Thursday 6 November 2014

Review ~ Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy #1) by Courtney Cole

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

“The only thing worse than drowning in grief is sharing a lifeboat with other drowning people.”

This is going to be one quick review, not because I do not have much to say…in fact far from it, I could ramble forever, but this is one book that you need to read blind. The only thing that I have read is the blurb and the book itself and I have just this second finished. I am having to write this review straight away while everything is fresh, even though my brain is totally and utterly scrambled.

I must admit, I am not the kind of person that can guess plot twists, as much as it annoys me. I guess I don’t have that kind of mind, but it does not stop me from trying. My theories were varied and to a degree, I kind of guessed but it was only half way there, but at least this time I was on the right track. It must be because I have been reading a few of these suspense type books recently and I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one.

It is not often a book dumps you on your ass, but Courtney Cole managed to do this. From the first page I was gripped. It was one of those books that I had seen advertised and couldn’t wait to open and I couldn’t put it down.

“We’re not the people we used to be. We just look like it on the outside.”

This book centres round Calla and Finn, who are twins and Dare. Calla is an eighteen year old girl that lives at home with her father, who is a mortician, her mother and her twin, Finn. They live in the funeral home, so Calla is perpetually surrounded by death. An event that happens shakes Calla to the core and she cannot help but feel responsible, even if it is misguided. It is the events that happen after this that truly begin this intriguing, suspenseful story.

It is during the aftermath that Calla meets Dare, firstly as a stranger and then fate has ways of making sure their paths cross again. Call it destiny, the stars, whatever, but these two were destined to be together.

“Really? Then what, pray tell, will be your downfall?” Dare pauses too, purveying me with his arms dangling limply at his sides. “There’s a very good chance it’ll be you.”

I found myself highlighting like crazy as little snippets were revealed, or if some things just didn’t make sense or add up. I was kind of in a Sherlock Holmes frame of mind…thinking to myself, I can do it, I can see what is before me…I will solve this mystery…but alas I failed. This book will get your grey matter working overdrive, but Courtney Cole weaves this plot fantastically so that you keep second guessing yourself throughout. My theories changed from one chapter to the next and it is not often that happens.

It is only once you finish the book (it may take a while for you to come back to the land of the living) and you go back through those highlights that the puzzle pieces finally connect together, the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Suddenly, those things that didn’t make sense, suddenly become crystal clear and you are left saying to yourself…that was clever, that was nifty…ooooo you cheeky moo!! I have to applaud Courtney Cole because she totally nailed it.

I found the writing so atmospheric, it was as if I was there, sitting in the scene, watching the story unfold. Chillingly crafted so that I felt every shiver, I cried with every tear, I was anxious and worried but when Calla was happy, I was happy, even if it was in short, sharp bursts.

As I progressed through this book the sense of foreboding, apprehension and trepidation really got to me. I was panicked on the inside, knowing that the bomb was going to drop, but you just didn’t know when. It is ingenious, layered writing that builds up to this crescendo and is testament to Courtney Cole’s writing when she delivers what she warns you about in the very beginning.

“You have one question left, Calla,” he reminds me, his voice somber. “Ask it.” So with fear in my heart and ice in my veins… I do.

I loved Courtney Cole’s Minaldi legacy series and this book has that same air of mystery and suspense but just taken up to the next level. The growth in Courtney Cole’s writing is blatantly evident throughout and I have to give her a standing ovation and shout Bravo, because this truly “got me.”

I cannot wait for Verum in February 2015, this is one series that has started with a bang, the curiosity is piqued, I cannot wait to see where this going.

“Everyone has secrets, Calla, even me.”

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