Hello, everyone! It has been too long since I’ve read one of Rebecca Crunden’s books. So, I decided to remedy that this month with A Game of Wings and Marks. 🙂 I’m a huge fan of this author’s Outlands Pentalogy, and I’ve yet to come across any of Crunden’s work I didn’t like. Did that streak continue with this book? Read on to find out!
When Octavia Coal goes to the mountains to clear her head, she doesn’t expect to find an angel in trouble.
He tells her his name is Tamiel and he’s one of the Irin – the army of angels tasked with keeping demons from overwhelming humanity. But Tamiel broke a sacred law – he fell in love with a human – and now he’s being hunted by the same angels he once served.
With nowhere else to go, Octavia and Tamiel – along with Jack, the human in question, and her brother Caleb – appeal directly to Zev, the Demon of Games. A trickster of unparalleled power, Zev gives nothing for free, and the gift he offers Octavia to keep Tamiel alive comes with a confusing catch: He makes her the Healer of Raphael, archangel and Commander of the Irin.
Suddenly a target for both angels and demons, Octavia quickly learns that the only way to survive is to play the game better than they do.
The only problem is, she doesn’t know whose game she’s playing …
While this wasn’t my favorite book by Crunden, A Game of Wings and Marks was an enjoyable, fast-paced urban fantasy with characters you want to root for and fascinating world-building. I’ve always been very interested in lore about angels, demons, and nephilim. So, I was excited to see what Crunden would do with these constructs, and she didn’t disappoint. Their use was familiar while also refreshingly unique, and I honestly would have loved to learn even more about the roles and history of the supernatural beings in this book’s world.
The cast of characters in A Game of Wings and Marks was diverse and fun to follow. Octavia was a bit of a bad ass. She was always doing whatever needed to be done to help others, even when the cost to her was extremely high. Tamiel and Jack were couple goals, and I loved how much Caleb cared for his sister. I liked Raphael, but he didn’t really seem to have much of a personality beyond his stoic and caring nature, which made him feel a bit dull in comparison to everyone else. That brings us to Zev, the demon of games. He had such a fun personality, clever wit, and a fascinating background.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to need to choose between loving the hot angel who shares your soul or the devious, yet charming, demon who wants to make you his queen? Look no further than A Game of Wings and Marks. I actually liked the love triangle in this one. I was definitely on team Zev. He actually tried to woo Octavia and was surprisingly attentive, whereas Raphael was just kind of there. lol. I enjoyed watching Zev try to curb his extreme jealousy. He was just so bad at it because he felt so intensely.
The main place where A Game of Wings and Marks fell short for me was the story and writing. That’s not to say the story was bad. I actually liked it quite a bit and was even surprised by some of the reveals. However, it all just needed a bit more room to breathe. Everything moved so quickly that the danger began to lack gravitas. I lost count of the number of times Octavia was attacked or kidnapped, only to be followed by a super quick resolution and off to the next crisis. This story could have been spaced out over 2 or 3 books if the pacing had been better and the writing used more showing and less telling.
Overall, A Game of Wings and Marks was a good urban fantasy romance. If you enjoy books about angels and demons, this is one not to miss. Despite some pacing issues, the story was a fun ride full of action, romance, and fascinating angel lore. By himself, Zev makes this book worth reading. 😈 Therefore, I rate this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Have you read A Game of Wings and Marks? If so, let me know your thoughts down in the comments!