Tamara Rose Blodgett's Reviews > Sterling

Sterling by Dannika Dark
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Vital, Engaging, riveting, narrative-voice-I-love. Yeah guys, STERLING has all of that. This is a hill and valley read. Pretty much, I am on the top of the mountain during the entire read with only a small valley about two thirds of the way through that dragged a little for me. I was reading along thinking to myself, four stars, pretty great then BAM, the author wallops me between the eyes with a few chapters that were so beautifully terrible, so brutal in their raw emotional transference it took my breath away. I do NOT tear up during reading (except for A DOG'S PURPOSE, of course!) and Dark made me! I couldn't believe the horrible circumstances the MC found herself amongst and wanted to commit murder against the perpetrators, that amped it to a five star right there. To know what Dark is capable of delivering was almost disturbing. I hope to see more of that intensity in book #2. I'm all over that gritty edge she served up in this book!

There, I feel so much better.

STERLING began talking about mages and I rolled my eyes. I am Sick to Death with mage this and mage that. But guess what? It was not what I was thinking and was a completely different premise than I was expecting. Another plus for the book. There is so a love triangle between Adam, Simon, Justus and Zoe (or square?). But we're just not sure how or which one and I love the suspense. It is acute without being frustrating. Zoe, who becomes Silver, is not weak but she is vulnerable and it is this subtlety in Dark's writing that made me not want to stop and bark like a dog on a short leash to get the next installment. Which I'm happily reading now.

Zoe is murdered during the opening scene and STERLING follows her odyssey of self-discovery with regard to what she's become. It's difficult, frustrating and she misses her old life. Zoe/Silver has a mentor that does so from a distance and it leaves her tense and lonely. But in his way, he loves her.

What I loved: pretty much everything. I love the latter third of the book deeply, it moved my soul. The first third was interesting and engaging along with giving me surprise bread crumbs to munch on. The middle had a sag but picked up quickly enough that I got through it.

What I wasn't as nuts over: there seems to be some things that are logically missing like: why didn't Zoe contact her friend sooner? Why did the mage council not see that her maker was an atrocity to their kind and meant her harm? They almost seemed to goad him to that end. Ugh!

Overall, STERLING gets a killer endorsement. Usually, I only go forward in a series if I adore the first book. It has to grab me for the second to be on TBR list. This one has that spark, that enigmatic something that pushed me forward. It's unique and that's what got my full attention. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

5.5 stars!

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Sub-genre: militaristic, sci-fi, romantic tension
Elements: Violence, Profanity, Violence against women
Age: 18+
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