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.
Review: 4 Stars
I think that I expected this book to suck because I absolutely hate the cover, but it was so amazing. Nocturna is filled with heists, magic and a battle between good and evil. It was so great that I can’t believe it almost slipped right past my radar. I was so shocked that it is a debut novel and so pleased to find out that it’s going to be a trilogy because it was written so well and I love the Latin-America inspired fantasy world that it is set in so much that I’m thrilled this isn’t the last we will see of it.
The magic system built in this world was so cool and beautifully done. I loved the idea of a person’s “propio”, or their personal magic, which was unique person to person. Finn’s propio in particular was my favorite because a face changing thief was so interesting and fun to read about. As much as I favored Finn’s propio, it was reading about Alfie’s propio from his perspective that really made this magic system beautiful. He could see the colors of each person’s magic. It felt like combining auras with magic and it was very unique and vivid to see this fantasy world through his eyes. The combination of these two individuals and their powers was a recipe for an entertaining and enriching story and Maya Motayne cooked up this story to perfection.
The plot was full of so much action. There were many heists, magical battles and some fighting. This book wasn’t exactly a page turner, but it was certainly action packed. The pace felt a little choppy at times. I think my issue was that the stakes felt so high so many times that the climax didn’t feel more intense than the rest of the big scenes in the book. There were so many times when tensions were really high that I didn’t feel the appropriate build up for what should have been the height of the story. I did absolutely love the resolution and the way that the story ended, so much so that I wanted to give this book 5 stars. But looking back I do wish that the intensity built up slower so that the climax had the appropriate amount of tension built up.
I am so shocked at how much I loved this book because I really didn’t expect it to be anything special. I am so happy that this is going to be a series because I want to read more about Finn and Alfie and see more of this magic system and fantasy world. For a debut novel I am super impressed. If you love YA fantasy I would suggest that you don’t let Nocturna slip by your radar.