Book Review: Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Book: Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Published May 2019 by Balzer + Bray|480 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: A Forgery Of Magic #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

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 liked Nocturna!  I’m definitely intrigued to see what will happen next but I have some mixed feelings about it.

The magic system seemed really interesting but I wanted to know more.  I definitely felt like it could have been explained a little more because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  I got the general idea of how it worked but…I felt like we could have gotten a little bit more.  I always want to know more than what we’re given, though.

And I had a hard time getting into Nocturna.  I tried reading it once before, but I had to put it down, with the intention of coming back to it later.  Obviously, I did come back to it later, but I wasn’t in the mood for it when I first tried to read it, and I thought I was going to have to do it again.  I just really struggled with it, especially at the beginning.

I did like it, and the further I got into the book, the more I liked it.  I did get more interested, so if you’re having trouble getting into it, just keep with it.  It did get better, at least for me, but I know everyone has different stopping points, so what worked for me might not work for you.

Alfie and Finn were interesting, though I did like Finn’s chapters a little bit more.  Don’t get me wrong, I felt for Alfie and how insecure he felt about being the heir to the crown after the death of his brother.  But I really liked reading Finn’s chapters.

With her ability to faceshift…I can’t  help but wonder what effect that had on her.  I mean, you’re always looking like someone else, and never like your true self.  I feel like it would be easy to lose yourself in your ability to look like someone else.  Sometimes, I think it would be a cool ability to have but everything has good and bad with it.

I don’t know how I feel about the ending.  I know there are more books, so I do want to know what will happen next, but the book felt pretty wrapped up.  There’s definitely more story you could do in this world, but with this story being pretty resolved, I’m not sure where the story will go.

3 stars.  I liked Nocturna, but I wanted to know more about the magic and how it worked.

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