Narrator: Nicole Poole
Series: Mageri #1
Published by Tantor Audio on 2014-06-09
Length: 9hr and 59min
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audiobook Challenge, Beat the Backlist 2019
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?
Another hard to write review….I believe this is becoming a trend for me. It’s either that or I’m about to get in a rut. Sterling by Dannika Dark is the first in her Mageri series. This book has popped up in my Amazon recommendations SO many times that I finally caved and y’all voted it as #MyTBRL read last month. I attempted reading it and found myself so distracted I couldn’t focus. I wound up getting an audio copy through my Audible Escape membership. Nicole Poole is a lifesaver. Her narration reeled me in, and I listened in two days.
Sterling follows the story of Zoë Merrick. Zoë was your average girl, living what she thought was a rather boring life until one night she decides to take a shortcut. That shortcut ended with her being attacked/killed and waking up the next morning in a body bag, and her life as she knew it will never be the same.
I like Zoë. She is understandably frightened and angry at the hand life has dealt her. She can’t return to the life she knew, she can’t even say goodbye to those she loves and love her. And when things start happening to her, she learns to roll with it. Zoë handles her new life much better than I would. She is determined to learn her place and cope with her new reality, and that’s admirable.
This book could really be divided into two separate stories. The first 40% is her life with Adam, immediately after the attack and her transformation. Adam is broken as much as Zoë is. His scars aren’t visible though. He is alone in the world until he finds her, and now he feels it his responsibility to protect her. I have a lot of questions about Adam and very little answers. I don’t even know that he will return after this book, which is odd as I honestly believed him the love interest. The last part of the book is Zoë training with Justus. Justus comes across Zoë on a trip to Memphis. Drawn to her, he recognizes the light within her. This light is what changed her, it’s why she survived the attack, and it is why she leaves Adam to be trained by Justus.
I really struggled with the plot/pacing. As I mentioned, the book could have been divided into two parts. The first part with Adam is oddly paced, and as a result, I felt like I missed big parts of the story. The second part is much smoother and sets up the world for the rest of the series. In fact I’m curious to learn more about the world of the Mageri and what will happen next.
Overall Sterling was just an ok read for me. If it hadn’t been for Nicole Poole’s narration, this would have been a DNF for me. However I’m glad I stuck with it. The conclusion of this story is really just the beginning, and I’m excited to see what happens next. If you enjoy paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I believe you’ll enjoy where this story is going.