Title: Mirage (#1)
Author: Somaiya Daud
Published by: Flatiron Books
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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I'm sort of meh on this one. It really didn't do much for me. I liked the writing style. It was easy to get into and flowed well.
I loved the design of the book. I really enjoyed how whenever we traveled to a different place, it had an illustration of the doorway we would be going through. I really liked those details, it made for a very pretty book.
I didn't really get the world building at all. It was a mix between sci-fi and Moroccan Desert Tribes. I just couldn't get a clear picture of it in my mind. It was almost like two distinctly different things that just never meshed together.
My other issue was that nothing really happened in this story. There was an exciting beginning and an okay end, but the middle/majority of it was just very ho-hum. The main character traveled a lot, but it almost felt like a way to take up time.
Also, I'm not really a fan of the insta-love. I would have liked more development. It just didn't really feel real or deep.
I'm also trying to wrap my head around Princess Maram. When we first meet her, she's brutal in her cruelty, but after that, it's just like a sudden shift. Suddenly we are supposed to almost pity her. It was weird.
Our main character Amani is not the most exciting of main characters either.
I think Mirage has a cool premise, but it never seemed to go much of anywhere. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I found it to be very average. I'd be curious to see how it all continues.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.3/5
I'm kind of whatever about this