I have been looking for a new series to read for ages so when I came across Sterling I was keen to jump in. Even better – the series is finished so there’s no waiting around to read the next book. There are 5 books in total in the series.
Zoe Merrick is a 29 year old woman with an ordinary life. She hangs out with her cat, spends time with her best friend and works a boring job. One night she’s heading home and is attacked by a vicious weirdo and left for dead. The next thing she knows she’s waking up in a body bag. She does what any sane person would do and runs like the wind until she is eventually found covered in blood by a man named Adam. He takes her in and cares for her as she undergoes a transformation and develops strange abilities. Eventually a chance meeting leads her to Justus who tells her what she is – a Mage. He offers to be her Ghaurdian. He protects her, trains her and teaches her about herself and their world and from there on we follow her journey while she figures it all out. Until her creator comes back for her and then the shit really hits the fan.
I’ll start off by saying I loved this book almost from the first page. Her relationship with her best friend was hilarious and fun and got me hooked instantly. I’m a sucker for a sassy heroine and Zoe is SASSY. She’s also witty and a few of her one liners had me snorting out loud –
“The girl lives downtown where the crime rate is as high as her rent (and her neighbour for that matter)”
“When the only tongue you’re getting is from your cat …it’s time to get out more”
The story did lose me a little in the first half and didn’t really get back on track until about 50% of the way through when Zoe meets the charming, arrogant and totally hot Justus and becomes his Learner. I’m not sure why that was (maybe it’s just me?) but I just wasn’t really feeling the connection between her and Adam. It all seemed a bit too convenient I think. You wake up after being murdered and you’re a completely changed person and you start living with the random man that took you in? Aaaaand were all just ok with this? I’m not sure about that. Also there were parts of the story where I felt like I was living in a computer game. An example of this is when they talked about her releasing her power so she didn’t overload as “levelling down” . What the..? Was there no better word or phrase than levelling down???
The writer has created a unique and interesting world filled with diverse characters. Some you will love, others will have you screaming about injustice and inequality, and then there are the ones that will have you wanting to jump into the story and take care of those assholes yourself. The writing was not perfect but it was solid and there were only a few wonky sentences. Nothing too distracting.
Some of my favourite quotes –
“Part of our perception of our looks is shaped from a lifetime of comments, opinions and reactions to it”
“I think you know better than anyone that is it not the easy road the makes us capable of great things. It is the hard journey the leads to a greater destiny. You can never rise if you never have anything to rise above”
“He was the sun…my sun. He was the centre of my new life and I basked in his light and protection. My eyelids sank heavily and his hand rested over mine. Despite what I had told him – my hand was healed by his magic. Justus made me whole again.”
By the end of this book I was completely invested in this story and was ready to jump in to the second book as soon as I finished the first. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this story will take us!