August 09, 2020

#BookReview: Mirage (Mirage #1) by @somiayadaud

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Review: 
I really thought I was going to DNF this one because to start out it reminded me of another book called Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter. But the only thing that was the same was that the princess and the main character looked a-like. That was it. So after I got done with that the story took off and I couldn't put it down. 

Do I Recommend this book? YES, this book has it all forbidden romance, danger, action, suspense, heartbreak, and so much more.

In short, this book was beautifully written the style in which the author told this story worked so well to make it flow like poetry. This has become one of my favorites of the year for sure! It was a knock out debut and I can not wait to see what the author does with the next title. The author with this one did a wonderful job giving us a heartbreaking story of a girl stolen from her family one night to serve those who rule over them. This is one book about strength and never giving up even when things look their darkest. It is full of myth, religion, sacrifice, and tradition of the Moroccan people which this book is inspired from.

The world building in this one was really good. It was light in some places and very descriptive in others and it worked so well. This setting really reminded me of other space books such as The Diabolic (The Diabolic, 1) by S.J. Kincaid. That although this book is set in space in some parts it's on another planet and for this one moons, along with all the future tech you could ask for. I wish we would have gotten more looks at the droids but hopefully, that will come in the books that we will see going forward. The author did a great job giving us bits of the traditions and poetry of the people. I really loved that this was Moroccan-inspired. It gave the book a real authentic and fresh feel that the young adult community really needs.

The story for this one gave me the gasps and the tears and just really ripped out my heart in places. Yet we also get a well-rounded view of how this world works and how the people of this world are being oppressed as well as seeing through the eyes of the oppressors. It was another step to make this title stand out from the rest. The characters in this one were also so alive. We got to see so many people in this world from the lowest people to the highest. I don't want to give anything away but each character was thought out in full and you just can't help but feel for each and every one of them. This also includes the princess. You can just tell when people are full of fear or happiness however small. Each character leaps off the page and into your heart.

When this book came to a close I was screaming no that I wanted more. So now I am in a bookhole of the deepest kind and I can't even wallow in it because I have other books to read.

Go Into This One Knowing: Forbidden Romance, Danger, Space, No Cliffhanger, No Love Triangle

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Amani is kidnapped from her village and groomed to be a stand-in for the hated crown princess Maram vak Mathis. Maram is the daughter of the leader of the Vathek imperialists, who are occupying Cadiz, a moon of Andala, Amani's planet. Daud's intricate sci-fi world is reminiscent of Morocco, and she addresses real-world issues of colonialism and loss of culture while giving readers a strong, rebellious protagonist to root for and a steamy romance.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
ALA Booklist Top 10 Scifi/Fantasy Book for Youth
ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List
Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers
ABA IndieNext Pick
Junior Library Guild Selection

“Superb...a refreshing and unique coming-of-age story. The way Amani uses her heritage to facilitate her survival makes Mirage a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.” ―Entertainment Weekly, Top Pick of the Month 

“Daud’s debut novel has the flair of an Arthurian drama, the lavish sensory detail of a Nizar Qabbani poem, and the sleek technical flair of a sci-fi series...this audacious combination is so skillfully done that it’ll shock breath into your lungs. If you loved The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and BoneMirage will captivate you.” ―The Christian Science Monitor

“This poetically written novel will appeal to many, particularly fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Verdict: This debut novel has what it takes to be the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“This gorgeously written, immersive, and captivating series starter is sure to have fans eager for a sequel.” ―ALA Booklist, starred review

“Prepare yourself for a story that’s enriching, thrilling, and captivating.” ―BuzzFeed

Mirage is smart, sexy, and devilishly clever. Somaiya Daud has penned a tale worthy of all the stars in the sky, and I can't wait to read what she writes next.” ―Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Daud is a masterful storyteller. Mirage gives readers an exquisitely wrought world with deft characters, death-defying stakes, and an aching romance. Bound to linger in your dreams.” ―Roshani Choksi, author of The Star-Touched Queen

“Somaiya Daud’s Mirage reads like the lushest of fantasies, set in an unforgettably immersive world that is both dangerous and impossibly lovely. The characters are complex and nuanced, and the story is by turns romantic, harrowing, climactic and hopeful, though the unresolved ending paves the way for an even grander sequel. I didn’t want it to end, and I can't wait to return to the world Daud has created.” ―Rosalyn Eves, author of Blood Rose Rebellion
Mirage is full of my favorite things: secrets, intrigue, gorgeous mythology, and complicated characters. It will break your heart and fill you with hope.” ―Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians
“A rich, dazzling, powerful debut. Somaiya Daud is an author to watch.” ―Tahereh Mafi, author of the Shatter Me series

“Lush and dangerous, Mirage had me entranced. Amani’s journey―from rural innocent to calculating young woman, from village girl to royal impersonator―is galactic. Daud’s novel asks, ‘what does it mean to impersonate your enemy?’ And the answer she provides here is nothing short of thrilling. I was here for all of it, and I desperately need to know what happens next.” ―Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Beasts Made of Night

Mirage is full of characters who feel like they existed long before the story began, and a rich world that is as beautiful as it is cruel. Somaiya Daud is a rare talent. A smart, romantic, exciting debut.” ―Veronica Roth, author of Divergent and Carve the Mark

Mirage reads as an impossible trick of the light, a feather that carves words into stone, a banquet of longing and loss. Every page comes roaring to life in a way that overwhelms and transforms you. This isn’t a debut novel so much as an heirloom, and the work of a master storyteller.” ―Margaret Stohl, coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Black Widow: Forever RedMirage had me enthralled from its first page to its last. It’s a heart-wrenching, romantic, and exhilarating page-turner. Begin preparing yourselves for it now. Somaiya Daud is a brilliant writer and she has written a brilliant book.” ―Courtney Summers, author of Sadie
“With its breathtaking worldbuilding and characters who grabbed me from the first page, Mirage is by turns thrilling and ruminative, sexy and heartbreaking. Somaiya Daud has written a moving and unforgettable debut.” ―Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes

About the Author

Somaiya Daud is the author of Mirage and holds a PhD from the University of Washington in English literature. A former bookseller in the children’s department at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., now she writes and teaches full time.

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