Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage (Mirage, #1)Mirage by Somaiya Daud

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Confusing world-building and all chicle YA trends in one bottle.

I will be honest: as a rule I do not read summaries and descriptions when I receive books, because I don’t want to be spoiled. And if I did, I don’t think I would have even opened this book.

At first, I was actually excited to begin to read it – I liked the writing, I liked the world and how it was described, I liked the feeling of it, I thought it was something unique and new.
It lasted for about 30 pages, until I understood that this just YET ANOTHER book about a ‘girl captured to be humiliated, kicked around, and used in one way or another, so that she can be “strong” about it’. Yet another YA novel about nasty royals who like to be sadistic to people. Yet another story abut losing freedom and learning to play in palace intrigues.
I don’t understand, is it the most popular kink among young people nowadays, or what is the deal here? Haven’t we had enough of this same topic chewed on over and over?

Another point that didn’t really sit with me, is how emphasized women were in this story. I simply genuinely don’t like it when one gender is put above the other in writing like this (like saying ‘oh, bad white male literature focused on men so much, so now we must do the exact opposite!).
In this book, everything seems to be about women. Most of important characters (good or bad) are women, including important religious figures. It is all ‘my father’s whimsy, and my mother’s strength’. And most of the male characters, including the love interest, appear almost faceless, insignificant, and soft-spined compared to women. Or at least that was the impression I received.
Not that I’m saying it is bad to focus on female characters, it is just that the whole idea of ‘women are much stronger, more interesting, and important than men’ was so ‘in your face’ it was very tiring.

After the first half of the book the world I thought was interisting and original turned very confusing, in a way that it was difficult to remember if this was supposed to be sci-fi or fantasy… The elements of ‘old’ and ‘new’ are mixed in such a way that it feels inconsistent at best.

I’m giving this 2 stars and not 1 mostly because of the writing and the world-building in the very beginning, they were very good. I couldn’t stop thinking that I wish I could read a different kind of story written in this way, but alas…

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