Book Review – Nocturna by Maya Motayne

nocturnaSet in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starNo-Star

I honestly loved Nocturna. The concept of the magic, the propio, was very cool. And I love a quest, and I lover sass and banter, and I love thieves. So much love.

This is a latinx story, and I would have liked to feel that come out a little more strongly – I definitely could have read the book without realising if I hadn’t known. That said, there are places where it works really well in that sense.

I also feel that Finn was a little hard to connect to, even if her sass was hardcore amazing. Calling Luka bathtub boy made me laugh every time.

Alfie is a great main character, possibly because he owns that he caused the problem and that he wants to solve it. He made a choice and tried to fix it. That’s pretty rare in YA and I loved it. He is a little guilt inclined, which was a bit annoying in places, but the honesty about it was refreshing.

I loved his gradual friendship (to more???!) with Finn. It felt very sudden at first – especially with Finn staying around to help, but from there you really do see them grow to trust each other despite the short amount of time. Plus while it’s a little insta-crush in places, it isn’t a romance! Woo 😂

And the bad guy was pretty scary. I feel aligning him with the person he ended up with was a little neat as a story telling device, and a little cliched, but again once you get past that you get some truly amazing and mildly terrifying moments.

I really enjoyed this and will be eagerly awaiting (and dreading, eep!) the sequel!

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Buy Nocturna from Amazon UK.

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