After joining forces to save Castallan from an ancient magical evil, Alfie and Finn haven’t seen each other in months. Alfie is finally ready to take on the mantle of crown prince. His first task: preparing for the peace talks with Castallan’s former colonizers, the nation of Englass.
But when the summit coincides with the reemergence of Los Toros, the mysterious syndicate of assassins responsible for Alfie’s brother’s death, and Finn’s unexpected installation as one of the four Thief Lords of Castallan, the two must reunite to discover the hidden link between these events—before it’s too late.
Maya Motayne decided to be a writer when she was four years old and hasn’t stopped writing since. She lives in New York City where she pursues her passions of petting as many dogs as possible and buying purses based on whether or not they can fit a big book in them. Nocturna is her first novel.
In all honesty, Oculta suffered a little bit from two things: just how much I remember enjoying Nocturna and my changing feelings towards YA fantasy since then. While I still really enjoyed the book — and the ending had me on the edge of my seat — I had to force myself to pick it up at times (although I did really enjoy reading it once I’d done that).
Oculta opens a few months after the end of Nocturna, with Alfie and Finn back in their respective lives. The events of the book centre on a peace conference, between Castallan and Englass. But not everyone wants the conference to go ahead, and a series of murders force Alfie and Finn back together to investigate.
What can I say about this book that I haven’t already said somewhere about Nocturna? Firstly, I think this series has some of the most immersive worldbuilding I’ve read in YA fantasy. Everything feels real, and tangible, in a way that I don’t often feel I get in YA SFF. And it does so without too many periods of infodumping. (Although, to be fair, I have a tendency to skim those anyway these days.)
And then there’s the characters. I loved Alfie and Finn in the first book, and I adored them just as much here. We also get to see from Luka’s POV, finally, in this one, and I really enjoyed that extra dimension to it all. That being said, I’ve never seen Alfie and Finn as romance potential (personally, of course), so when it started getting romantic between them, I was a little bit bored. Like, I love them individually and as friends, but I don’t love them together. I’m aware that’s likely just me, though.
The best part of this book, however, was the ending. It was the perfect ending to stop you short and make you maybe swear out loud. The kind of ending that makes you wish desperately that you weren’t reading the series as it released, but already had the next book on hand.
So this review is a big, massive hint that you should read these books. Right now, preferably.
ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
TWs: PTSD, hallucinations, mentions of past childhood and domestic abuse, blood, mild gore, panic attacks, suicidal ideation(like, in a roundabout way), depression, mentions of alcohol abuse.
Oculta is the second book of the A Forgery of Magic series by Maya Motayne, and it picks up almost immediately after the events of Nocturna. Sombra, the shadow-God, is defeated (for now, *wink wink*), Alfie is officially the crown prince and he’s not fighting this position anymore! He wants to do good for his people, and fill his brother’s shoes, sure, but as himself!! MY BOY EXPERIENCED GROWTH, Y’ALL! And, Finn, of course, is just off galavanting, messing rich people’s lives up (communism, but also not, you know?), freaking out over a new development in her proprio (yes remember those peter pan shadow thingies? Insane right?) and missing Alfie and denying it very very very adamantly (idiots in love>>>>>> Every Other Trope).
Everything is not sunshine and rainbows, however. Alfie is trying to mend the relationship between his kingdom and the colonizers, and this upsets his people. Understandably, so. But he has good intentions and no one is truly willing to listen. Also, remember the bull-tattoo thing we kept seeing in the last book? Turns out they’re a group called Los Toros (yes, on the nose, i know) and they’re back to fucking shit up for the royal family, and they start by murdering people on the council in favour of this peace summit with the Englass. They also show up where Finn is and steal the Cloak of Invisibility from her, and now she’s back on her way to the Capital to warn Alfie.
Basically, the white people are coming back, there are assassin murderers roaming free in San Cristobal, Finn is a thief leader now (OH YEAH THAT HAPPENS BTW), and the gang has to band together for another week of shenanigans so that chaos does not descend on their very recently saved world again.
As with the previous book, this one is also just...so unapologetically Latine. The world is still just as colourful and bright, and coming back to it just felt so amazing! We are still talking about colonization - even more so in this book what with the peace summit being a very central plotline - and we are condemning it while acknowledging the generational trauma it wrought and it’s just..call it a bias, but, MAN, when Luka called that white woman’s skin mayonnaise coloured, I had to set my kindle aside to For A Moment, you know?
I’m just a big fan of Maya Motayne’s writing at this point, to be honest. I love her world-building and love her writing style! It balances the intricacy of atmospheric writing, with the sharp, quick-wittedness of her characters so well and I just always get lost in her stories and stop thinking about things completely! Which is great for me as a reader, but horrid as a reviewer, because I have to vague it like a wild woman but OH WELL! Anyway, yes, the writing style is not overly flowery, but it’s also so perfectly atmospheric and immersive and you’re lost in this very classical fantasy vibe of it all and it’s just a very fun, enjoyable time all around the table!
In addition to the colonization aspect of it all, this book also explores the themes of grief and guilt, identity and how prolonged abuse can mess with that so much. Finn’s entire arc is her overcoming this influence her adoptive father has on her, and doing it while understanding how to define herself as an individual outside of him and his years of abuse. I know it’s not easy, in real life, to just be able to do that, but her journey is still really impactful, in my opinion, because it kind of shows you that it can happen. Even if it’s not That Easy.
Luka and Alfie, on the other hand, have to deal with grief and survivor’s guilt, and losing their sense of self amongst it all. Again, their arcs are a little compact for them to be “realistic”, but, I still think they were really well done, and they had a very positive impact on me, and that’s all I can say about it, really. Also, Luka has a more prominent role in this book, and I honestly just enjoy him so much! He’s just a fun character to have around and he’ll do insane shit and it’s just SO NICE!!
As with the last book, Finn and Alfie were again, so goddamn adorable! They’re really just, like, absolutely moronic about their feelings for each other which just makes the book 100x funnier and angstier all at once, and it was such a fun ride! Seriously, Idiots In Love>>>>>>>>>Any Other Trope!! TRUST ME!!
Plotwise, this book has a lot going on, but also it doesn’t really feel like it. It’s not all that unpredictable, but all this information is very interestingly placed so it’s kind of fun to see how the characters approach the problem that they have in front of them. I loved Finn’s Madre of the streets plotline A LOT, and would’ve loved more of that. Here’s hoping there’s more of the whole thief gang thing in book three! Also Alfie keeps having these weird nightmares and magic operating problems throughout the book and they are not addressed because of Reasons That Will Shock You (Or Not)((Not Clickbait)).
My only complaint with the book is that, I DID NOT KNOW THAT THERE WAS A THIRD ONE COMING WHEN I STARTED READING IT HELLO???? So imagine my surprise when I got to about 80% of the book and realized there was just A Lot Going On, and then I looked the series up on Goodreads just to reassure myself, but GUESS WHAT? THIS IS A TRILOGY AND IT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER SO???? HELLO???????
Jokes aside, this book was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint! It was a delight to read, and I cannot wait for the third book!! It felt so so great to be back in Castellan with Alfie, Finn and Luka and I’m so happily looking forward to more!!!
“A THIEF MADE A LORD. A PRINCE MADE A VILLAIN. A DEADLY GAME FOR POWER.”
Maya Motayne’s breathtakingly exhilarating sequel to Nocturna is positively magnificent. I fell in love with the multifaceted characters, uniquely original magic system and the irresistibly detailed setting of San Christobal.This Latinx YA Fantasy is Sure to be a must read of 2021!
After saving Castallan from an ancient evil,Alfie and Finn haven’t spoken in months.Prince Alfie, as future King is preparing to host an international peace summit-with the kingdom that enslaved his people. But a mysterious group responsible for his brother’s death are back- and have targeted the summit.
Finn spends her days travelling and revelling in her new found freedom,until she’s forced into leading one of San Cristobal’s crime families and made a thief Lord.
Finn and Alfie’s paths are entwined once more as their shared enemy seeks to destabilise the kingdom and plunge them into a devastating war.
A truly inspiring tale of love,loss,identity and the effects of systemic oppression. I find the pacing here flows much better than Nocturna which made the action all the more enjoyable.The plot was also more complex and I felt Motayne excelled in giving Alfie, Luka and Finn an emotional depth which I found made their motives very relatable.This was especially true with Finn and the PTSD she experiences from her childhood trauma. The chemistry between Alfie and Finn was incredibly written too and I liked how their friendship/ relationship developed rather organically.
I simply cannot believe how incredible the ending is and I NEED to know what happens next. If you enjoy YA Fantasy, books with unique magic systems and strong (diverse) characters then you should definitely check out this out (this is the second book in the A Forgery Of Magic series so definitely check out Nocturna too)
And also, I just wanted to say thank you to Hodder&Stoughton and Net Galley for the Digital ARC.
Oculta is the second installment within A Forgery of Magic trilogy. Just like the first book, I absolutely fell in love with everything. The worldbuilding and the characters just made everything fly by. Especially when we get to the lovable banter. Or maybe it's just me feeling that way?
Even though Alfie and Finn aren't together in the beginning, I was very giddy for their reunion. Mostly because I just really needed these two back together. It doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy their journeys apart though, because I definitely did. Especially Finn's. I just couldn't deal with the whole Thief Lord and enjoyed every second of it.
With each secret, twist, and turn this book was so hard to put down. It also made me fall a bit more in love with the characters themselves too. Especially when you get down to the lovable chemistry between them. And yes, I'm talking about the chemistry between Alfie and Finn. It made me so freaking happy, and I can't even try to contain my excitement for the next book.
In the end, I'm going to freak out until I get my hands on the third book. Not exactly sure what we will get but I want answers and maybe an HEA. Pretty please.
Can't wait to read the second book. Please let Finn and Alfie end up together. The first book ended with so many questions but I still love it!!!
So the thing about suspicion: It sucks half the fun away from plot twists.
The thing about plot twists: They suck the life out of you.
The thing about Oculta: It's full of both.
Oh, see my old review up there? The more-fangirl-screaming-than-actual-review-on-the-masterpiece-that-is-Nocturna? Well, Oculta ended with MORE MALDITO QUESTIONS.
Tbh I came to check if they updated the synopsis, because after finishing Oculta I was kinda disappointed to not see any scenes even resembling "Finn is forced to preside over a hidden competition that boasts a legendary prize". So I guess the supposed prize found a better purpose in serving the plot. I might as well review now. (I saved my thoughts on the ending last so I won't freak people out.)
First off, Nothing much happened in the first 10 chapters. Just Finn's "self discovery", Alfie being a cesspool of guilt, and Luka MIA most of the time Alfie needed him, but the poor boy deserves some alone time after that Sombra debacle. Things inched forward a bit when Finn returned to San Cristobal and the Englassens came for the peace summit (I could feel the tension through the pages) and then there were murders and even povs of the victims, which was a nice but sad touch. What followed was about 150 pages of a wild goose chase. Sure, the wild geese were men who were secretive over a /unique personnel with unique propio /my personal favourite, the guy with the weird sense of humor. The thief lords didn't quite live up to my expectations and frankly it felt weird seeing Finn try to help Anabeltilia, but Anabel is a rock. A diligent, helpful, loyal rock, but still a rock. Alright, of everything I said in the last two sentences, one of them is false. I'll leave you to ponder.
The wild goose chase mystery didn't really appeal to me, but that could be because this is a fantasy novel which focuses on world-building, character development and plot, and NOT a mystery main. For a fantasy, I'd rate it an AMAZING one. Plot-wise, it was good. The concept was interesting and the synopsis promised the drama that was to come, what with peace talks in the middle of murders (made me think the worst could happen) and really, there was so much potential for things to go wrong. That's better than the average story where the hero/villian's plan is perfect until things go wrong in the end/the heroes make a comeback/happy ending. In Oculta, it felt like every new revelation could change everything, reshuffle the cards, make or break the peace summit. And it was these risks that somehow found their way out of the pages and gave me the energy to keep reading because confession: the mystery was so slow that I was reading on for the sake of the pure love I have for Nocturna. I think it would have been better to hash out a few of those flashbacks at the start of the story or add a little more interaction between the trio because MISCOMMUNICATION IS A KILLER. And the mystery was too slow. Again.
My other problem is the relationship between Finn and Alfie. I agree with many other people on the fact that Oculta and Nocturna may both have two main characters, but in reality Alfie is overshadowing Finn. Sure, it's a coincidence that Alfie released Sombra and who would Sombra possess than Finn's demon--Ignacio. Sureeeee, the information Alfie desperately needed was the exact same thing Finn needed to uncover to get free from being a thief lord. The synopsis should've said "and Finn is forced to join hands with Alfie to stop the latest disaster" because she is. What I DON'T agree is that how can you meet someone for um... three days, separate for four months, reunite and just
I had no issues about the colonization talk and all that, but the Englassen people gave me a weird feeling like goosebumps. And then Finn said something that planted the seed of doubt in my mind (re: suspicion). Thank you Finn!
More chasing after broken trails, more miscommunication, more foreshadowing and then I ended up on page 300 and FINALLY THE ACTION STARTS. Better late than never I guess. Word of advice: If you're reading a digital copy of Oculta and happen to like guessing plot twists like me, don't just pour over the chapter content--THROW YOURSELF INTO IT AND MELT YOUR BRAIN INTO EVERY SINGLE LETTER
If the first two thirds of this book was slow, then the last third was where all the action happened and everything fell into place. Imagine eating a pudding with a dainty spoon. For 200+ pages you eat like you have the decorum of a noblewoman with a bird's stomach and anorexia. Then, for the last 100 pages you throw your spoon away and dive headfirst into the banquet table and just keep shovelling food down your throat until you feel like physically combusting but you can't becuase there is so much food left. That's how I felt about the explosion of information at the end. So now that I have calmed down in the process of writing this review...
OH MY FREAKING GOD THAT ENDING-- HOW CAN THAT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN IS IT EVEN LEGAL FOR SO MANY BOOKS TO USE THAT OVERUSED TWIST AND YET SURPRISE ME WITH IT EVERY TIME LIKE IF YOU WERE GOING FOR A CROSSOVER THEN YOU HAVE THE ENDING. HOW CAN MY SIXTH SENSE BE SMARTER THAN ME AND REGISTER THE CLUES BUT MY BRAIN JUST DIDN'T LINK IT TOGETHER???!!!
Major spoiler ahead:
AND ARGH I KNEW IT WOULD BE A CLIFFHANGER BUT THIS? IT IS SO PREDICTABLE THAT THE SECOND BOOK IN A TRILOGY ALWAYS ENDS ON A SPOILER BUT THIS???????? I AM METAPHORICALLY HAVING A HEART ATTACK AND THE DOCTOR ISN'T GONNA BE SAVING MY LIFE UNTIL NEXT YEAR JUST-- JUST--
JUST PULL THE PLUG! I WANT TO BE FROZEN IN ONE OF THOSE CRYOGENIC PODS UNTIL THE FINAL BOOK IS RELEASED.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
CWs: Death, familial death, and grief; allusions to child abuse and domestic abuse; descriptions of violence, blood, and injury; hallucinations; racism; references to colonization and enslavement
I feel like I've waited so long for Oculta to finally come into being, and now I'm just as desperate for the next installment all over again.
Oculta is a slow boil full of court politics and political intrigue, underscored by political unrest and a slew of crimes stemming from the underworld. There's mystery, there's royal decorum, and a delicious slow burn romance between the two leads, and that's what makes it such a fun sequel to read.
What I enjoyed about Oculta most is that it does what most YA fantasies won't in that it actually explores and contends with the consequences of colonialism, and how the power imbalance between the colonizer and the colonized can be corrected, if at all. What I love about this series is that it frames language itself as power and as magic, and magic literally comes from Spanish in the kingdom of Castallan. When the colonizing kingdom of Englass tried to systemically wipe out their language, they nearly lost all connection to magic, and when the story begins, the Englassan kingdom is still functioning on slave labor of Castallanos whose magic has been forcibly stripped away. As Castallan enters very fraught International Peace Summit with Englass, it is with the aim of securing reparations and putting an end to those violent and dehumanizing systems of oppression.
There are so many great discussions in here about the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor and what steps have to be taken in order to make amends, no matter how "inconvenient" or "uncomfortable" it may be. While many of the themes will already be familiar to marginalized readers, especially BIPOC readers, it's a great jumping off point for readers who strive to be "allies" by examining their own biases and privileges.
But also, just like the first book, the story has a lot to do with legacies—both those we inherit and those we create. This peace summit, for example, was the life-long dream of Alfie's late brother, Dez, which makes Alfie even more aware of how desperate he is to see it through at all costs. Finn suddenly finds herself as the new leader of one of Castallan’s powerful crime syndicates, a legacy she had never intended to take on, and has to learn how to work through her own trauma and help Alfie solve the mysteries threatening the peace summit as she tries to free herself from this responsibility she never wanted. So it's very much a story about the expectations and legacies they're fighting against, in some ways, as much as it's about what they're fighting for and the kind of world they want to leave behind.
My one issue with the story is that all the villainy (in this installment specifically) seems to boil down to A Few Bad Eggs, which isn't inherently a bad thing, but I think it slightly undermines the evils of systemic oppression perpetuated by entire groups and cultures that I think the story is striving to explore. However, the ending and the final cliffhanger really made up for both that and the occasional drop in pace, and I'm so curious to see how the third book is going to pick up and color the events of this sequel considering the new information we got on the very last page. While Book 2 is a completely different beast from Book 1, I really enjoy the range we see in both, and I appreciate how this sequel complicates what we were already given in the first book.
I think this is a phenomenal fantasy series that is wholly unique and does its Latinx-inspired world-building justice. It's one of my favorite YA fantasy series being published right now, and I would definitely recommend it.
Look book 1 was a shit show. I got through it on will power alone. In fact I told my best friend that I was not going to read the sequel especially since the synopsis sounded like A Gathering Of Shadows. But then the cover and curiosity got the better of me and I ended up picking it up, pretty sure that I was going to DNF it.
I was obviously wrong.
This book was leagues better than book 1. Honestly I think this is the story she really had in mind but she need to build some type of foundation and so she gave us the Willy Wonka mess of the first book.
Here we get POVs from Luka, Alfie and Finn and they are all needed and welcomed. We get great character development that does not impede plot development and the pacing is never stagnant.
I’m so impressed by the turnaround, I’m almost convinced this was written by someone else. It’s good and I can not wait to read book 3.
👏🏾 Damn if this is not the definition of a blindside, I don’t know what would be.
I loved going back into the world of this series and feel like the books don't get the credit they deserve.
Oculta sees the characters of Alfie and Finn, who we met the first book, once again teaming up to combat the dark magic and hidden enemies that threaten the kingdom of Castallan that Alfie is the heir to. It had been a while since I read Nocturna so some of the references were a bit hazy to me but the book does a good job of taking you right back into the story.
I love Alfie and Finn who are so well developed and flawed as characters that I really enjoy following their journeys, both individually and united. The plot in this one was brilliant too but, while it was well-paced for the most part, I did think the book was a bit longer than it needed to be.
Oculta sets the story up nicely for the third book which promises lots of action, plot twists and tension. I can't wait for it!
I was provided an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oculta is the sequel to Nocturna which I read when it first came out. We meet Alfie, Finn and Luka again as Finn is far away on her own journey, Alfie is feeling every kind of guilty and can't face what he did while Luka hates himself for surviving and puts himself in danger day after day. So all is not well as we found the gang again and things keep getting worse as a new gang emerges and threatens the entire country's security...
Oculta is a great sequel. I got to remember the first book as I read this one and that was great. I fell a little more in love with these three characters the more the book went on and I legit saw none of the twists coming. It's just such an intricate magic system and world. I love everything about it. I love the city too and how it's separated in two, with the castle on one side and the "real" world on the other. I also love how the author added her culture to the world and makes such a compelling and interesting and layered atmosphere. Also loved the criticism of colonialism. Love the relationships between the characters too, whether it's the romantic ones or the friendships. I'm just really looking forward to the next book.
5 ⭐: CW: violence, child abuse, domestic abuse, human skin wall?, Suicide, cultural genocide, slavery
Oculta by Maya Motayne is the second book in the Forgery of Magic trilogy. I loved this book just as much as the first one! Finn is still one of my favorite female characters and Luka holds a special place in my heart.
We pick up with Finn as she's traveling and robbing people, while Alfie is trying to put together a peace summit with Englass, the country that formerly colonized and enslaved them. The two end up working together against a common enemy, Los Toros, a terrorist group against the peace summit.
We see Finn dealing with the aftermath of killing Ignacio. Though he is dead, she isn't free of him since she has started hallucinating him, continuing his abuse from the grave. Motayne does and excellent job of depicting how child abuse sticks with you and changes you as a person. I related so much to Finn's struggling since I myself am still figuring out all the ways my abuse affects me. She shows this in the subtle ways we see Finn scared to show how she feels and her reluctance to be vulnerable in front of those she cares about.
We see Alfie scared and resistant to use his magic to travel, because he hears horrible a screams every time he does, and convinces himself that magic itself is rejecting him. He still thinks he's inadequate and doesn't know how to tell Finn how he feels. We also get more Luca in this book and get to see how his new found strength is affecting him.
This world building and magic system is so intricate and wonderful! This is the slowest slow burn I have ever encountered. I love it. Holy twists, Batman! I did not see any of those twists coming! I was floored by that cliffhanger! Imma need the final book asap, so Maya help me out 😂.
*Advanced Reader Review* I finished this book in one day! As with the previous book in the series I loved the LatinX world, I loved the vibrancy of the descriptions, I loved the characters, the plotline and the magic system. I was not disappointed at all, the plot only got better with this latest installment. Despite Finn and Alfie having been apart for a few months they are still thinking about each other and soon enough they are drawn back together. They need to work out who Los Toros are and how they were involved in the disappearance of Alfie's older brother, the crown Prince Dezmin. But the mysterious group are hard to find and even harder to get information from. Not only are they responsible for murders around the city, they are using magic that Alfie & Finn have never seen before and it's threatening to derail the peace talks between Castallan & Englass. Peace talks which Alfie hopes could result in the ending of Englass' caste system giving freedom and magic to the people of Englass.
I liked Oculta even more than Nocturna, although it still wasn't a favorite. I loved seeing more out of Finn and again I am still not all that into Alfie's character. I did like him a bit better in this one though. The plot of this one was super fun, and I loved seeing all of the conflict between Castallan and Englass. It was so intriguing and I could not set this one down, I read it so quick. I desperately need the third book and I want to own this one so bad cause these covers are gorgeous literally so pretty. This whole world building is one of my favorites.
Troszkę przyszło nam czekać na kontynuację „Nocturny”. Przyznam szczerze, że momentami zdarzało mi się o niej zapomnieć. W sumie to nie wiedziałam, że aż tak tęskniłam za tym światem i jego bohaterami dopóki nie wzięłam „Oculty” do rąk. Moment przypomniałam sobie wszystkie wydarzenia z poprzedniego tomu i chciałam zdecydowanie więcej…
Miło było powrócić do ciekawego San Christobal i jego mieszkańców którzy dysponują wyjątkową magią. Nadszedł też czas ponownego spotkanie z Finn, złodziejką twarzy oraz księciem Alfiem. Muszą ponownie stawić czoła złu, a ja bardzo lubię ten duet w akcji!
Autorka mnie nie zawiodła, dała mi więcej i to dużo więcej niż mogłam się spodziewać. Wiecie „Nocturna” była dobra, nawet bardzo, ale to co się dzieje w jej kontynuacji… 🤯 Bez zastanowienia mogę powiedzieć, że „Oculta” bije swoją poprzedniczkę na głowę pomimo, że ta była naprawdę genialnym jak dla mnie debiutem.
Od samego początku wiele się dzieje. Jest bardzo dużo akcji oraz nowych, ciekawych wątków. W końcu autorka pod koniec zostawiła bohaterów wśród względnego porządku i spokoju… A tu proszę. Nic bardziej mylnego. Siadacie do książki i już wiecie, że będziecie mieli problem się od niej oderwać. Więc lepiej się na to przygotujcie!
Najmniejszych gabarytów to ta książeczka nie ma, ale czyta się ją tak błyskawicznie, że sama byłam zaskoczona gdy dotarłam do jej zakończenia!
No i właśnie, zakończenie… Mam jedno zasadnicze pytanie. Co tam się wydarzyło?! I dlaczego autorka zostawia nas w takim momencie?! Przecież tak się nie robi! 🥺 Mam nadzieję, że Maya Motayne tam z ogromnym zapałem pisze już kolejny tom, bo bez wątpienia powinien być gotowy na wczoraj!
Jeżeli wciąż macie wątpliwości czy w ogóle zaczynać przygodę z tą autorką, to czas się ich wyzbyć. Jeżeli po „Nocturnie” nie do końca jesteście przekonani do lektury „Oculty” wiedzcie, że nie będziecie tego żałować. A jeżeli, podobał wam się pierwszy tom tak samo mocno jak mi to ja naprawdę nie wiem na co jeszcze czekacie!
seguinte, estou sem palavras pra descrever o que acabou de acontecer aqui
pra começo de conversa achei esse livro bem mais lento que o primeiro, não sei se é porque tem mais páginas e por isso a autora precisou encher mais linguiça ou se isso é apenas uma maldições de segundos livros, mas infelizmente não me prendeu tanto quanto o primeiro.
o plot de iglesia… gente pelo amor de deus que isso??? uma confusão que só e ao mesmo tempo as coisas que aconteceram foram tão previsíveis que a única coisa que me surpreendeu nisso tudo foi a morte do rei Bolivar porque achei que iam matar a rainha.
uma coisa que eu gostei bastante, entretanto foi o desenvolvimento da finn e do alfie. acho que eles começaram a entender o lugar deles como pessoas e no relacionamento deles, gosto do jeito que eles dois estão sendo trabalhados, o slow burn é muito bom de se ler.
o gancho do final do livro foi bom, fiquei preocupada se iriam extender mais ainda essa história do dez, mas acho que vai funcionar bem. a única coisa triste disso tudo é que eu vou precisar esperar até ano que vem pro próximo livro.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
3.5 stars, rounded down because this book was quite a bit longer than it actually needed to be. However, it was a pretty quick read overall and I appreciated that. The ending was intense and exciting, but it took way too long to get there. This book is also quite gruesome in spots, which didn’t bother me but could definitely be a trigger for others. Overall it was enjoyable but I liked the first one more.
I really liked this world. It was a bit black and white from time to time (pun not intended), but I liked it. I liked the magic system and I liked the political games between the 2 countries. I liked how history still played a role in what was happening now. The ending was maybe not that shocking, but well done (again, a bit too black/white for my taste, but that's personal).
If it wasn't for the end, I would have given this 3 stars. However, the last few chapters really pick up speed and I was not able to put the book down.
Alfie: He tries. He tries so very much to make everyone happy and do his best, even though he fails consistently (idk if he got anything right the entire book). His anxious thoughts are kinda annoying to me sometimes, but I mostly bc I have similar train of thoughts irl. I do like him a lot, he is a throughout good person. However...boy can't connect dots, if his life depended on it. The writing on the wall could be a 7 feet tall neon sign and he would still miss it.
What really bothered me is, that when he heard the screaming in the magic dimension, he immidiatly assumed it was, bc the magic "hated" him and not for once considered that someone might be screaming and that maybe he should ask his teacher about it or go check it out idk? Also why was he so suprised that the prince who hates him, his country and his people might want to start a war lol. Howerver, poor kid really had a lot going on in this book so I kinda don't wanna blame him for not having all his wits together.
Finn First of all, the halluzinations and headaches really got me worried that they were gonna be some sort of death flag lmao. I don't know why, but I really like her. She is, was and probably always will be an asshole, but that is what I like about her. She does is unapologetically herself, even if that is not really a good person. She will not apologize even, even if she's wrong, she will treaten you with a dagger and use it, she will get her emotions get the best of her. Finn is who she is and does not feel sorry or guilty about that. Maybe some people might think that that means she doesn't have any kind of character development, that she must grow into a better person. Well I think that defeating your inner demons and learning to accept parts of yourself that you don't really like (or hate) is also great character development.
What kinda bothered me tho is the whole jealousy, miscommunicating/not communicating bullshit she has going on with Alfie. Just no.
Luka Probably one of my favourite characters. He is just so fun and charming, while also very no bullshit. I appreciated that we learned more about his past and his current struggel with survivors guilt. Adding that he already "cheated" death twice made his inner struggel more complex and believable I guess, even though I think he could be fleshed out better.
Him and Alfie are supposed to be really close and it does read like that troughout the book but they also communicate sooooo poorly oof. There's this whole thing going on about Luka putting himself into harms way and Alfie not understanding why and giving him shit for it and Luka not wanting to explain blabla. I do get that Luka wants to be left alone in his struggle. What I don't get is how Alfie has no clue NO clue what could be wrong with him. His friend just cheated death at the cost of hundreds of lives, after having already survived his entire family, got a tattoo of a gravehopper and let's himself get beaten up almost every night...really no idea?
What I do appreciate is that they have each others back no question asked, no matter how much they fight.
others Abuela is fucking badass. Being a thief lord grandma, who loves to bake and kick ass? amazing. Anabeltilia: I did not see her betrayal coming. It was quite hard to form an opinion on her, always kinda between "she's gonna stab Finn in the back one day" and "she'll be her right hand one day" Vesper: Also, did not see that coming. Really bought her whole "I just want the best for my people, please save them" bs. Very nice twist. Marsden: Asshole. From begining till the end, not one good quality.
Romance I'm sorry but Alfie and Finn have the chemistry of stale bread. There is nothing between them that makes me want to ship this. Also there was somehow too much time spend on their romantic relationship and not enough. It did not get enough pages to make any signigicant progress, yet was present enough to make everything else less impactful. There were blooy murder going on and yet Alfie thinks 24/7 about, if Finn might be offended by him trying to kiss her. Also the whole jealousy part was just so clichée.
Plot There was a whole lot going on, but not very much at the same time. Many pages are used for political back and forth between Englass and Castallan, which was not really boring but also not super interesting. There was not as much tension, as there should have been? I mean the murder were pretty intense and suprisingly bloody, but there was just so much talk about love triangles and other bs that it kinda fell flat. What really pissed me off throughout the whole book, was that no one seemed to take the theft of the vanishing cloak serious. There's a murderer on the lose who can walk through walls and now he can make himself invisible!! Why is there no panic?? Alfie is borderline relieved, bc without the cloak he can't marry (wtf) and feels a bit guilty at best. Our trio tries to figure out who Los Toros are and how to stop them, but every lead they find is a dead end. Almost by accident they figure it out, which was kinda meh and could have been done more interesting. The plottwist of who Los Toros really are was pretty great imo. I did have a similar suspicion (did not see the whole "turning them into mindless shells" coming), but it was not super obvious and quite suprising. The Dezmin returning plottwist was quite the miss tho, have been waiting for this one since the first book. They implied that Sombra killed him when he took over his body, but I don't really buy it. On that note...why tf did they have to bring Sombra back. I don't get it, having Englass as the big bad would be more that enough for the last book imo.
I'm not sure how I stand on the entire Englass royal family being behind Los Toros. Having this conversation about how you could mend the wounds of the past and dealing with all those political unrests was quite interesting. Having some characters be more ignorant (and full on Englass supremacist) while others are far progressive and open to change created more dimensions than making Englass evil sobs in disguise. But it did make an hell of a plot twist and I can't wait for them to get their asses handed to them lmao.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
So. GOOD. Oh my God. Nocturna was amazing, but Oculta? Oculta is even better. The stakes are higher, Finn and Alfie begin to realize just how perfect they are for one another, the awful Englassens are awful, but there's a group called Los Toros who might be even worse...If you liked Nocturna, you will love Oculta. If you haven't read Nocturna, stop everything and do it now, seriously, you need to. This has rapidly become one of my favorite fantasy series of all time - I love it so much. I need book three immediately. I mean, after that ending in Oculta, I need it. I NEED IT!!!
I really wanted to like this book, but plotwise it (and Nocturna) read a lot like V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series and the characters kept getting on my nerves (they were all super moody and terrible at communication).
I also felt like Oculta was longer than it needed to be. :/
Another absolutely incredible novel by Motayne. I loved returning to this world, as it has one of the coolest magical systems I have ever read about. The characters are so easy to adore, and they know how to get your emotions going. The ending of this book leaves so much to be desired, and I'm sad I can't read it immediately. I highly recommend this book!
bro dis book is so good. maya motayne is literally a genius, bro marry me plssss. i love how she write every character, i love the setting. i love everything. this is my favorite book series ever and she is my favorite author now. i want a book 3 so bad but idk when it will come out. 😩😭