Published: August 12th, 2015
by: Rebellious Valkyrie Press
Genres: Young-Adult, Science-Fiction, Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.
But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.
Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.
If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.
The Mark of Noba is the first book in The Sterling Wayfairer Series, and it’s a good start. I wanted more from this book, not so much of the descriptions that seemed to take up most of the narrative. First off, can we just thank the Gods for this beautiful cover? And if you think it’s gorgeous, you should see and feel it yourself. I’ve never seen anything like it and I could not stop staring at it. I swear Sterling and Tetra moved when I turned the book a certain way and it caught the light. *Sighs* Pretty cover aside, I still wish that I could have kept reading this one nonstop. What can I say, I’m impatient when things don’t pop off on every single page. I love the diversity of the characters in this book, and I’m sure there are more to come.
Sterling is like most high school boys. He stays out past his curfew and tries to sneak back in, he has a crush on a girl he’s known forever but hasn’t made a move, and he does only what it takes to get by in school. It’s like he expects so little from his life and he really only wants to be more known. What sets him apart from his friends is his mother’s mental issues. He and his dad are always there to pick up the pieces when his mom has one of her episodes, so when he’s called to the office he knows his mom has done something. Now that boys are coming up missing, his mom is vigilant when he gets caught sneaking back into the house after leaving a party. And Tetra’s presence is known at the very beginning. She just pops up out of nowhere, and all of a sudden she’s in his classes, upstaging everyone in her wake with her amazing skills. I would have liked more of their connection in the beginning, but Sterling was too busy describing every single person and how they met for most of the first quarter.Tetra just inserts herself in Sterling’s life like it’s the normal thing to do. Why he didn’t freak out is beyond me. And then he is told about their past and his mark, and it all becomes too real. I guess being hunted will kick any person with powers into gear.
The world that Sterling lives in is not Earth, but one similar. Cities have names like City, Province, Megalopolis, Seaside and Borough. People are categorized by skin tone. For instance, Sterling is Type 2, and his brown skinned friend – Grey – is a Type 4. It was kind of weird at first to get used to the different names and other things, but after a while I got used to it. I loved Tetra’s POV more, because she had all the information. She’s a pretty fierce and loyal heroine, but her creepy behavior at the beginning was, well, creepy. I love that she is a POC, as there aren’t enough of those in SF/F anyway.
Overall, this is a good start to the series. I’m curious enough to read the next book, just to see where it goes. If you can look past some of the minor problems I had with this, then you will more than likely enjoy this book. I like the sci-fi aspect the most. Weird names, but I guess that’s to be expected in a book of this genre. Recommended!