Author: Somaiya Daud

Pub. Date: August 28th. 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 320

Format: Physical ARC provided by the Publisher

*Thank you Flatiron Books for the arc in exchange for an honest review

Content Warning: Physical abuse, Kidnapping, and  Cultural erasure

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany, Amy from A Court Of Crowns and Quills, Julie from Pages and Pens, Jules from JA Ironside, and Chelsea from Chelsea Palmer



Mirage is Somaiya Daud’s Moroccan inspired debut that will leave readers wanting more from this author once the very last page is read. I’m not sure how I’d missed the fact that this is a Sci-Fi book when I first came across it however, this only further served to enhance my curiosity. The fact that it also spoke of poetry in the blurb was a major draw & wow! I had no idea how much of a treat I’d signed myself up for with this one. Daud gives us beauty and pain all wrapped into one with Mirage & that it’s set on another planet/moon is just the backdrop to this story. At its core, Mirage is a story about cultural erasure and the brutality faced by an invaded peoples. We are introduced to an MC who has had everything she values most taken away from her but somehow manages to hold on just enough to never surrender her spirit. I admired our MC, her values, culture, tradition, and people defined her and emboldened her to fight back. Mirage doesn’t read like a debut at all but instead that of the works of a seasoned author. Daud is an author I will be keeping an eye out for and hoping to everything that we get more of her writing in the very near future 🤞🏼

For Amani, receiving the tattoos on her face known as Daan on her Majority Night was everything to look forward to. A representation of stepping into adulthood, a rites of passage. Nothing could’ve prepared her for the events that destroyed her ceremony & took her away from those she loved. Kidnapped by imperial droids, Amani is taken covertly to the royal palace. There, she meets royal heir Maram who she is the spitting image of. Maram has plans for Amari that would make her a human shield. For Maram, being part Andaalan from her Mother’s side has always generated her much hate from the Vathek on her father’s side. She knows her life faces constant threat and figured Amani would make the perfect body double. Stripping Amani of her Daan was just the beginning, she is also made to learn Vathek mannerisms, history, and etiquette against her will and through physical abuse. Maram isn’t the only heir with a claim to the throne, she has an older sister who poses a threat and proving her worth to her father and the Vathek is her top priority.

We see Amani get sent out as Maram’s doppelganger which allows her an inside look to the politics of the kingdom. She also spends plenty of time with Maram which inevitably leads to learning her vulnerabilities. Part of acting in as Maram means keeping up appearances with her courtship as she is promised to Prince Idris ibn Salih. Idris is from one of the oldest and largest Andaalan royal families who once resisted Vathek invasion. Their concession to Vathek rule resulted in the loss of many lives and Idris the last surviving heir was pledged to marry Maram. The true test would be seeing if Amani could pass for Maram while in his company. Both Idris and Amani carry the weight of their peoples loss and pain on their shoulders. They both have so much in common that a connection is almost impossible not to make once they start spending time together as a part of their courting. This romance is dangerous and had my full attention from the very start, every meet-up had me a bit nervous for these two. We see both Amani & Idris make decisions in hopes of one day freeing their people which means they will also face some serious obstacles & I’m just here hoping theirs is a good ending 🤞🏼

If you’re looking for A+ world building, political intrigue, strong characters, Moroccan inspired culture, and yes a bit of insta-love (but I promise it’s the one you’ll want to root for 😂) and a bit of Sci-Fi along the way… then MIRAGE is the book you’re going to want to read! so much lush culture & tradition within these pages that I am left anxiously & patiently waiting on the follow-up.


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"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"


  1. This is out of topic, but I have to ask: how do you buddy read with so many people at once? It is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I am amazed that you can do that??? WHAT IS YOUR SECRET haha.
    Onto the review now, haha. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book – I only heard good things about that one so far, and I’m glad the insta-love aspect didn’t bother you too much, in the end, haha 😀
    Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Lilly, I hadn’t heard much about Mirage before (I missed that it was a sci-fi release as well until I read your review) but there seems to be a lot of people excited for it’s release and it sounds amazing!
    In my mind the fact that the world building is amazing is almost enough to make up for the little insta-love (I know you said it’s one I’d root for but I’ve never been a massive fan of insta-love to begin with).
    Again great review, I’ll definitely be adding this to me to-read list and looking forwards to picking it up when it is released as well. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! ❤ & the world building/story telling definitely makes up for the insta love. It's such a different feel from any of the other other YA Sc-Fi's I've read to date in a very good way. There are also female warriors in this book that I forgot to mention but that's probably cause they weren't introduced til' the very end so hopefully we'll see more of them in the next book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and that’s good to hear as well. 🙂 It definitely sounds like a unique book, and ohh female warriors sound interesting too. I’ll keep my fingers crossed they are something that’s expanded on in book two. 🙂 ❤️


  3. This book sounds so intriguing! I look forward to picking it up. Thank you for reviewing it. I, myself, thought it was a fantasy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also thought it was a Fantasy but was so pleasantly surprised to see it was actually sci-fi. Layered and lush with culture it’s unlike anything I’ve read in the YA sci-fi genre. Thank you for reading 🙂


    1. Ok I’m finding more bookworms who really had no clue it’s a Sci-fi so I don’t feel bad but I really hope it doesn’t get passed on because of it. I LOVED this books so much Danielle! it’s not your typical sci-fi, it def has its fantasy feel as well. Only there are Imperial droids and travel from moons lol. I think you’d enjoy the lore & Moroccan inspired world Daud builds here. Glad I could put it on your radar 🙂

      Thank you! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems like this is what most bookworms are thinking, myself included. It turned out to be such a pleasant surprise Tammy! I hope you enjoy the read if you decide to pick it up on release day 🙂


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