Genre: Young Adult Romance/Science-fiction
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!