⇒Featuring magic, darkness and perfection.
I am so happy to be partnering with Hodder Scape to bring you Nocturna by Maya Motayne! Nocturna is out on 2nd May, and I really recommend it to EVERYONE! You can see the synopsis on Goodreads here or pre-order it from Amazon here! Nocturna has been called “Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo and V.E. Schwab” and I am inclined to agree. Read on for my full review!
“If we’re dying tonight, we’re dying in a big dramatic battle.” Nocturna
Nocturna was utterly amazing. The world Maya created is unique and rich, and her vivid take on magic absolutely blew me away. It is so individual and beautiful, a step above the magic we see in so many YA books. Maya’s lyrical writing and world-building were reminiscent of Laini Taylor.
The kingdom of Castallan is a Latin-American inspired world based in part on Maya’s Dominican heritage, and it was a beautiful and remarkable setting for the book.
I will admit that for the first few chapters of Nocturna, I was a little confused by the complex magic system Maya created, but all soon became clear, facts woven seamlessly amongst the action.
The character’s Maya created were truly multidimensional and I connected with them and their struggles immediately. I loved Finn as the kickass heroine I look for in every fantasy book I read, and Alfie was a hero who quickly became precious to me. The dialogue between them never felt forced or cliched and I treasured their every interaction, even the slightly stabby ones. Their relationship went from enemies to friends and I was completely there for it, despite my wariness of the trope.
Alfie and Finn are both characters that will have you frustrated at times no matter how much you cheer them on (but in the best way). I loved the secondary characters, especially Luka, my treasured favourite.
The plot of Nocturna was engaging and unique. It kept me on my toes but Maya also made the time to delve into the character’s backstories, emotions and relationships with each other, but even the slower paced chapters felt exciting and fun and never deterred me at all. I would read a book about Finn, Alfie and crew doing anything from walking to eating to going on a road trip (I need a road trip right now, actually). I’m not going to talk about the ending or even the middle, but everything was just perfection, even though I was constantly worrying for the characters I had come to call friends.
Maya uses the fantasy genre to delve into important issues and create a world that has risen from the ashes of capitalism and oppression. She connects magic to culture and language and shows the importance and beauty of every individual’s heritage. Nocturna breaks the bonds encasing the fantasy genre with its ethnic world, individual characters and gorgeous writing.
Maya is the new voice YA fantasy has been waiting for. Nocturna was an absolutely remarkable debut that I have to recommend to everyone who’s ever wanted just that little bit more in the world and characters of the books they read. Nocturna is definitely one of my top reads this year and I only have praise for it. I’m already hyped for whatever Maya comes up with next. I may need merchandise now.
Nocturna was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I was not let down. I was desperate for an ARC, so thanks so much to Maya’s publicist and Hodder and Stoughton for the gorgeous proof!