Author: Somaiya Daud
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Mirage, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I found Mirage through a book recommendation list, and as soon as I found an opening in my library stack, I ordered it. It sounded practically perfect: a gorgeously weird mashup of space opera, steampunk fantasy, and forbidden romance. And honestly, it was! Somaiya Daud’s debut novel was like a kind of vicious, too beautiful to be believed fever dream that I never wanted to wake up from. Rife with political intrigue, forbidden romance, killer tension and brutal violence, Mirage captivated me from beginning to end, and I cannot wait for the sequel! This book presents a promising, unique talent that I will be watching the horizon for! A debut unlike anything I’ve ever read before, I will never forget Mirage, and I can’t wait for the sequel!
Amani is Kushaila, a member of the oppressed race under the brutal conquer of the people of the Vath. She’s never known her world to be peaceful, to not be torn apart by war. Nonetheless, she lives quietly with her family, longing to write her own poetry and do more than help on her family’s tiny farm. But her life is changed forever when she is abducted by imperial droids, recruited against her will to be a body double for Princess Maram of the Vath. And her life, her family’s lives, depend on her success. But things become even more complicated when she meets Maram’s fiancé, Idris, compelling and handsome and hiding his own deadly secrets. Amani finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, political intrigue, and alliances forged in dark places, and with her life—and the lives of her people—hanging in the balance, she must decide who to trust, because the smallest mistake could lead to even more bloodshed…
This book was such a fun, intense surprise! I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Mirage pulled me in from the beginning, wrapping hands around my throat and not letting go until the very last page. The pacing was breakneck, and Amani’s voice was compelling and bright. Full of political intrigue, secret alliances, spies and death threats and steampunk elements, as well as romance that had me swooning and cheering, I loved it so much, every painful step in the journey. I was absolutely amazed, and I loved it. Amani was a great character, strong and sure and resolute in her cause, and her romance with the gorgeous, tender Idris had me weak at the knees several times. I love a good romance! Maram also made a fantastic, amazing villain, especially toward the end. I loved the cast of Vath political players that surrounded them both. I loved, also, the spywork involved in the book; it was one of my favorite parts of the novel. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, it was amazing. The only things I wished were more fleshed out was the worldbuilding and both sides of Maram’s family, but perhaps those things will be elaborated on in future books. Nonetheless, Mirage has become of my favorite books of 2018, and I can’t wait for more from this talented new author! The bottom line: A beautiful, weird and lovely space opera mashed with steampunk and war, I loved Mirage, and I can’t wait for what’s next! Next on deck: Court of Shadows by Madeleine Roux!