Sterling by Dannika Dark

June 15th, 2017 Kimberly Review 51 Comments

15th Jun
Sterling by Dannika Dark
by Dannika Dark
Series: Mageri #1
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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?

urban snarky Kick Ass Heroine magical

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 »

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
Audible JIAM BANNER 2017
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

51 Responses to “Sterling by Dannika Dark”

  1. Megan Riverina Romantics

    This is in my Audible library! I love her Seven series.

    • Megan Riverina Romantics

      LOL. I didn’t think that I had commented yet.

      • kimbacaffeinate

        Bwhaha…it is all good. I am so excited you have the Seven series. I am almost done this series and will have to wait on new releases of her works 🙁

  2. Melanie Simmons

    Great review. I loved this series and really need to try the other two series. I felt that Justus was interested in Zoe more for the fact that he knows she would be interested because of actual interest, and not his gift. I’m excited to revisit this series through your reviews.

  3. Sophia Rose

    Love when an author creates a world and ties in series together inside that world. Sounds like there are some good twists and long term story going on, too.
    I don’t think I’ve tried anything read by Nichole Poole yet.

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    Woohoo! I’ve read and listened to this one, Kim – and I loved it both times. But you’re right, Poole does an amazing job with Dark’s books. I’m only on book 3 in this series so I’m sure you’ll be flying past me soon but I look forward to taking the ride with you. 😉

  5. Laura Thomas

    It seems that I repeat myself every time I read one of your reviews. Here I go again….I keep meaning to read this author. See. I have some of her books languishing on my Kindle. Need a long vacation to get to them:)
    Enjoyed your review. Now I’m going to go start a list of authors I am going to get to this summer:)

  6. Megan Riverina Romantics

    This is in my library waiting to be listened to.

  7. Angela Adams

    “Justice is tall, dark, arrogant and handsome.” — Why do these qualities generally seem to go together in a novel? Thanks for the post, Kim!

  8. Sarah

    It’s been a LONG time since I’ve read Urban Fantasy, but you’ve sold me on this one! I have been curious about Dannika Dark’s books, though. Good to know this book is the one to start with. 🙂

  9. Tanya

    I picked up this one and the Crossbreed one as well at an Audible sale. I can’t wait to get started!

  10. Lorna

    Got my dancin’ shoes on! My favorite series! So happy you loved it And doesn’t it just get better as you go? Wonderful review!

  11. Nick

    The world in this book sounds absolutely fascinating, Kim, and I love your enthusiasm for it. But ahhh the complicated romance! You know how I feel about those!
    I’m glad you found the book to be enjoyable! Great review!

  12. Cyn

    Oh I do love badass heroines and snark! And I’m really liking the sounds of the friendship in this! Glad this was a fantastic listen, awesome review, Kim!

  13. Ailyn Koay

    i think your autocorrect keeps correcting Justus to Justice, either that or there’s another guy call Justice?

  14. Geybie's Book Blog

    I can see how much you love this author’s books. Awesome review, Kim. You make me want to try one of this author’s books. I’ll check out this series.

  15. Cindy

    I have not heard of this series or author before. I must be really missing out on some great books!