Book Review: Sterling by Dannika Dark

January 25, 2014 Review 0 ★★★½

Book Review: Sterling by Dannika DarkSterling by Dannika Dark
Series: Mageri #1
Published by Self-published on 2011 September 5
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 263
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased
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Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is 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. She meets him by chance - a man who's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she's a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë 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?

Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.

I had a hard time rating this book. I kept going back and forth from 3 to 4 and vice versa. Sterling is my very first Adult, paranormal read and I went into it without a lot of expectations since I am treading on unfamiliar territory. I don’t know how things will work in adult paranormal books because my only experience in the said age group only extends from mystery to erotica to HF to EF. At the end though, I decided to give Sterling a 3.5 star rating.

The story of Sterling revolves around the life of Zoe Merrick who was murdered one night while she’s going home.  But for some mysterious reasons, she found herself awake and alive one day. While grateful for a second chance in life, she couldn’t help herself from being horrified at the abnormal changes that’s going on with her body.  And it didn’t help that an enigmatic man named, Justus, is suddenly invading her peaceful life.

What drew me in to this book is the fact that the premise is very intriguing and it’s about mages.  Perhaps I should mention that I am an online gamer and my avatar of choice is always a mage so it’s kind of a refreshing experience to read stories about them.  My excitement, however, didn’t last for long as soon as I’ve been given a clearer picture of Zoe’s personality. Gah, I just hate her for a myriad of reasons.  I hate that she immediately trusted Adam after she came back from the dead. Good lord, she was murdered and I expected that she’d be wary of everyone but no, she gave her 100% trust to a total stranger. I hate that she did the same to Justus. I hate that she’s stubborn-bordering-on-lack-of-self-preservation and that she’s an ungrateful bitch.  I hate that she made out with Simon and Adam. Heavens, I thought that only teenagers are suffering from raging hormones. You can’t imagine my relief when she spared Justus of her unsatisfied lust. Le sigh.

On the contrary, I loved the guys of Sterling. It’s as if Dannika’s forte lies on creating swoon worthy male characters because let’s face it, her female characters are an utter disappointment including Sunny. Simon, Adam and Justus are all boyfriend materials. You don’t have to choose, either one of them is worth it. Simon is the charmer and the easygoing type. Adam is your average, next-door-neighbour guy. And Justus, my, if you’re into dangerous and enigmatic males then he’s the perfect catch. I am just irritated that they seemed to be pouring all their precious energy on queen bee, Zoe. They deserve someone BETTER.

The plot also delivered albeit predictable. And I was surprised that despite the sexual tension this book is giving off, Sterling is never about romance.  It never veered from the path of telling Zoe’s life as a new mage and the challenges that she has to face.  The way things played out in this book was very interesting that I was able to ignore Zoe’s b-tch-ness.

Sterling would’ve been really enjoyable if Dannika placed a significant effort in the world building. Sure, the mageri politics was explained but it wasn’t enough to give a clear picture of the Mageri world. I thought that Dannika would build a world that is fully realized. Disappointingly, I was treated to places that are as boring as a slug.

In a nutshell, Sterling was able to hold on its own and managed to catch my interest among all the paranormal books that inundated the genre today. And that ending certainly made a loud impact on me.

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