by Dannika Dark
Series: Mageri #1
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until late one night, she was brutally attacked and left for dead. She survived, saved by a stranger who witnessed her undergo a physical transformation. That's not the only thing that's different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.
Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. He's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she is a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. She must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?
After loving the Seven series and starting the new Crossbreed series, I knew I had to go back and begin Dannika Dark’s Mageri series. STERLING is the first book, and I am so glad I have started this series. Dark takes us into the world of Mages and the Breed who live in secret alongside humans. I am already enamored with these characters and the world.
One again I chose to listen. Nichole Pool narrates, and I have come to love her voices both male and female. She captures the unique personalities of the characters and the tone of the stories Dark writes.
The world in STERLING is the same from the Crossbreed and Seven series making this urban fantasy a welcome listen. We meet Zoë Merrick a twenty-nine-year-old human on the night she is attacked and killed. She awakens in a body bag and runs for her life. She awakens three days later to find she is healed and physically changed. The first few chapters were interesting, and I was curious to discover what Zoë was. I enjoyed the growing friendship between her and Adam the man who discovered and protected her during her change. It was a mix of humor and tenderness with a subtle electrical current of attraction.
Unable to return home since she has been reported both dead and missing, she travels with Adam on a photo shoot. Despite Adam’s warnings she decides to explore the city where she meets Justus De Gradi. Justus is tall, dark, arrogant and handsome. In one evening Zoë learns that she is a Mage and that the terrible man who did this to her could claim her. Justus agrees to be her guardian and train her as a Mage, but first, he must present her to the council. Poor Zoë. Her life is uprooted once again as she says goodbye to Adam and goes willingly with Justus. At this point, I am completely hooked!
Dark does an excellent job with the worldbuilding and characters from the Mage hierarchy to their training. Each Mage has a unique gift which explains a lot about Justus. I loved that Zoë is unaffected by his gift and how it totally catches him off guard. They begin training and fall into a routine. Zoë is feeling isolated until Justus’ friend Simon arrives and oh lord, I love this charming, sexy and over the top Mage from his accent to his teasing.
Zoë’s creator appears before the council to claim her and the tale takes on a suspenseful tone with dark twists. I wanted to scream at the council and cause physical harm to the bastard. Dark delivered intense scenes and twists that kept me fully engaged. I thought Adam was out of the picture, but OMG, the twists, and the ending blew my mind. The suspense and action scenes were well written. I will warn you that the scenes at times were dark and may cause a trigger, for sensitive readers. View Spoiler »Heroine is held captive She is physically assaulted, and there is attempted rape. While the scenes are not overly graphic, the tone and fear are. « Hide Spoiler
Is there a romantic thread? In a word, it’s complicated. All the men are attracted to Zoë, although I don’t think Justus is ready to admit that openly. Regardless of what happens, a tight friendship has formed between this motley crew.
Nichole Pool did such a fantastic job with these characters. She captured their personalities and accents wonderfully. I enjoy her male voices and that she can highlight both Zoë’s strength and weaknesses through tone.
STERLING was splendid from beginning to end and I cannot wait to dive back in. I have managed to read Dark’s series out of order, but all are unique and quite different even though they are all in the same world. I do however recommend that new readers begin with this series since some of these characters appear in the Crossbreed series.Sterling by Dannika Dark delivered an action packed, addictive urban fantasy. Click To Tweet