Book Review: Verum by Courtney Cole

Nocte, #2
| +Goodreads |

*This is the second book in the trilogy and is not a standalone. Nocte must be read first! 
The truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.


Imagine standing at the entrance of a maze. Thick, daunting hedges tower in front of you. At this point, you cannot see the path laid out. You cannot see the exit or even what could be waiting for you on the other side. Every twist and turn is hidden, poised in shadow. Your path...unpredictable, riddled with unforeseen obstacles. Yet, the anticipation both chills you and urges you forward. You need to see. You need to keep going.

That's what it feels like to read Verum.
That's what it feels like to live and breathe Verum.
That's the beauty and genius of this book: its ability to lure you into its madness. 
Welcome to Courtney Cole's labyrinth!
"The truth is coming, child. Be ready for it."
This book was a perfectly addictive, mind-wrecking thriller! Once again, I was completely ensnared by the lyrical, atmospheric writing style. I wondered--without chapters from Finn's point of view--how the author would continue the vibe she set in Nocte, but Courtney Cole blends the Price twins' voices in such a striking, darkly poetic way. Calla's inner torment--the loneliness, the fear, the desperation--are all so palpable. After all she's been through, her psyche is clearly fragile, and at times, even unreliable. Readers have to pick at all the pieces and try to decipher between illusion and reality. The rhythm and pace of the storytelling was, once again, outstanding. My emotions echoed Calla's, enticed to follow along in the tailspin, searching just as desperately for relief.
I've been floating in a sea of insanity, and I can't wake up. I can't wake up.
To sum up my reading experience, I'll give you the definition of spellbound: bound by or held as if by a spell; enchanted, entranced, or fascinated. There's a whimsicality to the story, like Alice in a dark Wonderland. Every scene played out so vividly. Without being outright paranormal or supernatural, there was something so, so mystifying happening in these pages. The things Calla sees and the people she meets. The gothic imagery, the enigmatic cast of characters. All of the pieces came together to set the board for a truly mesmerizing and gripping mind game. Calla's journey was, in some moments, heartwrenching, and in others, purely nerve-clawing.
"The past is a prison, and you'll never break free."
And of course, there's Dare. Calla's one constant in an unstable universe. Courtney Cole made me feel the longing and the angst all over again. I ached for these two to find happiness together, to let the walls down and let each other in, but there are so many questions, so many unspoken things. Secrets. The clues and hints were slowly killing me!

We get a lot more details about Dare in this book, but as much as I felt like Calla needed him, how much they loved each other, I also saw red flags. I didn't know what to trust, who to trust, what to hold on to...How is everything connected??? I was hanging on every word, practically shoving my face onto my Kindle screen. The writing is so hypnotic. I just wanted answers, some relief, but the rabbit hole kept on going! It kept me so wound up and ready to break at any moment!
My heart pounds as he bends, his lips close enough to graze my neck.

I remember those lips. The way they feel soft, yet firm. The way he tastes of spearmint.

"You smell like apples." His whisper is low. I close my eyes for a scant second, because an apple is what destroyed Eden.
When I finally closed the book, I may have placed my Kindle down, slowly put my palms in the air, and whispered to an empty room, "Fuck, what is going on..." 


Honestly, I think I have more questions than when I started. I might be a jumbled up mess, with a lot to process. But I'm willing to be patient. I feel like I've endured the gauntlet, and the finish line is just within reach! Courtney Cole put me right on the edge, and I'm terrified yet excited to be pushed over! She's made these books an experience, and I am fiercely anticipating the grand finale!
"You're almost there, Calla-Lily. You're almost there."


| Nocte, Book One | Review | Excerpt |

| Verum, Book Two | Excerpt |

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Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

*** ARC provided in exchange for an honest review ***