This unique YA Sci-Fi has all the feel of a traditional YA Fantasy but when the world you know is set among a system of planets you are quickly reminded that nothing is as it seems.
A big Thank You to Fantastic Flying Book Club for picking me to participate in the Mirage Blog Tour! I’ve really enjoyed working with them and can’t wait to see what other tours they’ll be hosting in the coming months! If you haven’t checked out their blog yet, you are missing out!
Author: 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.
When you begin reading this you’ll see signs of Sci-fi such as the talk of other inhabited planets within the system, the presence of droids, and transport vehicles. It isn’t until the story really gets going that you start to feel like you’re in a fantasy world.
Amani is taken from her home on a night of celebration only to find herself in the palace, in front of princess Maram, the one person she was afraid she’d have to face at some point in her life. It is like looking in a mirror. Maram has one request of Amani, to become her so that she can take her place at events where her life will be in the most danger. Why? Because Amani is Maram’s doppelganger. Amani now has to learn the cold and distant demeanor of Maram in order to keep her existence a secret while she attends events as Maram. The inner struggle Amani has is developed very well in this story because you can feel her constant awareness to making sure her own mannerisms are not leaked into those of Maram’s. She has to make sure that her true identity is not discovered but when Idris, Maram’s betrothed, discovers there is something different in his fiance’s behavior things really get interesting!
I loved Amani and Maram’s character development throughout this book and at one point they start to form a close bond with one another. I think this happens because Amani is an outsider and that allows Maram to let her guard down a little bit. Amani also doesn’t hold her tongue as much as she should. The relationship between the two is the most important and by the end you’ll be left broken and wanting more.
Idris. He’s kind of a babe who is observant enough to know there is something different about Maram and when he finds out he needs to know more. His and Amani’s relationship blossoms at an even pace which I liked. They spend time together when they can but it is not as often as either of them would like. The poetry between them is beautifully done and I’m hoping for more of them in the next book!
Revolution! There is some plotting and betraying going on in this book so be prepared for some of that!
The only criticism I have is that this book didn’t feel enough Sci-Fi for me. I felt that those elements were only portrayed in some of the wording but the feel of the book was much more fantasy. Other than that I really enjoyed this book.
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