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Nocturna

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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 fac 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.


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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 fac 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.

30 review for Nocturna

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    ✨ The book trailer is out and you can watch it here! ✨ The day may come when I stumble upon a book with a pretty cover and not immediately add it to my TBR but it is not this day. Also, this is set in a Latinx-inspired world and it's about a face-shifting thief and a prince with a magical doorknob that could lead him anywhere he desires. Take. My. Money.

  2. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ugh. this is the third book in a row where i am just feeling so uninvested. is... is this what a reading slump feels like? im not quite sure how i feel about that, or this book, tbh. from an objective standpoint, theres a bit going for this story. the latinx culture is fun and exciting and something i havent read a lot of (even if the plot is one i have - *cough* a darker shade of magic *cough*). the writing is impressive for a debut and the pacing is good with decent world building. from a subj ugh. this is the third book in a row where i am just feeling so uninvested. is... is this what a reading slump feels like? im not quite sure how i feel about that, or this book, tbh. from an objective standpoint, theres a bit going for this story. the latinx culture is fun and exciting and something i havent read a lot of (even if the plot is one i have - *cough* a darker shade of magic *cough*). the writing is impressive for a debut and the pacing is good with decent world building. from a subjective view, gosh, i just couldnt fully immerse myself into the story or deeply care about the characters and their actions/motives. again, im pretty sure this a problem with me, not the story itself. also, im not quite sure how i feel about this being a series. i mean, the story is pretty well resolved. i dont see how it can be drawn out unless the following two books deal with different stories set in the same world, because theres nothing really to be continued from this particular book. anyway, even if this isnt quite everything i wanted, i know this is a story that a lot of people will enjoy and have good reason to. ↠ 3.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angelica

    I had hoped to love this book. And yet, somewhere deep in my little heart I knew, knew almost for certain, that I wouldn’t. That it was almost too good to be true. Now I’ve read it and lo and behold, I did not, in fact, love this book. Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I am Dominican. I was born and partially raised in The Dominican Republic, a small, Spanish speaking island in the Carribean, where the sun always shines and the beaches are always blue. So, to hear that an author w I had hoped to love this book. And yet, somewhere deep in my little heart I knew, knew almost for certain, that I wouldn’t. That it was almost too good to be true. Now I’ve read it and lo and behold, I did not, in fact, love this book. Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I am Dominican. I was born and partially raised in The Dominican Republic, a small, Spanish speaking island in the Carribean, where the sun always shines and the beaches are always blue. So, to hear that an author was going to write a fantasy novel based on her Dominican heritage I was nothing if not completely on board. So, you can only imagine how disappointed I was when this book was only superficially Latinx and could have otherwise been set in any generic European-esque kingdom. The book talked about some Hispanic foods: sweet plantains, which I love, the adobo seasoned chicken, and some other things. It used Spanish words for magic, which I gotta say, doesn’t sound as magical when you actually speak the language. Alfie would say magic words like, “Alargar” and “Parar” and magic would happen, except that these are the Spanish verbs ‘to elongate’ and ‘to stop’ and those don’t sound all that magical when you think about it. But it can’t be helped, I suppose. It’s not the book’s fault that I’m not impressed by Spanish words. Overall culturally, there wasn’t much to distinguish it from every other fantasy out there. The bible says that there is “no new thing under the sun”. So, I don’t so much look for originality in plot lines but rather for the execution of said plots because let’s be real, most books fall under the same plotlines and the same tropes, and character outlines, and still, we read them. That said, there has been an overwhelming amount of people comparing this book to A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, to the point that they claim that Nocturna is nothing more than a blatant rip-off. I read ADSOM a few years ago and didn’t love it. It was an ok book for me and I really didn’t like Laila Bard. I had barely remembered that book while reading this one if I’m honest. It wasn’t until I started reading some people’s reviews that I began to think back on the other story and point out some similarities. And trust me, there are many similarities in plot, characterization, magic, and even the ending. But, as I mentioned, there is no new thing under the sun. Had this book executed that plot in a more enjoyable way, I wouldn’t have minded as much. But alas, it did not. The writing in this book is pretty decent. It’s not amazing, but it was easy to read. There were some moments that felt a little info-dumpish but that’s the way it is with fantasy sometimes. The characters are alright. I found that their motivations shifted rather quickly though. They also made a lot of questionable choices, but what YA character doesn’t. There is a shift in the plot that I didn’t expect. It started out as being about one thing, mostly Alfie finding his brother, but then that takes a back seat and the plot became about something else. This is also a thing that happens a lot in books and doesn’t really bother me so long as the change in the plot is engaging and it all connects in the end. I’m not sure how well this book pulled that off. Overall, I liked that this was a Latinx fantasy, or that it tried to be. Latin American culture is extremely diverse. The Carribean Islands have a culture unlike Central America, which is different in culture from South America and all the individual countries are so rich with history and culture and traditions and it’s beautiful. We’ve seen a lot of Asian fantasy lately, and African fantasy is on the rise and I’m so happy about it. Now I want to see some Latin American fantasy take the stage. I want a book that fully throws you into the culture it’s depicting, not just brushes the surface as I feel this book did. So yeah, there you have it. I don’t think this book lived up to what it could have been. But maybe I’m just a hater? Oh, well. Also, y’all gotta check out this book trailer. No offense, but it’s actually kind of ridiculous how cringy it is. It’s like a bad video game upload, but with overly dramatic yet anticlimactic narration. To see the trailer click HERE **I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.** Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica McKenna

    Any unabashedly good reviews of this book must be from people who either have never read V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic Trilogy, or who do not care when a book's entire plot is lifted from another source. Several sources, in fact. Because beyond the egregious ripping-off of Schwab's trilogy, even the tiny, different details are often easily traceable back to other sources, from which they have just as blatantly been stolen and cobbled. I've been annoyed at books before for stealing basic plot from Any unabashedly good reviews of this book must be from people who either have never read V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic Trilogy, or who do not care when a book's entire plot is lifted from another source. Several sources, in fact. Because beyond the egregious ripping-off of Schwab's trilogy, even the tiny, different details are often easily traceable back to other sources, from which they have just as blatantly been stolen and cobbled. I've been annoyed at books before for stealing basic plot from popular series. Wicked Saints, for one, reminded me too much of Bardugo's Grisha series, as did Red Queen. There were dozens of teen vampire books that flooded bookshelves after Twilight, and after the Harry Potter series there were yet more dozens of magic school books. But those books, while sometimes coming too obviously close to the line, for the most part were "inspired" by the worlds they copped from. The plot as a whole tended to be new, or the characters were different, or the magic system had been very changed, or the whole thematic point of the book had been shifted. Nocturna not only steps right up to that line, it barrels across it in ways that are just unforgivable. I have never read a book that stole so much from its source material. It's not just that the main characters, Alfie, Finn, and Luka, are essentially copy-paste Kell, Lila, and Rhy. It's not just that the magic system is eerily similar, except for a few teensy tweaks. It's not just that the dark magic villain comes to power in exactly the same way, moves through human hosts in exactly the same way, and is defeated in exactly the same way. And it's not just that the thematic points of the book are overwhelmingly the same. It is all of these and much more. And it's absolutely deliberate. I spent over half the book dreaming of having a PDF version where I could search-and-find and count all of the many, many times this novel uses the phrase "shades." "Shades of magic." "Different shades." "Darker shades." Over and over and over, as if Motayne wanted you to know that she plagiarized from another author's series. But yet couldn't, apparently, be bothered to even mention that series in her acknowledgements (I checked, not that I expected her really to admit it). As for the rest of it? The stuff that's not copped from Shades of Magic? Well, you have a prison breakout scene that could be straight out of a Bardugo book. You also have a relationship between two main characters that is almost exactly Jessica Jones and Kilgrave. Other than that, there's not much different to be honest. And it got to the point where those things that were, I did not trust to be unique from Motayne's mind either. If I didn't recognize it immediately from another person's work, I started assuming it must just be because I hadn't read the work it was stolen from yet. It's that bad. And the worst, truly the worst, part of all of this is...Despite lifting things from so many sources, not perfect ones of course but ones that nevertheless got the literary job done... This book was legitimately terrible. The character motivations constantly shifted for no reason: "I want to find my brother who maybe isn't dead, but then again I guess he's dead and I never have to think about him again womp;" "I want my daughter to be dead for what she did to me but then I guess I want her to be alive and love me again but then I guess I want her dead but maybe also alive." It was nearly impossible to keep track of anyone's arc in this thing because no one had a clear one, and the backgrounds of every character became so jumbled and lost that you started just expecting to have nothing be satisfying at the end by about a third of the way through. The plot was also an incoherent mess. The main characters all had what I can only describe as a Harry Potter complex - the need to do everything by themselves, because they were the only ones who could stop the evil!...but, in fact, literally none of them had even the basic qualifications for fighting off the "evil," and there were I assume hundreds of actual military members and powerful magic-users who would have been much better suited to helping. The whole thing took place over what actually seemed to be 2-3 days, and felt that quick, too, as the characters mostly just jumped from plot-contrived scene to plot-contrived scene. Nothing felt earned, nothing felt connected, and by the end I was literally rolling my eyes as I read it because I could not believe that the reader could be expected to actually believe anything that was happening or care. At the beginning of this book, I was fine with it. It was refreshing to see a YA fantasy world from a Latinx author, based on her Dominican heritage. It was quite cool to have the magic system work with Spanish words, instead of the typical Latin. It was clearly similar to Shades of Magic, but wasn't a blatant ripoff. But by the middle, everything I had liked was gone. The world-building becomes shoddy at best, with mentions of sangria and sugarcane really the only things that separate it from any other typical fantasy world. By the end of the book, the references to these actually seemed out of place and jarring, that's how directly like Shades of Magic it had become. The Spanish continues throughout, which is fine, but without a rich culture to back it up, it starts to feel more like a gimmick than anything else. The back of my ARC has a picture of Motayne, smiling. When I turned to look at it, that's when I really knew how much this book angered me. Because all I could think was, You haven't earned the right to smile. This isn't your book. It's other people's books. And I hope you don't earn a cent more for it. Kirkus Reviews has already commented that getting a second book out of this world will be difficult, because of the lack of culture and world-building. But I think I can tell you exactly how Motayne is going to pull out a second book. And a third. There's going to be a magic tournament. And then the dark magic is going to come back from the void. Maybe after, they'll all go to Red London for drinks.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🔮

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cinda

    Welcome to San Cristobal, a Latinx kingdom laced with magic and grappling with homegrown treachery and a colonial past. When the true heir to the throne is assassinated, reluctant Prince Alfehr joins forces with a chameleon of a street thief to save the kingdom from an ancient evil. In the process, they may find a way to save each other. Fantasy fans will embrace the creative worldbuilding and welcome these flawed and multi-layered characters into their hearts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    helena

    FASCINATING! i always wanted to read a latino-inspired ya fantasy. there are lots of fantasies inspired in europe or the us. even arabic-inspired. but i searched and searched for something latino, something like nocturna, and i never found it. thankfully, maya motayne exists. and her book is AMAZING! the world-building is incredible. i’m gonna be honest with you: when i started reading it, i couldn’t stop thinking that nocturna is actually a darker shade of magic, but in south america. but, as the FASCINATING! i always wanted to read a latino-inspired ya fantasy. there are lots of fantasies inspired in europe or the us. even arabic-inspired. but i searched and searched for something latino, something like nocturna, and i never found it. thankfully, maya motayne exists. and her book is AMAZING! the world-building is incredible. i’m gonna be honest with you: when i started reading it, i couldn’t stop thinking that nocturna is actually a darker shade of magic, but in south america. but, as the story progressed, the more the world was well-built and it completely showed for what it came for. the characters were well-written and flawed. i loved all of them. period. except the villain, of course, i wanted him to choke. the writing was lyrical, metaphorical and deep. i am a huge fan of metaphorical writing and, not only she gave me what i always wanted, maya delivered it in That Writing!!!! ICONIC. the plot was perfectly sewed. everything happened for a reason. and all this events were tied in the end, even stuff that happened pre-book. just amazing. the main characters had such chemistry. the romance—or the start of it—was soooooo good. i want them to marry and have babies. the light-dark duality was so interestingly built. there is a plot in this book about light and dark, and it works around showing was that we are actually built with both inside of us. i just love it. That Latino™ Stuff. WOW. that’s what i’m talking about. castallan is a country that is clearly a mixture of south american countries. including brazil. i said in an update that it’s very common for foreign stuff to talk about latino countries and completely ignore brazil in that matter. we are mostly not considered latinos because we don’t speak spanish. but maya included us and i couldn’t be more thankful. the characters speak mostly spanish, but castallan had sugarcane fields. the magical words were in spanish, but there were dueños (spanish) and bruxos (portuguese). i think you get my point. reading this book was a delight. an embrace. i highy recommend! ____________________ pre-review. release date: july (brazilian edition) A LATINX-INSPIRED FANTASY????? IS IT CHRISTMAS??????

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    A face-shifting thief, who steals more than just food and coin to survive but also the faces of those she meets, and a prince, with a magical doorknob to lead him directly to wherever he wants in the world, combine in an unprecedented interweaving of fates. The former, Finn Voy, seeks to escape the dark shadow dominating her past but finds herself with a new foe to duel with, when she aligns her plight with the Prince's. Prince Alfehr is not concerned with ruling the kingdom but only in seeking t A face-shifting thief, who steals more than just food and coin to survive but also the faces of those she meets, and a prince, with a magical doorknob to lead him directly to wherever he wants in the world, combine in an unprecedented interweaving of fates. The former, Finn Voy, seeks to escape the dark shadow dominating her past but finds herself with a new foe to duel with, when she aligns her plight with the Prince's. Prince Alfehr is not concerned with ruling the kingdom but only in seeking the brother who was stolen from him and now considered dead. He disbelieves these rumours and searches for answers in dark and forgotten magic. But instead of finding a brother returned he unwittingly unleashes an ancient magic, which seeks to take the kingdom and his people for its own. This magic system is the most inventive and unique I have experienced for such a long time. The initial portion was a little dense, because of this, but Motayne ensured her readers were provided a proper basis in which to understand this complex system, before the action truly started. I also loved both central characters. They were disparate in personality but both were aligned in the instant adoration I felt for them. Finn is an unapologetic badass whilst Alfie is a precious little cinnamon roll, and seeing these polar opposites interact provided some hilarious incidents that nicely offset the surrounding tension. Their dialogue was sarcastic as they continually sought to test their wits against each other and both proved stubborn and spiteful, at first. These feelings slowly thawed, as the novel progressed, and this was one of the best instances of enemies to lovers I have seen documented. The only slight mar in this otherwise stellar read was the slightly stodgy pace, I have already mentioned. However, the unique magic system, intriguing world, and authentic characters all made this undoubtedly one fantasy book to keep on your radar, for 2019, and ensured Maya Motayne a future auto-buy author for me, from now on. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Maya Motayne, and the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, for this opportunity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    BIG OLD YIKES! It's hard for me to write this review because I really wanted to love this book and I was so excited to have a Fantasy book with an all Latinx cast. Sadly, this book has one big issue that I need to talk about. This book is about a prince and a thief in a magical world. The prince can travel from one place to another by making basically any wall a door. The thief steals something from the prince and they meet. The prince's cousin (who's like a brother to him) gets poisoned and in or BIG OLD YIKES! It's hard for me to write this review because I really wanted to love this book and I was so excited to have a Fantasy book with an all Latinx cast. Sadly, this book has one big issue that I need to talk about. This book is about a prince and a thief in a magical world. The prince can travel from one place to another by making basically any wall a door. The thief steals something from the prince and they meet. The prince's cousin (who's like a brother to him) gets poisoned and in order to save him, the prince uses the help of black magic that's been locked away for years. The black magic gets unleashed and roams through the city, leaving destruction in its wake. It uses people as vessels, making their veins black and raised, but some are too weak and simply turn to dust. There's a piece of the black magic that the prince and the thief keep and it helps the prince bring the thief through one of his doorways, even though he usually can only go alone. That piece also wears the prince out because it tempts him to use it. Does this sound familiar? If it doesn't, you probably haven't read the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab. I hate to be that person but as someone who loves V.E. Schwab and the trilogy and is also know for that, it would feel wrong for me to not point these similarities out. It is UNCANNY. I know that there's rarely any truly unique books out there anymore. A lot of the elements in the plot of both NOCTURNA and SHADES OF MAGIC can be found in plenty of other books. But the fact that there's so many matching things in both, does seem weird. And it's not only the plot but also the characters, the way they behave and the dynamics between them. Alfie, the prince, has the ability to see magic which comes VERY close to Alucard's ability. While Alfie's brother, who was supposed to be King, has died prior to this story, his cousin, who, as I said above, is like a brother to Alfie, reads a lot like Rhy. And while Alfie did remind me off Kell often times the thing that really rubbed me the wrong way, is the fact that Finn, the thief, IS Lila Bard. Like let's just take a look at some of these quotes. “Nothing makes me feel small without paying the price. That creepy thing owes me a debt for that, and I always get what I'm owed.” “But if Finn was known for anything, it was jumping headfirst into things that were very bad ideas.” “'I don't have much fear in me, Prince. I'm not going to waste it on him,' she said, her mouth curling into a snarl around that word. She tossed him a smirk that almost covered the turmoil churning beneath it.” “She'd always imagined the weight of someone's hand in her own to feel like an anchor, tugging her into a forced stasis when she only wanted to run, to be free. Yet now, she wanted nothing more than to stay. She felt more freedom in this moment than all her years combined. Freedom, she was coming to understand, could be found in a person instead of a place.” I'm a hardcore Shades of Magic fan but you probably could've sold these to me as something that Lila has said and I would've believe you, that's how much this sounds like her. She is in general scared of staying too long in one place, she is scared of commitment and getting attached to other people. This also shows in her dynamic with Alfie, where both clearly like each other a lot but don't wanna admit it. And the book ends with Finn leaving on a ship. It's just all a tad too close. And again, I hate doing this. I don't want to call this book out like this but there is absolutely no way to unsee the similarities. So here I am, just putting out what I personally observed. In the beginning I still enjoyed this book regardless but when there were more and more similarities, I started disliking this book more and more as well. On top of that I thought the second half was incredibly boring, funnily exactly when it started going into a different direction plot wise. So I'm sure this book will work for some people. I didn't dislike it because it is bad but because I think it is absolutely too close to my favourite trilogy of all time. It feels uncomfortable to read this book with all its similarities but also in comparison, it just cannot hold up at all. ♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦ I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dani - Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz LATINX WORLD! Yeah, so I've lived among Latin people for years and love the food, culture and language. It really excited me to read that we'd get a fantasy world inspired by a rarely seen culture. And come one... how can I not be excited for a character that can change their face!? The Premise When I started Nocturna I had totally forgotten what the premise had said about it. The only thing I remembered what that it was Latinx!! Right awa Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz LATINX WORLD! Yeah, so I've lived among Latin people for years and love the food, culture and language. It really excited me to read that we'd get a fantasy world inspired by a rarely seen culture. And come one... how can I not be excited for a character that can change their face!? The Premise When I started Nocturna I had totally forgotten what the premise had said about it. The only thing I remembered what that it was Latinx!! Right away I was captured by Prince Alfehr's passionate desire to save his brother. This totally captured me!! How would he obtain the magic he needed?! And when we met Finn I wondered how she fit in... How would being able to change her face help the prince find his brother?! I was so excited for Alfie to find this big brother and be his rescuer... Yeah well that was all just a gimmick. Turns out the story is really about this face changing thief and the mess she gets into by being greedy! So a little suspicious I reluctantly settle back to follow her on the job... And its all trouble of her own making. This kind of story makes me really mad. Not because these two are being true to their age but because I don't believe that teenagers suddenly overnight (the book only covers a couple days) do what's right when before they were verging on morally grey (and actually professing to be a serial murderer!) It feels like a story crafted because the author knows what readers like to read about. The plot smacks of things arising because of contrivance rather than from the character's fears and motivations. My Experience As we get to know Finn I really appreciated that the Prince for all his soft ways gave as good as he got from her. I really appreciated that Motayne tried to flip the typical tropes on their head. And I found the magic system super intriguing. And then I got to 25% and I realized that all the setup with the brother was for naught. It had nothing really to do with the story contained in Nocturna. It was incidental back history that was presented as if it had bearing on the plot. This really annoyed me. I signed up for one book and got a totally different one!! And at this point I really started to recognize the story. It's really an odd feeling. I don't make connections between different books easily but I started to feel like I've read this story before. Then the little bit of Latin culture that was flavoring the first 25% also fell away. The world went totally flat and felt like any other generic fantasy world. I wouldn't have minded the similarities so much if Nocturna really gave me a flavor of Latin culture. The one piece of culture that I could see is the story of Sombra. I did appreciate how it related to events and how the villain arose from it. I do wish that the plot against the royal family would have tied into present circumstances better. Because I REALLY appreciated Xiomara. She was my favorite character!! I would have really loved to read her POV too. She made the end not such a sour taste in my mouth because I totally related to her teenage angst and redemption. Cover & Title grade -> B- I really love the red mosaic tile cover design. It's gorgeous, authentic and gives the flavor of what a Latinx world should feel like. I liked a lot! The title though became very confusing for me. It references a state the world would fall into if certain criteria are met... Except that criteria isn't met in Nocturna... So uhhhh why the name?! It's just odd to me. And was rather anti-climatic as a result. Why you may enjoy Nocturna despite its flaws? -Alfie and Finn are REAL TEENS! By the time the real story got started I also realized that Alfie and Finn read like REAL TEENS! They make seriously dumb mistakes and don't think about the consequences at all. As a teen I actually thought about the costs and benefits of my actions so I don't relate well to this kind of selfish stupidity. But real teens very well could understand and make the same choices. -There is no place to stop, its GO GO GO! The action was non-stop though! The pacing was just so speedy. They'd get into trouble but slip right out of it. Never once did the Prince think to go to his teacher who had handled this trouble before. His reasoning though does fit the stupid teen mold so I went with it. -A cliffhanger free ending is a TOTAL YES! Oddly this reads as a standalone! Just like the story that it reminds me of Nocturna ends without a cliffhanger. Their plan has a few hiccups but for the most part is executed flawlessly. I did feel like this hate to love romance felt a little more organic between our Prince and thief. It isn't my favorite OTP but I did feel like the feelings between them developed over time and not suddenly. -An emotion based magic system is a MEGA-WOW! I REALLY loved the magic system. While the face changing felt a bit of a contrivance just to get Finn into trouble the Prince's magic was really neat. I loved how he could see magic through its colors and adapt to anything because of that knowledge. I totally don't regret reading Nocturna just to have experienced it. Sure Nocturna reminds me of another fantasy I've read, and you too may find a lot of parallels, but it is full of action, daring-do and romance. I'm interested to see where the A Forgery of Magic series goes in the next book. But please... Will we finally get back to the brother?! ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    julia ♥

    read the full review on my blog : here! "Magic could not speak, yet interacting with it felt like a conversation, a dance, a story shared with a friend with the ending left up to interpretation." 2019 is just full of beautifully diverse fantasy releases, and Nocturna had been on my TBR since the beginning of the year. Imagine my delight when I received this book in one of my April subscription boxes (and this gorgeous special edition no less!) Of course I had to immediately dive into this book! W read the full review on my blog : here! "Magic could not speak, yet interacting with it felt like a conversation, a dance, a story shared with a friend with the ending left up to interpretation." 2019 is just full of beautifully diverse fantasy releases, and Nocturna had been on my TBR since the beginning of the year. Imagine my delight when I received this book in one of my April subscription boxes (and this gorgeous special edition no less!) Of course I had to immediately dive into this book! What is Nocturna about? Set in a Latinx-inspired world, Nocturna centers around professional thief, Finn Voy, who uses magic to take on many faces but her own. But, when she is caught by a mobster, and the only way out is a heist of something valuable in the Castellan palace, she is faced with the danger of losing her magic forever. Finn teams up with prince Alfie, who is grieving the loss of his brother, and is desperately trying to find a way to get him back. However, the two of them accidentally unleash a horrific power, and, in order to contain it, Finn and Alfie are forced to work together. Will this unlikely alliance work? “She'd always imagined the weight of someone's hand in her own to feel like an anchor, tugging her into a forced stasis when she only wanted to run, to be free. Yet now, she wanted nothing more than to stay. She felt more freedom in this moment than all her years combined. Freedom, she was coming to understand, could be found in a person instead of a place.” What did I think of Nocturna? Reading Nocturna was such a pleasant experience: I found that the writing and characters immediately pulled me in. The world-building was rich and the Latinx-inspired universe was very refreshing within the YA genre. I enjoyed the little Spanish phrases plastered about in the text, seamlessly switching between languages, as well as the non-white cast. That is right, all of the characters are latinx! The premise for both main characters is what initially drew me in. The concept of a face-stealing thief is very original. Her past abuse and trauma has resulted in her never wanting to look like herself again, which adds such a great layer to the character of Finn. I also like how versatile and dynamic she's portrayed. The way in which her confusion between the affection she seems to feel for Alfie and her usual apathetic side seems to conflict, and how she switches between 'Prince' and Alfie's name supplies yet another interesting tier. In addition, I also really liked Alfie as a character, which for me, isn't very surprising considering we know I have a thing for princes. Alfie's grief for his brother, and the issues he has with magic really made the character feel alive. The witty dynamic between the two is reminiscent of Kell and Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic, but not overly so. (Also, I've seen a lot of ADSOM comparisons in previous reviews, but I feel that comparing books often sells them short, in the sense that essentially they are all their own universes and characters!). Additionally, it was refreshing to see the relationship between the two develop not too quickly. I've read a lot of fantasy debuts this year that featured a rapidly growing relationship (sometime too quickly). And, while that's not so much of a turn-off for me when it comes to books, I prefer the slowburn Motayne has going on between her characters! In the end, the characters and their interactions ended up being what made the book so enjoyable for me. Another interesting dynamic was the one between Finn and Ignacio, her previous father-figure/abuser who uses his magic to manipulate her into staying with him and acting like his 'daughter'. The fact the villain seems to have a close personal connection to the protagonist added that extra bit of dramatics, and made the villain a lot more interesting to read about. I find myself often bored when YA fantasy includes a very black-and-white two-dimensional villain, and while Ignacio seems to still be portrayed as pure evil, the fact that Finn has a connection to him made the stakes higher for readers of the story. The plot in itself was interesting and I see where the writer wants to go. However, it sets up for a climax that unfortunately doesn't succeed when it comes to the height of its impact in this first book. The climactic events are resolved rather quickly, which was kind of a shame because, as a reader, you're anticipating more than you're essentially getting. Although, aside from this fact, the pacing of the book didn't feel either too rushed or too slow, and overall provided a very enjoyable reading experience. Motayne, then, has definitely captured my attention with these characters when it comes to future books in the series. The characters, setting and universe all promise great things for the sequel that is inevitably coming soon! 4.5/5.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. “This searing, magical Latinx-inspired fantasy pulled me in from the first page and did not let me go. I loved adventuring with brave Alfie and brash Finn, and I held my breath until the end. NOCTURNA is a magnificent debut, powerful and true.” - Julie C. Dao, author of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Just got this book in my fairyloot box 😍😍

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    Man I'm really getting hit with a lot of these YA fantasy three star series starters right now. Not that three stars are bad, as we forever have to remind ourselves.. "Alfie says your trade is thieving goods, but you seem just as adept at thieving hearts." "Was that as embarrassing to say as it was to hear?" So much of this was so good! It's an #ownvoices fantasy set in a Latinx-inspired world, with a very interesting magic system, a face-changing thief, a prince in mourning and not dealing well wi Man I'm really getting hit with a lot of these YA fantasy three star series starters right now. Not that three stars are bad, as we forever have to remind ourselves.. "Alfie says your trade is thieving goods, but you seem just as adept at thieving hearts." "Was that as embarrassing to say as it was to hear?" So much of this was so good! It's an #ownvoices fantasy set in a Latinx-inspired world, with a very interesting magic system, a face-changing thief, a prince in mourning and not dealing well with grief, a kingdom of people who have only recently shaken off their oppressors, and a big bad evil unleashed because of good intentions. A recurring theme in NOCTURNA seems to be grey areas and shades of grey. Always juicy. There's also some hella dark subject matter and backstory and some pretty gruesome scenes while evil skips along wreaking havoc and twirling its mustache all diabolical and shit. His mourning was like the fireflies -- there were moments when it disappeared from sight, but it would always spark into existence again, recurring, resilient. But. Magic could not speak, yet interacting with it felt like a conversation, a dance, a story shared with a friend with the ending left up to interpretation. I'm not sure I loved the characters. One POV I found to be particularly pointless, I waffled between liking and yet also finding the protagonists too immature, and found them not very consistent at times. I know they are teens, blah-di-blah, but was a bit jarring. Which made it extra disappointing because this is so well written, so beautifully imagined, and with much potential for future sequels -- though, slight spoiler, this wraps up and doesn't have a cliffhanger which was quite a surprise. A good one, in my mind. But it makes me wonder what is to come; which is I'm sure exactly what the author wants. Well played. So, yes, you got me. I'll definitely read on. I am intrigued. I just can't quite round up. 3.5 stars ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  15. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    A fun read! A world very well developed, full of magic, darkness, and mystery. It's also unique and well thought-out. Action from start to finish with flawed characters who are an unlikely pair that end up being the perfect match. Full review to come.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sea Reads

    DNF at 35%. Over-the-top similarities to A Darker Shade of Magic with a writing style I could not get into (loads of awkward and poorly placed info-dumping, telling instead of showing, etc.), and a Celaena Sardothien style female MC who swears all the time and that's how you're supposed to know that she's fierce. If I had a dollar for every time Finn's narration included "She'd be damned if..." in the first 35% of the book, it would probably be enough to buy the hardcover edition. Huge pacing prob DNF at 35%. Over-the-top similarities to A Darker Shade of Magic with a writing style I could not get into (loads of awkward and poorly placed info-dumping, telling instead of showing, etc.), and a Celaena Sardothien style female MC who swears all the time and that's how you're supposed to know that she's fierce. If I had a dollar for every time Finn's narration included "She'd be damned if..." in the first 35% of the book, it would probably be enough to buy the hardcover edition. Huge pacing problems, too--this book is enormous and really doesn't get into the main plot until you're at least a quarter of the way in. For a book that's 480 pages, that means you're reading over 100 pages of setup. UPDATE: From reading other reviews, I've come to think the second half of this book likely is pretty good, plot-wise. IMO Motayne's editors failed her by not encouraging her to significantly edit down and restructure the beginning of the book. There's no good reason for this book to require 160+ pages to really start digging into the main plot and the action. This probably should have been at least 50 pages shorter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    mahana

    🌼review can be found on my blog! 🌼

  18. 4 out of 5

    ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!). DNF at 50% (and hence I will not rate it). In a world ruled by different kinds of magic, Alfie is a Prince, Finn is a Thief and due to a dangerous card game, they end up meeting. Alfie knows privilege and abundance, Finn knows poverty and hunger, but although they're from different worlds, they both know pain, struggle, and loss. Nocturna is a Latinx inspired Fantasy. I was so excited to be able to read it ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!). DNF at 50% (and hence I will not rate it). In a world ruled by different kinds of magic, Alfie is a Prince, Finn is a Thief and due to a dangerous card game, they end up meeting. Alfie knows privilege and abundance, Finn knows poverty and hunger, but although they're from different worlds, they both know pain, struggle, and loss. Nocturna is a Latinx inspired Fantasy. I was so excited to be able to read it, really. Everyone is pointing out the similarities between this and A Darker Shade of Magic. I must be one of the very rare people on the planet who actually did not enjoy ADSOM much, but from what I remember, yes, there are indeed many similarities. However, no surprise because nowadays YA Fantasy is oversaturated with the same themes, the same type of characters, the same kind of plots... over and over again. At first, this looked like Elena of Avalor Meets Avatar the Last Airbender. The beginning was wonderful, but then the "Darkness" comes and well, I just lost interest. Worst to me is this: Again, we have the trope of a villainized parental figure. I understand it is important to promote autonomy to adolescents and show unhealthy patterns of some bad parents, and that parents make amazing villains but why do it over and over and over again? Years ago that trope was amazing, my inner teen self was rejoicing. Now, I'm tired of reading about the "parent" villain and I crave to read about a healthy relationship between Parents and their children. Anyway, I think it's important that the author tried to build a world Latinx inspired and I'm glad she did. I think the story had a lot of potential because (the heroine) Finn has the interesting ability to shift faces and Alfie (the hero) is a sweet cinnamon roll. I enjoyed the slow burn romance, magic system, mythology, and LGBT representation. However, it was not enough to keep my interest.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Wow I am really impressed. I am so glad that I didn't let this book slip past my radar because I hated the cover. I loved the magic system and all the heists. Full review to come!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I gave Nocturna by Maya Motayne 4 Stars. If you want to know why, read on: This book had such good foundations and the synopsis intrigued me wildly. I read this book as part of a bookclub and loved it so very much. I loved the characters Finn and Alfie. Alfie was the stereotypical too-good to be true kinda character. He was infuriating at times but he gave our next character good contrast. While Finn was one my favourite characters in any book, ever. She was funny and witty, she was ruthless. I lo I gave Nocturna by Maya Motayne 4 Stars. If you want to know why, read on: This book had such good foundations and the synopsis intrigued me wildly. I read this book as part of a bookclub and loved it so very much. I loved the characters Finn and Alfie. Alfie was the stereotypical too-good to be true kinda character. He was infuriating at times but he gave our next character good contrast. While Finn was one my favourite characters in any book, ever. She was funny and witty, she was ruthless. I loved that she didn't care for anyone but herself during this novel. The side characters were also great, I loved Luca and the King and Queen. I bumped my rating to four stars because everything that this book was leading up to was disappointing. The all evil power the unleashed had zero to no consequences. I felt like this book could have been 50 pages longer and it would have made that end scene so much more powerful. This will be a series I will be continuing. Overall, I loved this book - but didn't like the ending. 4/5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover Nocturna by Maya Motayne is a novel I had been highly anticipating since I first heard of its release, and I am happy to say it lived up to my expectations. I love the idea of a prince and a thief who steals faces so unique, and the main characters are well-developed. I also enjoyed the execution of the magic system and the originality of each person’s abilities. Nocturna is a book that is entertaining and compelling, and I would recommend it to fans of the fantasy Full Review on The Candid Cover Nocturna by Maya Motayne is a novel I had been highly anticipating since I first heard of its release, and I am happy to say it lived up to my expectations. I love the idea of a prince and a thief who steals faces so unique, and the main characters are well-developed. I also enjoyed the execution of the magic system and the originality of each person’s abilities. Nocturna is a book that is entertaining and compelling, and I would recommend it to fans of the fantasy genre. This book tells the story of a prince and a thief who must join forces in order to save their kingdom from dark magic. I love this opposites/unlikely duo trope, and I was glad to see a fresh and complex take on it. Honestly, I was not expecting this book to be as funny as it is since I don’t typically see much humour in fantasy novels, but Finn’s wit has to be one of my favourite aspects of the story. As well as this, the plot has a nice balance of action and description which made for an enjoyable reading experience. ❀ ENJOYABLE MAIN CHARACTERS I very much enjoyed both the main characters, Finn and Alfie. Finn is a thief who can change faces, which I found so intriguing, and she has a complex and painful backstory. She is sarcastic and strong, and I loved reading about her mission with Alfie as well as her dialogue. Alfie, on the other hand, is the next in line for the throne after the death of his brother, and he is also dealing with trauma. I sympathized with him since he really just wants to be a good leader and bring his brother back. Because these characters are developed, I found them more realistic. ❀ INTERESTING SYSTEM OF MAGIC What I found notable about the novel is the magic system, especially the characters’ abilities. The fact that Finn can steal faces is so original, and it is interesting how magic is unique to each person. The way the magic is explained is clear and easy to follow, and I liked the light magic vs. dark magic concept. I have seen people comparing this to A Darker Shade of Magic, but admittedly I have not read that series yet so I can’t confirm any similarities. Nocturna is a gripping story of unlikely partners and dark magic. I found the concept unique, and the main characters are believable. The magic system is one aspect I particularly enjoyed as well as Finn’s humorous tone. I would definitely recommend this one to fantasy fans.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: Nocturna Series: A Forgery of Magic #1 Author: Maya Motayne Release date: May 7, 2019 Genre: YA fantasy There were several things that attracted me to trying out this book: It's the first in a new series, the Latinx inspired worldbuilding, the face changing thief, and a potentially complex magic system. This was before I even saw the gloriousness of that mosaic cover. How stunning is that? Not only is it beautiful to look at, it's a perfect representation of San Cristobal's palace. I was very Title: Nocturna Series: A Forgery of Magic #1 Author: Maya Motayne Release date: May 7, 2019 Genre: YA fantasy There were several things that attracted me to trying out this book: It's the first in a new series, the Latinx inspired worldbuilding, the face changing thief, and a potentially complex magic system. This was before I even saw the gloriousness of that mosaic cover. How stunning is that? Not only is it beautiful to look at, it's a perfect representation of San Cristobal's palace. I was very excited to introduce myself to this new series, and I found quite a lot to enjoy. “Everything has its season,” his father had once told him. Did his mourning have a season? Would it peel away from him, like petals peeled from stems as winter marched ever closer? Prince Alfehr is returning home from a solitary voyage following the unexpected and tragic death of his older brother who had been set to inherit the throne. Due to the circumstances of his assassination, Alfehr refuses to accept that his beloved brother is truly gone. Ravaged by grief, he clings to the hope that there is a chance to bring him back from the magic void he disappeared into. Everyone around him has seemed to accept that the prince who was raised to lead the kingdom, the more worthy man in his eyes, is lost forever. But he has been on a desperate hunt to unearth any knowledge or magic that could restore his family. In the beginning, his grief is still overwhelming. His desperation causes him to act without thinking of the possible consequences. I wasn't sure what to think of him at first to be honest. On the one hand, you could feel the weight of his loss and couldn't really blame him for not wanting to let go. On the other, you come to realize that he has a lot of character growth to achieve because he shows through several selfish acts that he's correct in his belief that he's not prepared to rule as his brother was. He tends to only think of how things will affect himself, or how they will affect things short term. You can't really blame him for not having the capacity to make the decisions of a ruler as a secondborn son. However, he chooses to sacrifice the safety of his entire kingdom because he can't bear the thought of losing his best friend so close on the heels of his brother's death. Just thinking about the countless lives lost, slaughtered so that one person could live is much more than an irresponsible screw up. The dark magic he unleashed may have been mysterious to him, but there could be no doubt that it was the wrong thing to do to let it escape. In addition, he proves his selfishness again by keeping his actions from Paloma, his childhood tutor. Knowing that she has vital information on how to stop and possibly imprison the magic once again didn't sway him in coming clean. He was more worried about getting into trouble for his actions and had to figure everything out with very little to go on. Finn Voy is a rebellious, morally grey character that first comes into contact with Alfehr at an illegal magic card game. I have to say, I really enjoyed their first meeting. Her face changing propio was exciting and intriguing to see in action. She's a drifting thief who's on the run from the man who raised her, willing to say or do anything to keep her anonymity and hard won freedom. She doesn't seem to have much of a moral compass at the start. You don't get an idea of the history that led her to this point in her life, only that her experiences were horrific and traumatizing. She's done unforgiveable things in order to stay alive and survive, and believes there is no good left in herself to redeem. So she hardens her heart and distances herself from her past, setting down roots, and attachments to other people. To avoid looking inside herself, she dons changeable masks to bury who she really is under bravado. She’d spent so much time drowning in her past that she hadn’t been able to swim to the surface and see a future for herself that wasn’t stained with blood and fear. Finn is completely self-serving. She plays a small part in how the voracious dark magic is set free, but my sympathies did come out with her. There's always a small flicker of desire to cling to the girl she once was before the loss of her parents. Finn and Alfehr share a desire to rise above who they are and become better people. I think you will really start to see them shine in later books. I thought Motayne pulled off the action scenes very well. They were grittier than I was expecting and high on the suspense. They joined forces, racing against the clock to find a way to stop catastrophic events that were in the balance. Endless night, mankind turning into monsters, and the death of all things good would soon be a reality if they were unable to stop what they set in motion. The romance wasn't heavy at all, the possibility was simply set in some groundwork towards the end. Mainly they had a grudging respect for each other that graduated into a tentative friendship. Finn is very much still a loner, and being vulnerable to another person is not high on her priorities. Out of all of the characters, she was my favorite because no matter how she tried to hide her fears and weaknesses, they always revealed themselves when they needed to be seen. She did have redeeming qualities that were proven to exist in the final confrontation that give you real hope for her future. There was a bit of an info dump in this first installment, and at times the pace dragged in the first half. The last half made up for it, and I was happily surprised that there was no suspenseful cliffhanger. This is a promising debut that generally fulfilled my expectations. Character growth as well as expansion of the continuing storyline is realistically feasible. I have some theories about possible future conflicts in the following books and I'm looking forward to seeing the direction that the author takes. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Nocturna is by far, BY FAR, the worst book I have read this year. Granted, it's only March, but even if another book displaces this as my most despised of 2019, it will remain amongst the top three at the very least. Basically, this book is just a Latinx , poorly written copy of the far superior A Darker Shade of Magic. WARNING: Spoilers ahead for both books, so beware! Seriously, Finn is basically Lila Bard, Alfehr is a whiny amalgamation of Kell and Rhy, and Alfehr uses 'magic doors' to get t Nocturna is by far, BY FAR, the worst book I have read this year. Granted, it's only March, but even if another book displaces this as my most despised of 2019, it will remain amongst the top three at the very least. Basically, this book is just a Latinx , poorly written copy of the far superior A Darker Shade of Magic. WARNING: Spoilers ahead for both books, so beware! Seriously, Finn is basically Lila Bard, Alfehr is a whiny amalgamation of Kell and Rhy, and Alfehr uses 'magic doors' to get through to different parts of the world. Additionally, Alfehr can see magic in a way no one else can (Kell-esque), he would do anything for his cousin (I'm so feeling an inferior Kell/Rhy relationship here), to the point where he bloody well releases the darkest evil magic into the world, which has the colour black and controls people. Seriously? How Motayne has managed to get this published is beyond me, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a legal battle on her horizon for an infringement of V. E. Schwab's copyright. I actually got so annoyed that I flipped through, just to see how it ended. AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW??? They save the day (basically in love) where Finn goes off on her thieving way - JUST LIKE BLOODY LILA AND KELL! OH MY GOSH I AM SO ANGRY! And considerign the amount of caps used in this review, I think it's time for me to end it. If I keep going, it will basically be a furious rant in caps with me just going "Why? Oh tell me Why!?". Recommend: Noone. Not a soul. Read A Darker Shade of Magic instead. And if you don't then you're a damned fool. Age: I don't even care. It's YA. Make your own bloody decision. Warnings: This is seriously beyond me now. If you've read this far, I apologise, but maybe ask someone else these questions. Note: I received this ARC for review purposes only.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Nocturna is author Maya Motayne's debut novel. It is the first in what the publisher is claiming will be a fantasy trilogy. Goodreads has this listed as part of the A Forgery of Magic trilogy, but the publisher's mailer states the trilogy is called Nocturna. I'll go with the publisher. This story features two prominent characters in Prince Alfehr (Alfie) Reyes, and Finn Voy, a thief who is able to shift her fact to become anyone *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Nocturna is author Maya Motayne's debut novel. It is the first in what the publisher is claiming will be a fantasy trilogy. Goodreads has this listed as part of the A Forgery of Magic trilogy, but the publisher's mailer states the trilogy is called Nocturna. I'll go with the publisher. This story features two prominent characters in Prince Alfehr (Alfie) Reyes, and Finn Voy, a thief who is able to shift her fact to become anyone she's ever met. The story kicks off with Alfie returning home to Castallan after failing to discover a way to find out what happened to his brother Dez, who just happened to be the Crown Prince. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  25. 5 out of 5

    J. Taylor

    Romance-2.5 I don't ship it, don't hate it, it's fine. Would have loved more focus on family relationships since there was barely any of that. Characters- 3 I like them all but they're not stand out characters to me that I love. There was just something missing. World Building-2 A lot is left out, like we're told the history, the magic system and about the goings on of the city it's set in. That's it. What are these other kingdoms, their cultures, what is this kingdom's culture behind the way th Romance-2.5 I don't ship it, don't hate it, it's fine. Would have loved more focus on family relationships since there was barely any of that. Characters- 3 I like them all but they're not stand out characters to me that I love. There was just something missing. World Building-2 A lot is left out, like we're told the history, the magic system and about the goings on of the city it's set in. That's it. What are these other kingdoms, their cultures, what is this kingdom's culture behind the way the main city lives, what is the geography like, the political situation, how does the kingdom work even? Writing -3.5 Too many descriptions where something is described as like something else, a style of purple prose that was used too often but I loved the flow of the words and there were some great quotes within. Plot-2.5 Seen it before and was handled a little too easily. Originality -0.5 So here's where it gets dicey. More on this. Because there was a lot of other source material in this that was too big to ignore. Enjoyability -4.5 Flew through this book. For a overall total of 2.64 rounded to 2.5. Originality: So I couldn't help but notice how similar to A Darker Shade of Magic this book was. You have a lone cutthroat thief, a prince who can move between doors and his cousin who is charming with an ex boyfriend who broke his heart like Lila, Kell and Rhy. Then you have the premise of releasing dark magic which acts the same exact way as it does in ADSOM. Then you have the moving between doors and having superior magic to everyone else like Kell does. The way it ends is eerily similar. Also the author says in an interview with Fairyloot where I got the book with that there will be a secret magic tournament (as there is in A Gathering of Shadows) Luka gets a bigger role and a love interest (Like Rhy did in the second book) Look there's differences true that makes Nocturna stand on it's own but not enough.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cindee

    I really loved this book it was one of the best books that I have read in awhile I am looking forward to more. I really loved the characters especially Alfie,Finn and Luka they were all very written I loved the relationships that develop between them a closer brotherly relationship to Luka after Alfie had been gone so long and his older brother Dez had died and an interesting relationship that will hopefully become a romance in the next book to Finn. I really liked how the relationship built up I really loved this book it was one of the best books that I have read in awhile I am looking forward to more. I really loved the characters especially Alfie,Finn and Luka they were all very written I loved the relationships that develop between them a closer brotherly relationship to Luka after Alfie had been gone so long and his older brother Dez had died and an interesting relationship that will hopefully become a romance in the next book to Finn. I really liked how the relationship built up over time that they would die for each other or die together and hopefully they will meet again soon. There was no real romance just a build up and potential for a romance in the future. I really loved the plot of this book it started with Alfie returning and grieving the loss of his brother and willing to do anything to get him back somehow it then leads into meeting Finn and the other things that happen to a great evil being set free on accident and them doing anything they can to stop it I loved this story so much. So overall I loved this can't wait until the next book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Stopped at about 35 percent in. The set up for the story is great, although it definitely took all of that 35 percent to actually get kicked off. However, at the crucial moments of action, the main motivations of two characters seemed to depart from what was previously established. Both seem to make quick snap decisions that didn't seem to align with decisions they'd already made and their stated motivations. It just totally threw me, and I continued to lose interest from there. The whole purpos Stopped at about 35 percent in. The set up for the story is great, although it definitely took all of that 35 percent to actually get kicked off. However, at the crucial moments of action, the main motivations of two characters seemed to depart from what was previously established. Both seem to make quick snap decisions that didn't seem to align with decisions they'd already made and their stated motivations. It just totally threw me, and I continued to lose interest from there. The whole purpose surrounding the main crux of action (view spoiler)[the dark magic being unleashed on the world (hide spoiler)] felt easily avoidable and kind of purposeless. However, I will say I LOVED the magic system (elemental magic + a person's unique abilities) and the history of Castallan, which is still recovering from Englass dominion. And the Latinx vibe is perfection. Mixed bag overall.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samidha Kalia

    *Note: A copy of the book was provided in exchange of an honest review. I would like to thank Harper Collins Canada for the book. This is an advanced reader's copy and quotes are subject to change.* 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Wow, this was one epic ride. It has been a long time since I have been so immersed in a story. Nocturna hooked me right from the start – its lyrical prose, well constructed world, loveable characters, and its themes of social issues and justice. I loved every minute of it. My biggest beef with YA *Note: A copy of the book was provided in exchange of an honest review. I would like to thank Harper Collins Canada for the book. This is an advanced reader's copy and quotes are subject to change.* 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Wow, this was one epic ride. It has been a long time since I have been so immersed in a story. Nocturna hooked me right from the start – its lyrical prose, well constructed world, loveable characters, and its themes of social issues and justice. I loved every minute of it. My biggest beef with YA fantasy is the lack of world building – if there are dragons: where do they come from? What language do they understand? Can they cross-mate? Are they more like dogs or pets, or war weapons like elephants? The rules or plotting of the world can make or break the entire story for me, and I am happy to announce that this novel is the perfect blend of building the world and not dumping information on the reader in one go. “Enslavement was strange that way. Thought his parents always spoke about what had been taken from them during Englass’s reign – their autonomy, their magic, their culture, their pride – to Alfie, it wasn’t so much about how much Englass had taken from them, but about how little of themselves Castallan has taken back after expelling the conquerors.” The world takes shape right before our eyes as the characters are introduced to us. The characters exploit the rules of the world, while also explaining the limits of the system of magic. There is the charming yet sensitive Prince Alfie, overcoming a familial loss and bearing a huge emotional burden, and then there is Finn Voy: a thief, who reminded me so much of Deliah Bard from the Shades of Magic series. Finn is witty without being a know-it-all, and cunning without being a crook. I don’t know why but to me Finn seemed like an Aquarius and Alfie a Cancer (as their Zodiac Signs). And finally, Luka. Luka has to be the best supporting character I’ve read in all of 2019 (until this far). I wish we get more from Luka’s perspectives because he just cracked me up. “ ‘We have to stop them’ Paloma said. Luka blinked at her. ‘From taking a statue?’” The book is set in the span of little over a week. The Equinox Festival is the peak time during which most of the action and reaction to the action takes place. When I read Crooked Kingdom I was surprised to note that it had been drafted over the course of five days, and when I finished Nocturna I had a similar feeling. I was completely driven into the world, the recklessness of the characters, the sometimes shifting perspectives, and the adventures of Finn, Luka, and Alfie. Even the characters that were missing from the story, had a presence of their own – like Dez, Xiomara, and Ignacio. “Magic was free. It flowed through all living things and wasn’t something to be caged. Yet he could feel something holding back this black magic.” Another thing I liked about the narrative was the lack of cheap twists, and sudden turns – it was a pretty straight forward narrative. Even with the flashbacks of Finn’s childhood and her secrets, the narrative didn’t stray from the personality of the character, instead it added more depth. Even the good versus the evil dichotomy was not as reinforced as is in fantasy. Sombra was supposed to be the dark-powerful God but this first installment only dealt with the potential of his magic. To conclude, I would highly recommend this author and this novel. I loved every minute of it and I liked how even the ending was perfect and suited the tone of the book. I am looking forward to more Luka, Alfie and Finn – and so much more of the dark, twisty magic. “Freedom, she came to understand, could be found in a person instead of a place”. - Samidha

  29. 5 out of 5

    beth ✨

    2.5 I enjoyed the writing and the author is very talented but the story just wasn’t for me. I didn’t care for the characters or the plot and skimmed most of the book, especially towards the end. I think this will be a favourite for some people but that sadly isn’t me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* A Latinx inspired world, Spanish words which I could understand (after learning said-Spanish) and characters that made me love them and root for them, despite the wrong choices, the fear and that creepy evil power. The system of magic was interesting and the history behind the creation of the kingdom reminded me of the British colonization. Lovely plot and it never let me down.

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