Author: Courtney Cole
Series: The Nocte Trilogy #1
Publisher: Lakehouse Press Inc
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Genre: Mystery, New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
SAVE ME AND I'LL SAVE YOU...
My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half-- my twin brother, my Finn-- is crazy.
I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.
I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.
He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.
Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.
Why? Because of a secret.
A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.
You won’t either.
Glancing up, I suck my breath in when I find dark eyes connected to mine, eyes so dark they’re almost black, and the energy in them is enough to freeze me in place.
A boy is attached to the dark gaze.
He’s probably no more than twenty or twenty-one, but everything about him screams man. There’s no boy in him. That part of him is very clearly gone. I see it in his eyes, in the way he holds himself, in the perceptive way he takes in his surroundings, then stares at me with singular focus, like we’re somehow connected by a tether. He’s got a million contradictions in his eyes….aloofness, warmth, mystery, charm, and something else I can’t define.
He’s muscular, tall, and wearing a tattered black sweatshirt that says Irony is lost on you in orange letters. His dark jeans are belted with black leather, and a silver band encircles his middle finger.
Dark hair tumbles into his face and a hand with long fingers impatiently brushes it back, all the while his eyes are still connected with mine. His jaw is strong and masculine, with the barest hint of stubble.
His gaze is still connected to mine, like a livewire, or a lightning bolt. I can feel the charge of it racing along my skin, like a million tiny fingers, flushing my cheeks. My lungs flutter and I swallow hard.
And then, he smiles at me.
Because I don’t know him and he doesn’t know better.
Letter From the Author:
I once considered not writing this story. It was too dark, too twisted, too much, too, too, too.
Obviously, I changed my mind. But I re-wrote in four different ways first, trying to make it different, more easily palatable, softer.
It didn’t work.
So I went back to my original idea, the idea that I loved. The idea that I dreamed about and lived and breathed until it was done the way I wanted it, the way it has to be.
I know you’re capable of reading it. I know you’re capable of putting yourselves back together again when it’s all over. I have faith in you.
Is this story dark?
It is twisted?
Will it slap you in the face?
Will it have you flipping the pages, trying to figure it out, trying to get to the climax, trying to breathe?
God, I hope so.
I wrote this story the way it needed to be written. I couldn’t sugarcoat it. I couldn’t water it down. It is this way because the story demands it.
I’m not sorry.
Fairly certain that I’m the one who needs to be medicated at this point. I knew going into this story that it was shroud in mystery, and having never read a Courtney Cole book before, I was essentially blind. I feel like this only heightened my senses and delivered an invaluable experience unlike any I’ve had previously. I’ll admit to having my theories throughout, and while they inevitably changed hands a few times, even I didn’t see THAT coming. Do you know how rare it is for me to NOT figure out a story pretty early on? Extremely. So when those books do come along, they go on a special shelf in my mind. One reserved for only the greats. One reserved for tales that will undoubtedly never leave my consciousness. Stories that stick and fester for days on end, constantly going over the details with utter precision to see what else you may have missed. Because sure, the signs were there all along, but go ahead and try and piece it together. I dare you. It’s so obvious after the fact, but trust me when I say I bet you won’t figure it out.
“By night I am free.
No one hears my monsters but me.
My freedom is fragile, though,
Because every morning,
Over and over,
The night is broken
By the sun.
It’s a good way to die.”
Nocte (as I learned early on I had been pronouncing it wrong for months, said noc-TAY) is the story of a young woman dealing with grief and guilt all whilst discovering her first love and trying to hold onto her sanity and that of her brother. Calla and Finn are twins and couldn’t be more different. From their looks, to their thought processes, to their likes and dislikes, to their outlooks on life. Yet they are twins, and that in itself is an unbreakable bond like no other. I adore reading about twins because they experience a closeness that can’t be explained nor denied; it just is. Calla has a legitimate reason to worry about Finn; he is schizophrenic and bi-polar. Add in the fact that their father is a mortician and they grew up in a funeral home, and Calla and Finn have only really ever had each other. Like I said; unbreakable bond. One of the first things you notice about this book that sets it apart from others is when you get to see the inner musings of Finn’s mind. That in itself was unique to me as I have never read from that perspective before. For the author to pull that off seemingly flawlessly, it added an extra dimension to the story that would have felt less without it. To witness his thought process, see his struggles with clarity, and believe vehemently in things that obviously weren’t occurring; I’ve been intrigued for months!
My voice is real.
Those voices are not.
But it’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart.
Enter Dare. He was just a conundrum wrapped in an enigma. Although, the mystery only heightened my infatuation with him, he was a many with many, many layers. And if you think you are going to peel back all of them with this book, or even most of them, hah! Think again. There was a hesitant gentleness to him all while you could sense the storm brewing beneath the surface. This was a man that you just KNEW had demons, yet you couldn’t wait to dive headfirst into them! It’s hard to explain it adequately, but I just felt him in my bones. This was surprising because if we are going to go in order of characters that are in the book the most, he would come in third. But there was just something about him that touched me deeply. Maybe it was what I knew. Maybe it was what I was learning. Or maybe it was a gut feeling of things to come. I just felt him, plain and simple.
“I don’t believe in fatal flaws.
“Really? Then what, pray tell, will be your downfall?”
“There’s a very good chance it’ll be you.”
Lastly, our star of the book, Calla. First off, LOVE the name. Latin (language) themes ran rampant throughout this novel and it’s never made me want to learn the dead language more. There’s something so primitive and dignified about it. Something about taking a simple word and making it extremely complicated to bring it back to its core. Though darkness surrounded Calla at every turn, there was a brightness I felt from her. Her soul shone through the darkest of clouds, so brightly no one could dim it, though they certainly tried. Torn between loyalty and following her heart, I loved her struggle. I loved her strength, determination, and devotion to her brother. By the end I was nearly breathless with my heart lodged in my chest. Tears streaming, the revelation was just too much, yet not enough. It couldn’t have been more perfect if she tried.
I feel like I’m walking on a cloud of confusion.
While this leans a little towards cliffhanger, I guess technically it’s a ‘happy-for-now’. And you know what? I am perfectly okay with that. My masochistic heart loves a good cliffhanger and this one gave me just enough to simultaneously stick with me, leave me begging for more, yet willing to wait. I eagerly await Cole’s continuation of Calla and Dare’s story. I would speculate, but as I found with this book, I would certainly be wrong.