It’s time to throw ourselves headlong and screaming into space with some sci-fi reviews!
Because why have chill when you can just scream! I know right?! I’m fully of free quality life advice. You are welcome.
Today I’m going to be hitting you with (1) a rip in space, (2) Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, and (3) Mirage by Somaiya Daud.
So much fun! Now I actually bought Obsidio myself so surprise for a non-ARC review for once. But all the thanks to Flatiron Books for the ARC of Mirage! Which I was so excited to get (all the way from the USA too wooooo).
MIRAGE BY SOMAIYA DAUD
publishes 28th of August
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.
Mirage instnatly caught my attention with its awesome premise.
I confess for the longest time I actually thought this was epic fantasy. HA @ me for not reading blurbs and for just being generally partially illiterate. But how exciting is it to have an #ownvoices Moroccan inspired fantasy!? I’m so thrilled books like these are on coming onto our shelves now and they thoroughly deserve it!
Unfortunately for me: the writing style and actual logic of the plot didn’t really work for me. I struggled. I’m sad, because I LOVED so many of the elements here, and I still recommend it because I know it’ll be important for a lot of readers. But ya.
Mirage is full of:
- body-doubles and face swaps (almost a Prince and the Pauper sort of thing…if the pauper was forcibly kidnapped in order to play the prince…and they’re princesses. BUT ANYWAY.)
- rich back-stabbing courts and incredible outfits and lavish descriptions.
- a most intricately detailed culture and lovingly built planets
- an enemies-to-friendship thing happening here between two complex females
- PLOT TWISTS
- sparks of rebellions and death threats and torn allegiances
OBSIDIO (ILLUMINAE FILES #3) BY AMIE KAUFMAN AND JAY KRISTOFF
published March 2018
Heartfelt shout out to myself and how frEAKING TRAUMATISED I AM RIGHT NOW.
Oh wow I love this series so much. Every single one has been 5-stars (although I think Gemina is my ultimate favourite?!) and it was such a satisfying, twisty, gut-punching and incredible finale. I’m sooooo happyyyyyyy. (And by “happy” I mean kind of just sobbing with relief that I’m still alive at the end of it tho.)
I don’t want to say much because of spoilers! So just trust me when I say: I loved everything. (HA. So helpful.) I think there should’ve been more mixed-media spreads though! I missed them. This featured way more surveillance footage summaries. Although the ending spreads were ajfkdlsad HEART EYES SO INCREDIBLE. I also listened to it via audio (while perusing the book as I went) and the dramatised audiobook is A+ in excellence. 10/10 recommend all the formats.
- I honestly want this as a movie and I barely ever say that but yet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- my hEART HURTS is this how “love” feels idk
- My favourites remain: AIDAN, Ella, Nik and Hanna.
- Yes I listed the slightly psychotic computer system and I have nothing to say for myself
- Kady is so incredibly SMART and unstoppable here
- And her dad, Isaac Grant, is basically laid out with a bullet wound from a previous books and he’s everyone’s mother and it’s incredible. He has this bunch of raggedy clever ptsd-ridden smart-mouthed teens and goes, “OK YOU ARE ALL MY CHILDREN NOW STOP SWEARING AND HERE IS YOUR CURFEW.” Bless Issac Grant.
- We get introduced to Asha and Rhys as the new couple. (Didn’t love them as much but that’s because what can live up to Nik and Hanna.)
- Rhys had amazing hair. I appreciate this.
- PLOT TWISTS
- MORE PLOT TWISTS
- Banter! Wit! Some sections that made me snort out loud (even amongst all the carnage)
- I think it also took a really brutal look at just war and how it makes monsters out of men.
- Perfect book is perfect and I ask for nothing else from it. My feels are shattered and also made whole.
SPOILER SECTION SO I CAN SHRIEK UNCENSORED