Mirage (Mirage Series #1)

Mirage (Mirage Series #1)

by Somaiya Daud

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Overview

“A refreshing and unique coming-of-age story...a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.” Entertainment Weekly, Top Pick of the Month

“A YA marvel that will shock breath into your lungs. If you loved The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and Bone, Mirage will captivate you.”The Christian Science Monitor

This debut fantasy has what it takes to be the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy.” SLJ, starred review

Immersive, captivating.” ALA Booklist, starred review

In a world 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 home.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250126443
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Series: Mirage Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 134,263
File size: 17 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Somaiya Daud is a twenty-something writer and PhD candidate at the University of Washington. A former bookseller in the children's department at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, Somaiya is passionate about Arabic poetry, the stars, and the Gothic novel. Mirage is her debut novel.
Somaiya Daud is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. A former bookseller in the children's department at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, Somaiya is passionate about Arabic poetry, the stars, and the Gothic novel. Mirage is her debut novel.

Customer Reviews

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Mirage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mirage is a wonderfully written story of rebellion, deceit, and slow-burn romance. If you liked The Diabolic or The Wrath and the Dawn, you will definitely love Mirage! Amani’s world has been conquered by the cruel Vathek empire, and one day Amani is forced to become the secret body double to the Princess Maram. Mirage was such a delightful book to read. I could feel the tension and stress that Amani could as she tried to be a successful body double and impersonator. I was nearly holding my breath during every interaction she had. One aspect of Mirage that impressed me most was the world building. Mirage, a sci-fi/fantasy novel, takes place in space, across different planets and their moons. Space is a very interesting setting, and it works well with the traditional aspects of Daud’s story. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Mirage is how complex the characters are. At first glance, Maram seems like the likely villain of the story, but overtime I came to sympathize for her. Stories with complex characters, where the lines between good and bad are blurred, are my favorite. The relationships are all complex and confusing at times. I especially enjoyed how realistic the romance was. There’s nothing like a love-at-first-sight story to make me immediately lose interest in a story. Daud wrote a lovely, slow-burn romance that was realistic. In the end I gave Mirage four stars. I look forward to reading the second book in a couple years. The first book set the stage for what is sure to be an action packed trilogy!
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Mirage was a thought-provoking debut novel full of intriguing characters and political machinations galore. It was very much more of a character-driven book rather than an action-oriented one, which made Mirage slower than I was expecting. However, I love character-driven novels and was delighted to find a YA fantasy one. The setting was lush and vividly imagined. But there weren’t many science fiction elements to this story. In fact, I actually forgot at times that this wasn’t just a fantasy novel. I’m hoping that future installments in the series meld the two together a bit better. In terms of plot, the beginning was fantastic and the ending had me totally hooked. However, the middle was a bit lacking in tension. I loved how Daud explored the idea of what it means to become your enemy but Amani's journey just fell a bit flat for me.  Daud does an excellent job of not painting issues as merely black or white. Maram, although the villain of this novel, is complex and unexpectedly relatable. I would have loved to have more chapters with her in them or a few from her viewpoint. As much as I loved Maram though, I found it difficult to connect with Amani. However, I love political intrigue so seeing Amani learn how to navigate the Court was a highlight of the book for me. Additionally, the interpersonal dynamics were one of my favorite parts of the novel. I loved how the relationship between Amani and Maram changed and developed over the course of time.  Ultimately, Mirage was a story that I wanted to love. And there were parts that I adored. But it didn’t quite work for me as a whole. However, I was intrigued enough that I’ll definitely continue on with the series. I’d recommend this one for fans of slower, more character-driven YA fantasy.  *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TheNovelEndeavor More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary review copy of Mirage from NetGalley and Flatiron Books. All opinions are my own! I absolutely loved this book! I don't typically read fantasy/sci-fi novels but Mirage sounded fascinating with its Moroccan-inspired setting and strong female protagonists. Amani's quiet courage, confidence, and loyalty to her people and her culture shine in the midst of the turmoil surrounding her. Maram represents everything Amani is not, but yet a reader can't help but want her to change, transform, and blossom into someone worth cheering for. Mirage has everything - two opposing cultures vying for power, strong main characters, valuable and interesting supporting characters, and a luxurious setting painted to perfection. I can't wait for the next book in the series to see what happens next!
TeresaReviews More than 1 year ago
I have greatly been anticipating this book, especially after actually meeting Somaiya Daud while she was in conversation with Veronica Roth on The Fates Divide tour. Daud is an amazingly fun, friendly, exuberant person who also loves Star Wars. Mirage is her debut novel, and boy what a fantastic novel it is! I was already planning on buying it, having it pre-ordered since April 2018, but listening to Daud talk about the novel (not giving too much away, of course), I just couldn't wait! And I am still sold on this novel and am extremely excited to add it to my collection. I would like to thank NetGalley, Somaiya Daud, and Flatiron books for the opportunity to read this book in advance for an honest review. Did I mention I am definitely buying this book? I love space novels and romance. Some of my favorites include These Broken Stars, Illuminae, and Zenith (among others), and this fits right in! When I first heard about this book, I was like "Huh, sounds somewhat like one of the subplots of Turn A Gundam," which is likewise sci-fi. For those who don't know, one of the plots in the anime involves a moon princess trading places with a girl on Earth who looks just like her. They do it for fun at first, then it becomes an act of political safety and scandal to keep the princess safe. Mirage is similar in that eighteen-year-old Amani is taken from her home moon to its mother planet where the royal family lives. The planet was taken over by the Vath and aims to hold its power over the planet and its moons. Amani doesn't know why she was taken from her home until she sees her own face reflected in that of Maram, the princess. Maram uses Amani as a political double, training her to be and act like Maram in every way so that Amani can be her body double for various events, in case of assassination attempts and the like. In the process, Maram's fiance, Idris, sees right through Amani's guise. A romance buds between the two, but how far can they go without getting caught? And what happens to their relationship when it comes time for Maram and Idris to marry? This novel is beautifully written and full of both romance and political intrigue. It's a page-turner from start to finish. And...it appears there will be a second book (and a third?)! I am disappointed that I have to wait, but I am so excited that there is going to be more to Amani's story and the world of Mirage by such a fantastic new writer in the world of young adult literature!
Jdp15 26 days ago
It was ok.
JLAustin 11 months ago
This is one of my new favorites! Though it's a Science Fiction (my favorite genre) it reads like a luxurious Fantasy, The prose, the world building, the characters are so full and rich you can practically see them in front of you. It is a masterfully done story and I can't wait for the sequel. Doud is added to my list of Can't Miss Authors!
CJListro More than 1 year ago
was absolutely blown away by this gorgeous cake-slice of a book. (Brownie slice? I don't even like cake.) The cover may lead you to think it's fantasy, but don't be fooled--this is a far-future science fiction adventure rife with politics, petulant princesses, and forbidden romance. It all starts with Amari, whose home planet has been long under the dominion of off-world conquerors. Their writing and religion is policed. Their towns are rife with robot guards. They are poor and beleaguered. And it all comes to a head when, the day she is to receive her coming-of-age tattoos, Amari's town is raided and she is captured by creepy robot guards and brought to the Vathek citadel. To become a body double for the hated princess Maram. From there, it really kicks off into a twisty thrill ride of intrigue, deception, and steamy slow burn romance. Morocco - In Space! The first thing I love about the book is the politics. Instead of your usual space battles and laser blasters, this is a much more subtle sci-fi, where the frameworks of colonialism and occupation have been abstracted to a solar system scale. Somaiya has created a solar empire woven with its own elaborate history and culture--and much of what we get is from the conquered culture of Amari's homeland. There is food, poetry, religion, traditions. Even though Amari is ripped away from it pretty quickly, Somaiya weaves it into Amari's interactions with the Vathek people. In a sci-fi landscape heavily dominated by Romanesque empires and made-up aliens, it was refreshing to see a non-Western take on intergalactic living. Much of the book focuses on Amari's understanding of the ruthlessness of the Vathek occupiers, and her growing understanding of how much dissent and deception lurks even within their own ranks. There are secrets, galas, exiled grandmas, and layers upon layers of political strife that kept up my interest. I only wish we'd gotten more of Amari's transformation, because it's basically time-warped off screen and it seems a little shocking that she could so perfectly be Maram after a month of training. Romeo and Juliet Meets FaceOff (jk) The sci-fi is much lighter in this book compared to others, because it's the relationships that really shine. The first is Amari and Maram. Maram starts out as a ruthless brat with a chip on her shoulder, because half of her blood comes from Amari's people and she's often shunned by Vathek purists. Hence why everyone wants to kill her. Instead of keeping Maram as a cardboard adversary, Somaiya really delves into her motivations. We see the broken girl behind the armor. We see how Amari's kindness and persistence begin to break down Maram's walls, and how something almost sisterly grows between them. We also see how hard it is for Maram to let go of her narcissism and ruthlessness in a world where she needs claws. Then there's Idris. Oh, Idris! He's a hot-as-hell, smooth talking prince betrothed to Maram. She likes him because he's actually nice to her. Amari likes him because he's, well, did I mention hot and smooth? Amari gives up her secret to him a little too quickly, but luckily he turns out to be no friend to the Vathek overlords. Their relationship is a slow one, building from a tenuous alliance into a lattice of brief glances, accidental touches, and mutual respect. And banter. Did I mention banter? Dihya, Give Me More There are certainly hitches to the book. The beginning is choppy, and Amari gets a little too lucky in revealin
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I love that his book was both science fiction and fantasy.  I love that it was built on hope and war and poetry.  I loved this book. I haven't seen or heard much of Mirage in the bookish world, only the FairyLoot and OwlCrate unboxing photos.  I am here to tell you that this book is magnificent.  It is sad, but it is also rich and passionate.  The characters flow off the page and the flavors and aromas seem to surround you.  I really, really liked it. Mirage is several things - it is a love story, it is a political fantasy, and it is a story of friendship. These three things wind together flawlessly, on influencing the other, until the whole thing is wrapped in a tidy braid.  Amani is a brave girl struggling in a dangerous situation.  If she fails at her duties, the people she loves will die.  If she exceeds, she could create more misery for the rest of her people.  The more she gets to know about the people of the palace and the nature of the rebellion, the more muddled things get. I liked Amani, because she struggled with every decision.  She felt the weight of knowledge on her, knowing what she should do, what she wanted to do, and what she was expected to do.  Every decision feels like a betrayal and you can feel her discomfort and determination wound together.  I liked the real-ness of this. Nobody is so perfect that they fall into a situation and stick their chin out and do the Exact Right Thing every time and everything turns out sunshine and butterflies.  Amani felt like any other eighteen-year-old - frightened and hopeful and determined and whinging it. The love story felt inevitable, but I wasn't entirely impressed with Idris's character.  I liked him at first, but I knew where his story arc was going and I felt he stumbled into it blindly.  He was too changeable and while I think the relation in general was sweet, Idris himself could have used a bit more depth. Then, there's Maram.  I thought Maram shined.  I would love to get inside her head.  She is paranoid and cruel while also being vulnerable and determined at the same time.  She is a strong character with potential to either be a last-minute hero or a formidable villain and I'd really like to see more of her. There was a lot that felt original in Mirage that was very refreshing, but it never really felt like science fiction to me. It was more like a rich middle eastern-style fantasy and I thought it was stunning.  I am 100% on board with Court of Lions next year.
apeape More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written debut novel with a distinctive Moroccan flavor, filled with lush prose and solid world building. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, and the relationship between the two main characters is especially interesting to see grow. The romance that develops isn't a surprise, you can see it coming, but it's sweet and swoonworthy and who really cares if we know what going to happen if it's done well? The ending will tug at your heartstrings, and I'm looking forward to the next book so I can see what happens!
RgBooktrovert More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t put this gorgeous little book down! Miss Daud’s writing and world building were lush and immersive and I couldn’t get enough. The different planets and moons were very fascinating and I loved how unique they were. The plot was fantastic, it moved at a fast but not rushed pace and it kept me turning the pages like a madman. I found the romance wasn’t too over the top or gushy and the ship works. The profanity was nonexistent, and made the book that more enjoyable for me. Overall the book was riveting and hooked me from the first chapter, was fast paced, and very enjoyable. If you’re looking for an immersive sci-fi with a unique twist look no further! Rating: 4.5 Stars Recommendation: ages 14 and up FTC DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review
The-Broke-Book-Bank More than 1 year ago
Content Warning: Torture, Physical Violence, Kidnapping, Racism, Colonization, Genocide, Cultural Cleansing, Biracial Hatred, Internalized Self-hatred, Mirage is such an intense ride. Character driven loaded with character progression and twisting relationships. Day to day survival and self care teetering against the resistance and greater good. Even the down times have forbidden love and attraction. It doesn't sugar coat colonization so fellow white people, be prepared to take several seats. The council meeting was particularly chilling. I love the world building, the descriptions, and the details. Everything just *popped* off the page and was so vivid. I get the romance, but as a demi I need more time and involvement before I personally feel it. The prince is smart and cute and funny. He's damaged so you just want to hug him and make him feel better. It doesn't steal focus from the bigger picture of the occupation and rebellion. But it is still important. Loving each other against the rules, sharing their culture to keep it alive is an act of rebellion in itself. There's so much I didn't see coming. The only thing I really called was the romance with the prince. Everything else was a surprise. I'm convinced there's more going with the Princess. I have a ~theory~ I hope is correct. Maram and Amani's relationship is EVERYTHING. So unique and fascinating with so many different aspects and full of empathy. I normally don't get anti villains but I think people are going to appreciate Maram like they do Killmonger. Sidenote: The lack of any queerness is disappointing but that's a general complaint of mine. This did not affect my rating at all.
Magdalyn_Ann More than 1 year ago
Once in a while, there comes a book where you go into it with almost no expectations, in a genre you only occasionally read, where you go into it with an open mind. And then it consumes your entire life. I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I picked up Mirage--part of it came from the fact that I loved the cover. Part of it because I wanted to explore sci-fi more. And part of it because I was eager for a new diverse voice in the market. And Mirage blew me away. I was caught immediately, and it wasn't letting me go. It was brutal, beautiful and unabashedly amazing. I loved Amani, I loved the romance (though I tried not to at first) and I loved the world. THIS WORLD. Somaiya Daud has an AMAZING voice and showed us an AMAZING world filled with richness and splendor. I saw everything, could feel the things Amani felt and saw. I couldn't put this book down to the point where I was late getting off my break at work. I rooted for Amani from the get-go. I watched wide-eyed at how her relationship with Maram and Idris changed throughout the book. I cried (of course I did) towards the end. And all I need right now is to a) read it again, b) shove it at all my friend's faces because WOW and c) that sequel because OMG the ending left me shattered. I can't recommend Mirage hard enough. If I could float down from the heavens like some sort of Bookish Angel, heralding the good news of how much I loved this damn book, I could. But alas, a lack of wings. But I'll shout it from every Tweet and newsletter and in podcast episode!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a review copy of Mirage by Somaiya Daud from Netgalley, and these are my personal opinions of the review copy. I was really excited going into this book! Reminded me a bit of Star Wars: Phantom Menace and I was interested to see how this version of a body double in space story would play out. Unfortunately, I did not love this book and I think it has some flaws. Character and character development are some of the most important things in a book to me. If I don’t care about the characters, then I just don’t care about the book. Initially, I was really drawn to the primary character, Amani, because she has a deep sense of respect and love for her family. So often you see YA characters who hate or fight with their parents/siblings so it was refreshing to see a character who really loved them. Amani appreciates everything her parents did to help her survive in turbulent times, and that made her really interesting to me. Her development stymies a bit though when she becomes a royal body double for Princess Maram. Since this happens only about 3 chapters in, my interest in Amani waned quickly. The body double plot isn’t something I have read a lot of, so I don’t have any major points of comparison. I find the premise interesting because you have a chance, not only for the non-royal to see how those in power live and behave but also for the royal to learn more about those she believes are beneath her. I expected Amani and Maram to learn a lot from each other and to both grown and change as a result of their close proximity and intense training. That didn’t really happen, though. In addition, the training felt far to fast and I didn’t believe that Amani was able to learn everything she needed to about portraying Maram. There is a small amount of romance, but I found it predictable and unnecessary. I could tell from the beginning it would end badly, so it was a bit painful to watch. There were a ton of other characters, but almost none of them made a major impression on me. So much of the plot felt chaotic, and some things didn’t make sense. I found it odd that Maram would be the one orchestrating her body double situation with no input from her father for instance. There was an attempt to make Maram a more sympathetic character throughout the story and it just felt forced. Overall the characters and plot felt underdeveloped.
Arys More than 1 year ago
Mirage by Somaiya Daud is a beautifully written novel that is rich in detail from the world-building, to the culture, and deep thorough characterizations of the main characters of Amani, Princess Maram, and Idris. Ms. Daud's novel is full of description and visual. I was captivated by Amani as a narrator. From the touching moment in the beginning with her brother Husnain, to the startling anxious moment the Imperial droids arrive and take Amani, and then every moment that followed after that with her future left uncertain. Throw in the cruel Princess Maram and Nadine, and then the moments with Idris that were some of my favorites, and this novel completely had me from start to the end. I really enjoyed Ms. Daud's Mirage. It is fast-paced, well-written, and it has a strong heroine leading the way. Amani is true to herself throughout the novel and doesn't give up hope . She's a fighter and I can't wait to read what Ms. Daud has in store for her in book two. Another character I found intriguing was Princess Maram. The relationship that Amani and her form is tenuous and unpredictable with Maram holding all the power, but it is interesting with the dynamics these two have and how their roles in this story will play out within the trilogy. I want to know what happens next. Overall, Mirage by Somaiya Daud is a great novel that really pulls you in and leaves you wanting more. It's so richly woven with tension, romance, heartbreak and is simply just mesmerizing. I very much recommend and look forward to reading more by Ms. Daud. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Mirage was a thought-provoking debut novel full of intriguing characters and political machinations galore. It was very much more of a character-driven book rather than an action-oriented one, which made Mirage slower than I was expecting. However, I love character-driven novels and was delighted to find a YA fantasy one. The setting was lush and vividly imagined. But there weren’t many science fiction elements to this story. In fact, I actually forgot at times that this wasn’t just a fantasy novel. I’m hoping that future installments in the series meld the two together a bit better. In terms of plot, the beginning was fantastic and the ending had me totally hooked. However, the middle was a bit lacking in tension. I loved how Daud explored the idea of what it means to become your enemy but Amani's journey just fell a bit flat for me.  Daud does an excellent job of not painting issues as merely black or white. Maram, although the villain of this novel, is complex and unexpectedly relatable. I would have loved to have more chapters with her in them or a few from her viewpoint. As much as I loved Maram though, I found it difficult to connect with Amani. However, I love political intrigue so seeing Amani learn how to navigate the Court was a highlight of the book for me. Additionally, the interpersonal dynamics were one of my favorite parts of the novel. I loved how the relationship between Amani and Maram changed and developed over the course of time.  Ultimately, Mirage was a story that I wanted to love. And there were parts that I adored. But it didn’t quite work for me as a whole. However, I was intrigued enough that I’ll definitely continue on with the series. I’d recommend this one for fans of slower, more character-driven YA fantasy.  *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.