled with the development of it all and thought it came across as almost as a token romance. I kind of wish that it would have been kept out of the book to be honest and the focus to be more on the emotions of the two girls without the distraction of romance. But that’s just my opinion on it.
I would definitely recommend Mirage and I will be buying a physical copy for my shelves! I really enjoyed the storyline and thought the plot line and setting was unique and completely different to anything I have read before. Make sure you buy it here!
Are you looking forward to reading Mirage? Or have a recommendation for another book set in space that you think would be a good fit?