From Goodreads: 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. Goodreads
My thoughts: Mirage by Somaiya Daud is an excellent novel. I find her writing to be refreshing in a genre that is overrun with writing of a dystopian nature. Amani is different type of heroine. Taken on the night of an important ceremony in her culture, she rises to the occasion, reluctantly. She is outspoken, but then learns to be less so to survive the nightmare of her captors. I found myself cheering for her and the maturity she shows in order to achieve this survival. Without spoiling the novel for you, Mirage is a worthy read. I would read it if you are looking for a great read.
In all honesty, I found myself finding parallels to other events in our human history. To many times an alien race comes to overthrow an established people to take their resources and their land. I am sure Somaiya didn’t write this to be political but the novel speaks of these and other issues that itself is a mirage of us. Not everything is what it seems.
Thank you Netgalley and Flatiron Books for the advanced copies of this amazing novel.