Not so high stakes… (spoiler-free review)

Title – Mirage

Author – Somaiya Daud

Rating – 3/5

Release Date – August 28th, 2018

Format – ARC from publisher

Hello friends! As you may or may not know I have been swamped with school work since it’s my senior year and I’m out here trying to get into university haha. That’s why I haven’t been reading and therefore haven’t been active on here! One of my goals for the new year is to manage my time better and schedule a little bit of time a day/week for the things I love like reading and blogging! I’m hoping that in the new year I can share more of my reading life with you and be more active on this platform that I adore so much!

Mirage by Somaiya Daud is a novel following sixteen year-old Amani, a dreamer who is unfortunate to live in the horrific Vathek empire. Amani thinks a lot about life before the invasion and thrives off of old poems and the hope that one day Dihya will remove her from her current desolate planet. One day this hope comes true, but in a way worse way than Amani had ever wanted. She is kidnapped and forced to be a body double for a half-Vathek princess. Amani is taken from everything she knew; her humble beginnings culminate in a huge Vathek palace as she is left wondering if her family is still alive and when, if ever, she will see them again.

Right when I read this synopsis I thought of The Diabolic with the whole body double for a princess thing. Now, I may be wrong since I haven’t read The Diabolic, but I couldn’t help but think throughout this whole book that there is potential for it to be similar to The Diabolic. I don’t know if the author meant for that, but maybe if you’re a fan of The Diabolic then maybe this book is for you?

The book had a lot of potential to be something that keeps readers on the edge of their seats but it honestly didn’t live up to that for me. I was really underwhelmed by the “plot-twists” and I felt like a lot of it was way too predictable and not as high-stakes as I feel it should have been.

I didn’t feel too much for any of the characters except Amani’s family which sucks because they aren’t even close to being main characters. The romance was also pretty insta-lovey to me which just made the characters involved seem even less realistic which reaallly  sucked. A lot of things between characters (and in the plot too honestly) worked out way too conveniently for my liking which also detracted from the high-stakes novel I was expecting.

I’m going to get into some positive things but the last thing I had a problem with was how it didn’t make sense that the world was advanced enough to have holoreaders but not some sort of security cameras in the halls of their palace… I don’t know, maybe this is just a problem because I’m overthinking it but I just thought it was kind of funny.

One of the things I loved about this book was the love that Amani has for her culture. Her connection to her background and how deeply rooted she is in her culture was just so beautiful and a really nice addition to the story.

The imagery in this read was also very nice and the way that the different locations that were travelled to were so real. I was able to vividly imagine them in my head as if I was watching a movie which was a really great addition to the reading experience.

The dynamic between Maram and Amani was really enjoyable to read about and seeing them interact with one another especially surrounding their circumstances was really intriguing.

Overall this book was decent but I just think it wasn’t for me. I do think it set up really well for a sequel but I don’t think I’ll be picking that sequel up. I think this book would hit right for other people, so I do recommend that you give it a read if it’s been on your radar!

Have you read this book? What did you think? Are you planning on picking it up? Let me know in a comment!

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