Diverse Books, YA Books

Nocturna by Maya Motayne – ARC Review

Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book, there are some intense moments and great characters which kept me reading well into the night!


Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Set 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.

Once I started this book I could not put it down! The story was intense and fast paced and action packed! The characters were all great too and I especially loved Finn! The magic system was really interesting too.

The only thing I wish there was more of was the Latinx culture. One of the reasons I was so interested to read it was because it was a Latinx inspired world but I didn’t feel it was included as much as I would have liked.

The magic system where each characters propio is different depending on what they needed it to be and how a significate event triggers their power. It really shows how different each of the characters are.

Finn is my favourite character in this book. She has such a great character arc and seeing how much she grows and learns to believe in herself and become more than what she has been constantly told she is was so great to see. She has had a difficult life and has been told she is a monster her whole so much so that she thinks she is. She is so complex and morally grey and I really loved that.

I really loved how Alfie believed in her even when she didn’t believe in herself and how she helped Alfie through his grief. It was really great to see characters supporting each other.

Alfie is has made some selfish decisions while grieving for his brother but he does accept that he needs to move on be the king that his people need. I did find him annoying at times when he wouldn’t go to the people who could have helped him instead trying to fix it himself.

I also really liked Luka, who is Alfie’s cousin, he is adorable and I wish we got to see more of him. It was so nice seeing how much Alfie loves him so much that he puts his life above the kingdom. I am also interested in seeing what Luka’s new abilities will mean for him the next book.

The villain in this book was actually pretty terrifying and we get to see a lot of his backstory through Finn and Alfie and it just made me hate him even more. The way he tried manipulating Finn and Alfie by showing them their worst fears, it was horrible to watch them go through it. But I did love how both of them started to work through them and overcome them.

I know this book is the first in a series but this book has a complete arc so I’m interested to see what will happen in the next book.

Have you read the book? What did you think?

4 thoughts on “Nocturna by Maya Motayne – ARC Review”

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