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Review: Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Hey all, Dani here.

Do you guys know how many posts I wrote up last weekend? Enough for me to actually be almost two weeks ahead on my blog…aside from my Weekly Wrap-Up posts on Wednesdays. Actually I created a Google Doc for myself where I can start prepping up some of my book reviews so I don’t clutter my WordPress account with unscheduled drafts. I have over 30 books in that document that I’m writing reviews for.

So, my question with me having that many extra reviews (not including my manga reviews) is would you guys want me to post up one or two bonus reviews each week? Or should I save all those reviews for some indeterminate time in the future for if I want to take a break for a bit but still have content? Let me know your opinion in the comments.

Okay, so now let’s jump into another one of my backlog reviews.


Book Details

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 480

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 0062842730 (ISBN13: 9780062842732)


The first in a sweeping and epic own voices debut fantasy trilogy—set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and V. E. Schwab.

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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

I read this book back in June 2019, so it’s not as bad in my backlog as some of my recent reviews. I’m also trying to balance newer reviews with older ones, though I’ve been reading quite a bit lately, so I don’t know how balanced I’ll be overall.

Anyway, I liked the concept for this one, so I had to pick it up. I can say that I’ve been enjoying quite a few diverse fantasy reads lately, which is fantastic. I’m glad to see the influx of other cultures and mythos inspiring so very many fantasy realms now.

The worldbuilding of this book was pretty great. I loved the atmosphere evoked in the story. All of the descriptions of the places and the clothes and the food…it was very well done. I greatly enjoyed that aspect of the story. Though I can admit to being a bit miffed by changing Prince Alfehr’s name down to a plain Jane nickname like Alfie. Alfehr sounds so wonderful, whereas Alfie just sounds too child-like.

Also, this book suffered from a plot that was pretty much shoving together several plots from other fantasy stories from the past couple of years. Yes, repeating similar plots and characters and magic systems is a common issue when it comes to stories, but most of the time those elements are put together in a way so the story seems like its own original creation. Nocturna did not exactly succeed at that original-feeling amalgamation.

But I can also admit that right now, as I’m writing up this review, I am thinking about picking this book up again and giving it another try. I have had decent luck with enjoying re-reads more than my original read-through.

Where to Get a Copy

You can grab your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

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