Thank you to Flat Iron Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Mirage is the first in a new series by Somaiya Daud and is out today. Walk don’t run to your nearest book store!
When I’m wrong I say I’m wrong. And 1) this was my very first review. 2) I didn’t know enough about the blogosphere to have found out that this was not a stand alone book. If I had. If you look at the last paragraph of my blog. You would see that I was begging, pleading for a second book. With that in mind there are still one or two things that are still a bit on the predictable side that I’ll leave below but I’m going to tweak my review to better match what I believe will be an solid series that will be better with each book (aka I expect this to be the lowest rated of the trilogy).
Daud’s debut effort takes the foundational approach and puts a lot of needed effort into building worlds, families, and dynamics between each. Idris and Maram, Maram and the warring bloodlines within her veins, Maram and Amani, Amani and the rebels, Amani and Idris, Nadine and Amani/Maram (hints at Nadine’s own intentions). Most are left open but with obvious speculation and tension at hand. Except two. Unfortunately, at the end of Mirage both Amani and Maram, and Amani and Idris’ relationships played out very predictably.
All the build-up and suspense leading up to Amani taking Maram’s place at the Inheritance Ceremony and then despite risking her life all the obvious plot points avalanche into each other. Maram assumes the worse, Nadine tortures Amani’s family, Idris comes to get Amani to run away with him but of course, not really.
There is hope left to be had that the second book will not leave this predictable plot point to be the end of these two relationships. That Daud’s knack for suspense, climax and twists will bring a more satisfying and dynamic due to Amani’s encounter with the fated Tesleet bird.
This is just my hopes and opinions but I truly am excited to see some of the poignant themes I’d like to see come into focus during Mirage’s sequel are the complicated factions introduced in Mirage (Maram’s mixed bloodlines, her own battle to do good as Queen within herself and complicated upbringing etc…).
Additionally, the rebels were fascinating and should have a larger role in the sequel, along with the idea of what might happen if Amani is able to authentically be a “sister” to Maram? Could she be a bridge between the rebels and the Vath?
My apologies to Ms. Daud for my misguided original review. I hope to have a chance to review the sequel ahead of its release and make up for this first time out as a book reviewer.