- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Flatiron Books (August 28, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250126428
- ISBN-13: 978-1250126429
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 85 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mirage: A Novel Hardcover – August 28, 2018
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“Superb...a refreshing and unique coming-of-age story. The way Amani uses her heritage to facilitate her survival makes Mirage a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.” ―Entertainment Weekly, Top Pick of the Month
“Daud’s debut novel has the flair of an Arthurian drama, the lavish sensory detail of a Nizar Qabbani poem, and the sleek technical flair of a sci-fi series...this audacious combination is so skillfully done that it’ll 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 poetically written novel will appeal to many, particularly fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Verdict: This debut novel has what it takes to be the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“This gorgeously written, immersive, and captivating series starter is sure to have fans eager for a sequel.” ―ALA Booklist, starred review
“Prepare yourself for a story that’s enriching, thrilling, and captivating.” ―BuzzFeed
“Mirage is smart, sexy, and devilishly clever. Somaiya Daud has penned a tale worthy of all the stars in the sky, and I can't wait to read what she writes next.” ―Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Daud is a masterful storyteller. Mirage gives readers an exquisitely wrought world with deft characters, death-defying stakes, and an aching romance. Bound to linger in your dreams.” ―Roshani Choksi, author of The Star-Touched Queen
“Somaiya Daud’s Mirage reads like the lushest of fantasies, set in an unforgettably immersive world that is both dangerous and impossibly lovely. The characters are complex and nuanced, and the story is by turns romantic, harrowing, climactic and hopeful, though the unresolved ending paves the way for an even grander sequel. I didn’t want it to end, and I can't wait to return to the world Daud has created.” ―Rosalyn Eves, author of Blood Rose Rebellion
“Mirage is full of my favorite things: secrets, intrigue, gorgeous mythology, and complicated characters. It will break your heart and fill you with hope.” ―Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians
“A rich, dazzling, powerful debut. Somaiya Daud is an author to watch.” ―Tahereh Mafi, author of the Shatter Me series, Furthermore, and Whichwood
“Lush and dangerous, Mirage had me entranced. Amani’s journey―from rural innocent to calculating young woman, from village girl to royal impersonator―is galactic. Daud’s novel asks, ‘what does it mean to impersonate your enemy?’ And the answer she provides here is nothing short of thrilling. I was here for all of it, and I desperately need to know what happens next.” ―Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Beasts Made of Night
“Mirage is full of characters who feel like they existed long before the story began, and a rich world that is as beautiful as it is cruel. Somaiya Daud is a rare talent. A smart, romantic, exciting debut.” ―Veronica Roth, author of Divergent and Carve the Mark
“Mirage reads as an impossible trick of the light, a feather that carves words into stone, a banquet of longing and loss. Every page comes roaring to life in a way that overwhelms and transforms you. This isn’t a debut novel so much as an heirloom, and the work of a master storyteller.” ―Margaret Stohl, coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Black Widow: Forever Red
“Mirage had me enthralled from its first page to its last. It’s a heart-wrenching, romantic, and exhilarating page-turner. Begin preparing yourselves for it now. Somaiya Daud is a brilliant writer and she has written a brilliant book.” ―Courtney Summers, author of Sadie
“With its breathtaking worldbuilding and characters who grabbed me from the first page, Mirage is by turns thrilling and ruminative, sexy and heartbreaking. Somaiya Daud has written a moving and unforgettable debut.” ―Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
“Readers will appreciate the rich world and prose built by a much-needed diverse voice.” ―Kirkus Reviews
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.
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As I said, this isn't what I was expecting. I will admit I forgot what this book was about by the time it was released. I'm just tired of YA books that advertise as fantasy or sci-fi but they are really romance novels. Even if the romance wasn't a girl and a guy - I'm just tired of YA romantic relationships in general. This book wasn't poorly written. It just wasn't what I wanted to read, and I finished it only so that I could write a review.
There are a number of aspects of the novel that are quite refreshing, not least of which is the importance of language and poetry to Amani and Idris' story. I love this aspect of Arabic flavor to the novel. This is the first book in a trilogy and it manages to move beyond the usual "there's a princess and a girl that isn't the princess and the prince who is promised to the princess but loves the girl that isn't a princess" trope. (Which, don't get me wrong, I'm quite content to see this trope adapted to Moroccan/Arabic traditions!) Daud manages to give the reader the flavor of what colonialism, imperialism, and erosion of culture in the name of unity is like. Amani is shocked to find that Idris cannot even read what should have been his native language (Kushaila). He knows stories, games, but all have been reinterpreted through a Vathekaar filter. He is unable even to interpret his daan, a tribal tattoo with designs relating to a person's history- family, faith and ancestry. There is poignancy too in the fact that Maram resembles a member of a tribe and culture that she knows nothing about and has been told is inferior and dangerous. She knows little, really, of her mother's heritage, and her mother's people mourn her distance from her maternal family and culture. Amani bridges a cultural gap for both Maram and Idris, all while struggling to maintain her integrity.
There was much to love in this book and I'm looking forward to the next entry in the trilogy!
I received a paperback ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Mirage is a magical, wonderful, important, gift to the YA SFF world. From characters I fell in love with, to the messages about the importance of your culture and your family, to the most lyrical and beautiful writing. I loved this story with my whole heart, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it.
This story is an ownvoices Moroccan inspired story about a young girl named Amani, who has known nothing but oppression on the moon that she and her family live on. She and her family are farmers, trying to live the best life possible, even with the constant heartbreak surrounding them.
In this galaxy, the Vathek rule, and are slowly trying to erase other cultures, religions, and beliefs around them. While also trying to do any and everything to ensure there is no uprising or rebellion. But the rebels have been planning, and calculating, and waiting, and will do anything to make sure that the Vath do not continue to oppress and rise.
Amani has finally turned eighteen, which means she gets to finally celebrate her coming of age with others in her village. She has been looking forward to this day, and the blessing that will be bestowed upon her, for her entire life. And Amani is able to get her daan, a tattoo that means everything to her; her family, her faith, her inheritance. But the celebration gets crashed and quickly comes to a terrible end.
Amani gets kidnapped by imperial droids and flown to the royal empire. Upon arrival, she soon realized the reason she was taken; she is nearly identical to the Princess Maram, the heir to the throne, a girl who is cruel, and is wicked, and is disliked by both sides of her people, because she is half of the other. Maram’s father conquered Andala, and violated galactic law, so the only way he could keep the planet was to marry and have a child, so Maram was born. And Maram has a half-sister that very much does not think that Maram should rule, and she might be willing to do anything to make sure of it.
Maram is in fear for her life, so she rationalizes abducting Amani and forcing her to make her public appearances, while promising her death if she fails to be convincing. Amani is thrown into a world that she has never known, while being constantly reminded of the family, culture, and traditions she had to leave behind.
Maram’s father also murdered most of the families that lead the resistance against him conquering their planet, even though they did surrender. A boy named Idris, was spared from the Purge, as a reminder what would happen if people tried to oppose this new ruler. But he was also promised to be married to Maram once she comes of age, so she will forever be tied to the planet her father bloodily conquered.
And Amani is forced to play so many roles, while she convincingly has to pretend to be a princess whose father has taken so much from so many. And Amani is therefore thrown into a world of politics, betrayals, secrets, and even love.
This book beautifully illustrates that we are not the actions of our parents and the terrible things that humans are capable of doing. We are only our actions, and we are only held accountable for our actions, and for the actions we choose to repent for.
This book perfectly talks about family, culture, religion, traditions, and the things we are willing to do for them and in the name of them. Honor and believing in something are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, forces in any galaxy. And standing up for your convictions is sometimes the only thing we have in this world. Never, ever, stop believing.
The book amazingly showcases how important friendships can be, and how loneliness can take many forms. Everyone deals with depression, grief, and trauma differently. And sometimes an unexpected friendship can be the thing that makes you feel even a little bit better. Kindness truly is sometimes the best thing that we can give to another living soul.
Overall, Somaiya Daud’s debut SFF novel blew me away. I loved this with my entire heart and soul. This book is beautiful, this book is powerful, and this book is completely captivating. I never wanted to put this down!