I received this book for free from MacMillan Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Series: Mirage #1
Published by Macmillan Audio on August 28, 2018
Source: MacMillan Audio
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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.
This is quite an interesting book about a young girl, kidnapped from her home, and forced to be a body double for the princess of an occupying alien race. I found the story to be great and I really enjoyed it a lot. However, it’s not quite up to the potential it could have been. The pacing was uneven and I found it to be a very slow start, and a few slow spots in between. It eventually picks up and is a pretty good read until it gets near the end and things fall apart. Something happens near the end of the book which derails a lot of stuff…the motivations and behavior of multiple characters make little to no sense and just really ruined it for me. I am hoping the next book can redeem things and return to a decent plot. Overall though, the story was mostly great, and there were quite a few great and well-developed characters here. There was even some romance, friendships, and more that really sold it. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel. Since this was an audiobook, I will also mention that the narrator did a great job and I saw no issues there.