by GL Tomas
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 25 August, 2015
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.
You can find The Mark of Noba on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25969847-the-mark-of-noba
You can buy The Mark of Noba here:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012BN25FQ/
- Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Noba-Sterling-Wayfairer/dp/1943773009/
This is such a pretty cover. I was sent an ebook so I didn't see it. It does scream otherworldy. I think some people might be turned off by the perspectives. It starts off from Sterling's perspective. He's a teenager that has a mom that suffers from schizophrenia. He keeps seeing this girl that no one else seems to so he starts to think he's going crazy. That by itself could have been a book but there are also aliens and a creature on the loose set on destruction.
Sterling finally finds out that Tetra is real and that she along with him are from another planet called Noba. Once he realizes she's real the story includes her perspective and Sterling's. It does take a while to adjust to that because it just all of a sudden happens which makes sense in the context of the story. I just wished it happened sooner because I think I would have been able to continue on with the story without the oddness of going from one perspective to two so suddenly.
Tetra is an interesting character because she really doesn't know how things work on Geo which is the planet they are on in the book. It seems to be a planet like Earth. Noba is obviously different because people from there have powers. I think I'd be a bit wigged if some person just kept showing up and I found out that this power had powers which include the power to erase my memory. I find her fairly easy to relate to because there are times when I'm clueless about things and everyone else seems to be in the know. She turns Sterling's life upside down when he finds out things about himself so he has to struggle to come to terms with that while there's a big bad to track down and take out.
Guinevere and Libertad go by many superhero aliases. Whether you know them by G.L. Tomas, the Twinjas, or the Rebellious Valkyries, their mission is always the same: spreading awareness of diversity in books. Oh, and trying to figure out the use for pocketless pants! They host other allies and champions of diversity in their secret lair in Connecticut.
You can find and contact with GL Tomas here:
- Website: http://twinjabookreviews.blogspot.com
- Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/RVPress.Cupid
- Facebook book blog: https://www.facebook.com/TwinjaBookReviews
- Twitter account Libertad: https://twitter.com/afrocubansista
- Twitter Account Guinevere: https://twitter.com/aravere
- Twitter account YA book blog: https://twitter.com/Dos_Twinjas
- Twitter account NA, romance and adult books: https://twitter.com/RebelliousCupid
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14181072.G_L_Tomas
- Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebelliousv/
- Pinterest Book Blog: https://www.pinterest.com/twinjabooks/
- Book Blog Tumblr: http://twinjabookreviews.tumblr.com/
Grey and I weren’t on the same wavelength when it came to girls as Kip and I were. There’s no way Kip didn’t notice the new girl; he never missed a new face.
“Hey, anyone notice that girl in gym class the other day?” I leaned my elbows on the table and checked to see no one was listening. Grey and Kip faces distorted in confusion.
I popped open my can of soda, but didn’t take a sip. Everything I was about ask required my complete concentration.
“What girl?” Grey asked.
“You know?” Both of them hadn’t caught the hint. “The one from the fitness test? Pretty. Type 5. Athletic?”
Kip groaned under a muffled laugh and scooped Jell-O from his cup. “I think I would remember a girl with that description.”
I studied the cafeteria. It was a good thing lunch period was split between two periods. Less people to look through. She wasn’t hard to find. She was the only person sitting by herself. That was a form of social suicide, but it must’ve been by choice. I leaned forward, pointing.
Grey laughed. “What—the new girl?” He shoved a scoop of rice pudding in his mouth. The smell of coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla overwhelmed his spot. I should’ve brought a better item to bargain with Kip. It would’ve been mine if I had.
“Yeah, if by new, you mean since a couple weeks ago.”
Grey dropped his spoon, and met me with dark eyes. “Dude, she just started like yesterday. I think we would’ve noticed if she’d been going since the start of the year.”
Kip studied her from a distance. He was never good at hiding when he was attracted to a girl. “She’s definitely nice.”
I hoped I didn’t have to spell it out. I was wrong. There was no way they’d only just noticed her. Surely this was an oversight.
“You don’t remember yesterday? During the fitness test? She was the only person who finished the ballistic climb.”
That got a reaction out of Kip. He interrupted me, waving hands and fury alike. “Hold on, Wayfairer. There wasn’t a person in class who finished that climb.”
“Uh, ya-huh. Only person who did.” Jocks. They never let you get away with challenging their loss.
Grey stopped our arguing, hoping to get to a point. “What is this about, Ster?”
“You guys don’t remember her from gym?” Kip and Grey shook their heads, denying any claim to the new girl or what happened in class.
Grey laughed and picked up his pudding. “No, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. She started yesterday. Not at the beginning of the school year. Yesterday. Get a grip, buddy.” Grey reached out to shove my shoulder.
“So you guys don’t remember her from PE? Or anything?” I asked. I wasn’t letting it go. It had started as a friendly inquisition but was turning into a full-fledged debate.
Kip shrugged. “Well, if she’s been going here all year, what’s her name? Oh, uh, and what’s her number too? I might need that come Homecoming.” Kip laughed. Neither of us found him funny.
I wanted to answer, but I didn’t know it. She didn’t speak to anyone, she never handed in assignments that revealed her name, and every person I asked had no idea who she was. It was as if she came to school every day to make sure we’d cross paths and exchange awkward stares. Something about it now seemed…creepy.
“I don’t know. But the fact that none of you acknowledge what happened weirds me out a little.”
Grey pursed his lips and looked over my shoulder. He widened his eyes as he finished off his dessert.
“You know what’s creepy?” Grey asked, as my body tensed.
“She’s staring at you right now. Either she’s got supersonic ears or maybe you’re right. Maybe she’s creepy,” Grey joked.
Kip laughed with him as I turned around. Grey wasn’t wrong. She was staring right at me. She kept staring. I don’t know why, but I…
I made my way to the top and timed myself at thirty-one seconds. Not better, but not bad for the days I took off. I thought it might help to freestyle a bit, to feel as though I’d worked. I didn’t brag about it, but it was euphoric to swim a fifty-meter lap in less than a minute. Guess that’s what happened when you kept at something. You got better at it. Who knew?
At my tenth lap, my lats started burning from the resistance. What better time than now to take a breather. I was nearing the pool’s edge, about to call it quits, when a vacuum-like pull dragged me back under the water. What the hell was going on?
I swam with war-like effort, but with every stroke I made, I seemed to sink deeper…deeper…
Did I push myself too hard? Maybe, but if I didn’t push hard now, I was going to drown.
Don’t panic, Sterling, you can do this! But no matter how hard I went, I’d reach a certain point and get sucked back down. I must be losing sanity points on top of oxygen because the next thing I saw was something I couldn’t believe. Shadows of what looked like two people. I was too deep to see features, but they were fighting…on top of the water.
Torpedoes of waves shot toward the pool’s surface with a violent quickness that almost pummeled me. I had to get up for air and now! The closer I swam to the top, the stronger the waves became.
There’d been two gusts of waves a minute ago, but now I counted eight at a time. I was sure I’d surpassed my current record of thirty-six seconds underwater, but that wouldn’t mean much if I was dead. I mustered what strength I had left before I had to open my mouth for air, but when I reached the surface, it was entirely solid.
I didn’t have much strength and soon I’d have to open my mouth. I used whatever in me I had left to break through the surface. No use—it was hard like a metal door. I wouldn’t be able to break it open, not with my bare hands.
I was going to drown. I took one deep exhale. It gave me a few seconds, but my lungs cried for oxygen.
A strong force hit the water. Someone was sinking with me. It was so fast, but seemed like slow motion. I didn’t make out her face, but I reached for their hand. Contrasting skin color. My mouth opened, allowing water to flood my throat, burning into my lungs. I couldn’t fight it anymore. At least I wouldn’t die alone.
The morning announcements were centered on the kid that went missing from our school. He was a sophomore so I didn’t know him, but I still felt horrible. My tablemate Rebel Lee scribbled down an array of unintelligible notes, probably both profound and meaningful. Rebel was someone I knew since junior high, and even though we were pals, he didn’t talk much. Which was odd because he seemed to be understood by everyone. Correction. Everyone except for Grey.
I witnessed a sea of sorrow amongst my classmates. No one was in the state of mind to be here, and the cheerless announcements added to our already despondent moods. Man, I hoped they found this kid.
The teachers opened up the floor to talk about it, prolonging any collections of homework assignments that I didn’t do. The more others talked about it, the lower our spirits got. It bothered me that we didn’t have any more information on what had happened. Was it connected to the other boy who disappeared? Did they run away? Were they abducted? Were they going to be all right? Thinking back to what my mom said earlier, I was lucky to be sitting here. I listened, but didn’t contribute. I had so much on my mind.
My attention drifted across the room until I settled on someone I hadn’t noticed at the beginning of class. She wore her hair in a high, messy bun and had on gray sneakers with three blue stripes. She felt familiar. Did I say felt familiar? I meant looked familiar. Looked…familiar. Because how does someone feel familiar?
A Type 5, she had this flawless dark brown skin that made me question how no one else seemed to notice her. If I judged her off her face alone, she was one of the prettier girls at school. She didn’t seem interested in the discussion we were having in class, and she, like me, faded into the background. I’d never given it much thought before but…I always kind of looked for her. There was just something about her that… Y’know what? Never mind.