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Mirage: A Novel by Somaiya Daud
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Mirage: A Novel

by Somaiya Daud

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I was expecting something totally different from this book and really didn't think I would like it. It turns out it is pretty good! I thought it would be more science fiction but other than it being set on a different planet it didn't have much other science fiction elements in my opinion. I really enjoyed Amani, she wasn't the typical main character for this type of book. Most of the time they get pretty annoying but she manages to get through some tough situations with a level head and perseveres. I enjoyed the ending as well since there will be another book. It didn't end on a huge cliffhanger but enough of one to make me want to read the next book. ( )
  KeriLynneD | Mar 23, 2019 |
I was dubious about this book at first--it's very much a first novel, with the associate telling instead of showing, at least in the beginning. The SFF element is pretty lightweight and a bit derivative. The author mentions "phasers" and "blasters," making me wonder if she was cribbing from Star Trek, Star Wars or both, and she treats space travel with all the seriousness of hopping in the car to drive down the block. But this was forgivable in the end, at least for me, because it wasn't the point. The weight of this story is in the lush setting, the fully-realized cultures, and the characterizations, with a tragic romance at its center.

Whether you like this story will depend a lot on how you feel about that central romance, but it is a good one (even if it is a bit insta-lovey, for those who don't like that trope). The author also delves into the evils of colonization, with the story being told from the point of view of the conquered. By necessity, there's a lot of court politics here, and rebellions and spies, including our protagonist, Amani. She has been kidnapped to serve as the body double of Princess Maram, the hated daughter of the conquerer, and because of this she is dragged into a frothing stew of scheming and manipulation as she struggles to survive.

The author does a fairly successful job of humanizing the spoiled, nasty Princess Maram, revealing her to be a sad, lonely girl caught between her Vathek father and Andalaan mother, reviled as a half-breed. This book is shot through with the grief of the conquered, and the determination not to let their culture and way of life fade away. The first-novel syndrome is the reason I'm not rating this higher, but I certainly hope the author works through those kinks. Once she is more in command of her craft, I think this will be an excellent story. ( )
  redheadedfemme | Feb 14, 2019 |
When Amani is stripped from her family and taken to serve as a body double for the cruel Princes Maram, she is introduced to a new world where one wrong move could be fatal for her and her family. While in captivity, Maram can't help to hope for an end to the tyrannical princess' rule and when she is approached by a rebel faction, she believes her dreams will be answered. But she soon realizes that her actions might cause harm to not only her family but the man she has come to love and the princess she has come to understand.

This author does an excellent job of world building and drawing you into Amani's life in this fast-paced novel filled with intrigue and deception. ( )
  DMPrice | Jan 2, 2019 |
This is the first book in the Mirage series and was pretty standard YA sci-fi/fantasy fare. It's beautifully written but the story itself isn't all the unique. This is a science fiction story but the planet the story is set on has a very Middle Eastern feel to it.

The main heroine, Amani, is kidnapped because of her similarity in appearance to the Princess Maram and forced to become the princess's double. Of course, then sparks fly between our heroine and the princess's fiance'. Additionally Amani finds herself dealing with the rebels who would seek to overthrow Princess Maram and her father. It's all very predictable.

The world building is interesting. The whole book is set in a sci-fi world, however it's not built out very well beyond the immediate world where Amani lives. The story itself has a very typical YA fantasy feel to it. Lots of intrigue, rebellion, and romance.

I wasn’t all that pleased with the ending. The book ends on a cliffhanger and doesn't really resolve anything. Again, I expected this but was a bit disappointed that my expectations were met here.

Overall this was a beautifully written book and I enjoyed the writing style, but the predictability of the story offset that some for me. I probably won't continue with the series because my main reaction at the end was; "Huh, I thought that was what was going to happen...on to the next book." This book is a YA novel that is very much focused on intrigue and romance in a setting that is lightly science fiction. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 23, 2018 |
I really didn't like this book which is sad really. I was excited to read it. For me, it didn't live up to the hype. There were a few good parts but it left me for wanting more. Just a plain read for me. ( )
  debbieplovesbooks | Nov 27, 2018 |
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