Audiobook Review: Sterling (Mageri #1) by Dannika Dark (Narrator: Nicole Pool)

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Sterling Book Cover Sterling
Mageri #1
Dannika Dark (Narrator: Nicole Pool)
Urban Fantasy - Paranormal Romance
Tantor Audio
June 9th 2014
9 hours and 59 minutes


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?


Sterling is book one in the Mageri series by Dannika Dark. It’s got abuse, death, and rebirth.

I’ve got first book syndrome on this one. It’s got good things and things I didn’t like. Main issue for me is that the pace was oh so very slow. It dragged until her maker finds her, then things pick up.

The other issue I had that frustrated me was the character relationships. Their are so many different men she’s fantasizing about and getting close too. I was so, frustrated with all these angles. I couldn’t figure it out and I just wanted the relationships defined more. How many bloody love interest do we need?

Zoë, What is she? How is she alive? For me she came off weak, whiny, not tough, timid, and stupid at times. I just wanted to slap some fight and smarts into her. I just don’t know what to make of her. I was intrigued with what she was turned into, Mageri. It’s interesting this magical being. Their is still much to learn.

Their is some introduction to the Breed world and Mageri structure, but I’m still confused on it. It’s like they are stuck in mid evil times and women are down on the food chain, only made to serve or service; yet their are women on the council. I just don’t know how I feel on this world yet or the structure.

I did notice some inconsistencies in the writing. At times I felt like I was missing a scene or sentences to get from point A to B. I had to re-listen in a few spots; because of this feeling.

Things start to pick up once Zoë’s creator appears to claim her. Their are some intense scenes and twists along the way. The suspense and action near the end kept me guessing; though there are also some cringe worth moments. Some of the scenes are dark and can be triggers for sensitive readers. The ending I will say was a surprise.

Narration: Nicole Poole did good with her narration. Zoë has her whiny moments and those I didn’t like to hear and they erk’ed me to listen to. The male voices where great and Nicole adds accents to several of the characters which I enjoyed.

Sterling was a struggle for me. I have first book syndrome. I do plan on continue the series in audio and will give the next book a go. The audio was a nice listen I just had issues with how slow things progressed in the plot and story.

Rated: 3 Stars

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

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June 24, 2019 7:09 pm

Thanks for the review – I know a lot of folks that love her Crossbreed series – is this related (same world)? Or a whole different series?

Melanie Simmons
June 23, 2019 4:56 am

I really enjoyed this series, but I do remember it being a bit slow to start. Great review.

Janie McGaugh
Janie McGaugh
June 21, 2019 8:25 pm

I enjoy Nicole Poole’s narration and really enjoyed the Seven series. I’ve had a harder time getting into the Mageri series.

June 21, 2019 6:32 pm

I love PNR, thanks for sharing!

Jana Leah
Jana Leah
June 21, 2019 10:26 am

I read the Crossbreed series (at least the books that had been released already) before I started this one & so I went into it with a better understanding of the world. I hope that when you continue the series you’ll enjoy each book more than you liked this one.

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict
June 21, 2019 7:42 am

Book One Syndrome sucks, but this series truly does get better. I have fallen in love with this author and her series. Mageri has a lot of world building, but the world carries over into the Seven series and the Crossbreed series, so when you get to those, you already have a grasp of the world. I hope you enjoy book 2 a little more!