Friday, August 31, 2018

Blog Tour: Mirage by Somaiya Daud...Review

Hello!  I want to apologize to the people at the Fantastic Flying Book Club & To Somaiya Daud. I was supposed to post this earlier in the week, but I was very sick with a migraine and completely forgot to make sure it went up. Oops.
I apologize to everyone, including my readers, for my slip up.

Anyway, Mirage is a fantastic book that I highly recommend so keep reading to learn more!
Mirage (Book #1 in the Mirage series)
by Somaiya Daud
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release date: August 28, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction


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.


Somaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment. Mirage is her debut, and is due from Flatiron Books in 8/28/2018.

Title: Mirage
Author: Somaiya Daud 
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Netgalley 

With a hint of romance, a bit of sci-fi, and a touch of its own mythology and history, Mirage was easily one of the most surprising books I read this summer. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down.

Due to her resemblance to the princess, Amani is forcibly taken from her home and taken to the palace where she undergoes harsh training and body modification so she can be the body double for the controversial and disliked Princess. As the cruel Princess Maram’s stand-in, she must know the history of the royal family, everything about the Princess’s inner circle including her fiancé, Idris, not to mention her speech patterns and mannerisms. One wrong move or slip up could mean her death. She truly undergoes a transformation that fools almost everyone, yet she never loses her strength, spirit, and determination. They may be able to physically change her, but they can’t break her. She is truly a great character with a big heart who I wanted to see succeed and can’t wait to read more about.

In addition to strong characters, Somaiya Daud has created a fascinating world with different planets and moons and more. The beautiful descriptions had me picturing the lush landscapes and various settings that our main characters visit. I wanted to see it for myself. There is also a fascinating backstory and history to this world that is revealed that made me want to know more about all the characters, traditions, and different lands.

As for the genre of the book...well, this is where I struggle to define or find the words to explain what exactly this book is. It felt like a little bit of everything and that is why I found it so surprising. There are several science fiction elements (bots, modes of travel, scanners, weapons, etc.). If you’re not a fan of that genre and you’re thinking of skipping this book because of that, don’t. I didn’t think there were enough elements to overpower the story and turn you off, if that makes sense. There is so much more to the story. For example, there is also a bit of romance in the story (I won’t say who) as well as drama, mythology, suspense, politics, and so much more. There were even times when I felt like I was reading a historical novel set in a faraway land...I completely forgot the sci-fi elements existed as I became lost in the story. Anyway, all of these different genres or elements from the different genres shouldn’t have meshed together so well, but Somaiya Daud found a way to do it and make it entertaining. It’s unlike anything I’ve read lately.

As I mentioned, once I started Mirage, I couldn’t stop reading it. It got off to an exciting start, but I have to be honest, the the pace slowed a bit as Amani transformed into Princess Maram. Once her mission of deception started though things picked back up bit and I enjoyed learning more about the world outside the palace as well as more about the history of the various people in this fictional world as well as the main characters. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read more! Oh, and with all of YA books being turned into films lately, I’d really love to see a movie version of this one.

*I received a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
Please check out the other stops on the Tour.

You can find the schedule by clicking here!

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