Book Review | Nocturna

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Nocturna

Author: Maya Motayne

Format: Hardcover (owned)

Pages: 480

Categories: Latinx, Fantasy, Young Adult

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.

I finally read Nocturna! It’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months. I got it in my first book crate box subscription with LitJoyCrate and I just had to many other books ahead of it to read. But I finally picked it up.

First off, the cover is gorgeous. It’s a reversible dust jacket with a design on the inside but the front cover is just my favorite part. The colors are so vibrant. 🔥 I also love that it is a Latinx fantasy novel. Latin culture is so rich, it’s the perfect setting for a fantasy novel.

As for the story, we meet Prince Alfehr, who is returning home to Castallan. The seat of their kingdom is in the city of San Cristobal. He has been reluctant to take his place after the death of his older brother Dez, but he does. We learn about the magic of this world, which seems pretty on par with other books of this genre. There didn’t seem to be a difference in it that stands out.

My favorite character is Finn Voy who is a very talented thief and I loved her magic to change her appearance. Her character just comes alive from the get go, she likes to say maldito…a lot. 😂 Prince Alfie, on the other hand is the opposite. It was kind of fun watching Finn go toe to toe with Prince Alfie because she is just so vibrant which is opposite to Alfie’s control on his emotions. I just wanted him to open up a bit more though.

There is a hint of maybe a romance to come between them but that is it. There is no romance in this book at all, so if you expect one – don’t. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Honestly I was hoping for a little more heat between them because this book cover is so fire! 😅

The pacing did make me pause the book a few times, there were some parts action – and yes, I loved the gruesome parts, it just added to the evil they were trying to fight and contain. Other than those parts and the ending, the story was kind of lackluster and I found myself skipping a few parts.

Overall, I wish the book matched it’s cover, but it fell short for me. I’m not sure if I will be picking up the sequel, I might do it, just to see if I can learn more about Prince Alfie and if Finn can get under his skin more. But we shall see…

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