I am back from my wee trip away! It was so nice and sunny! I will pop a photo that I took on the shore one night here because it is beautiful, and it doesn’t even fully do it justice.
Anyway! Today I am finally back with a review!! My first Thursday in forever that is actually a review…and not to spoil my opinion of the book – but what an amazing come back to reading after my slump!
I was very kindly sent this book by the author after I read and adored Haze. (which I also reviewed here) Rebecca Crunden is literally one of the sweetest authors to ever have contacted me and I can’t thank her enough for giving me this to read because BOYYYYY was this amazing! She never disappoints!! I highly highly recommend you check her out – she has written quite a few books and I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next. As always the fact that I was gifted this book did not sway my opinion whatsoever, as always my thoughts are all my own.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s hop into my review.
** P.S – This is definitely an 18+ read. It discusses Sex, Drugs and Rape. **
**Personally that’s not an issue for me, but just so you know **
Title: A Game of Wings and Marks
Author: Rebecca Crunden
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Angels, Demons, Fantasy
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: June 26th 2017
Pages: 237 pages
When I Read It: 12th August 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.34 Stars
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 …
My Goodreads Review: *aka my initial thoughts, straight after (and during) reading
June 27, 2020 – 7.0% “Initial thoughts are:
1. It was quite a gory opening that I didn’t expect…not a big fan of that.
2. A big…massive…collosal Info dump right at the start. Like hurt your head big info dump. Again…not my favourite
3. The characters are already amazing! Tam and Jack are the cutest!
And 4. I love how fast-paced it was and how it jumped straight into the action! Can’t wait to read more!”
August 1, 2020 – 17.0% “It’s definitely a bit of an info overload, especially if you don’t know much about Angels/Demons and Christian backstory. But I am adoring the premise! I need more Zev and Raphael – they are great”
August 6, 2020 – 24.0% “I love Raphael and Octavia! They are so cute together! It’s kind of like Romeo and Juliet in a way as you can tell they are destined and yet also they cannot be. It’s so romantic and yet sad. I wish there was a bit more build up before this stage in their relationship, and yet I also understand why they are so close so fast as their lives as literally tied now.”
August 11, 2020 – 33.0% “I love Zev 😍forget about Raphael and O. I want her with Zev!! He is pure joy to read. Don’t want to put it down”
August 11, 2020 – 48.0% “I have one word and I bet you can guess it… Zev!
I swear I haven’t loved a book guy this bad in so long. He is just amazing, so complex and intriguing. I know she will probably end up with Raphael but a girl can dream. And tonight I will be dreaming of Zev”
August 12, 2020 – 56.0% “I don’t know how i feel about O anymore. Zev is this amazing guy and she’s leading him on because she really liked Raphael. Zev deserves so much more. And then he opened up about his past with his wife and child and I’m like this is the perfect time to come clean girl! And she didn’t. She says she cares about him but clearly she doesn’t.”
August 12, 2020 – 73.0% “Zev is just the best. He deserves the world. I love him ❤”
Finished – I have no words. I am so bad at writing a review when I have just finished reading a book.
I am not speechless often, but this book hit differently.
It was beyond amazing. The plot was gripping. The love triangle was really well done. The character arcs were super well done. But despite all of that greatness, something pushed this above all the other amazing books I have read so far this year. Well, not something…but someone.
My new heart and soul.
HE DESERVES THE WORLD. NOTHING! I REPEAT! NOTHING!!! IS TOO GOOD FOR HIM!!
He is complex, funny, dangerous, sexy, constantly the perfect contradiction and just a pure joy to read. I cannot even do him justice with words. He is perfection.
All I can say is that: YOU NEED TO READ THIS.
If not for me, then do it for Zev! because believe me, all your previous book boy loves will quake in his presence!
Characters: I am going to use all the restraint I have to talk about the other characters first, because if I start with Zev we will be here forever.
First we have Octavia, also referred to as O (or little queen by my future husband Zev) she is our main protagonist. Just like in Haze, I found that the female characters lacked a bit in comparison to their male counterparts. And I have mixed feelings on O. There wasn’t anything about her that really grabbed me, she didn’t have any hobbies, you didn’t really find out very much about her past (accept for a few lines and some vague hinting) and she didn’t feel like she had a very strong arc. Plus, she was very blase – like no matter what was thrown at her I didn’t feel like she had a realistic reaction. I mean, she was confronted with a half-dead angel and didn’t bat an eyelid. And she treated Zev really poorly so she lost points in my book for that. Something I did like about her character however was that she was treated a little like a special snowflake for a while, and I don’t want to spoil things but let’s just say that changes, and it makes her far more likeable when you know that most of what happens is not chance or because it was written in the stars but because something made it happen.
Then we have Raphael, or Raph. And I really liked him. He had such strong convictions and beliefs. I wish we got more of his backstory too because like O, we only ever got a few lines about what happened to his family and the rest of the Irin. He has been around for 4000 years so I want to know a little bit about him other than the fact he had never watched a movie before.
I really liked Tamiel and Jack. They were super cute supporting roles and because of the fact they weren’t exactly main characters, they felt really fleshed out and developed for the amount that they were actually in the story. Jack’s support and friendship were some of my favourite parts with O.
I wish we got more of Caleb because he was so great. I saw a lot of Raph in him. He was so strong and supportive and devoted to O that your heart fluttered every time he was there. Again, because his backstory was intertwined with O’s I really wish we had more of it because it did feel a little unfinished.
And now, we come onto the best part of the whole novel. Zev. Compared to every other character he was so incredibly written. He had a glorious arc, his backstory was both integral to the plot and also super interesting and fully developed. And most importantly, he had goals. He was driven and motivated and just a joy to read. He deserved so much more than he got. I wished he was the protagonist and not O, but I realise that that would take a lot of thunder from the plot. I am really trying to contain my outburst about how much I truly adored Zev as a character. He has a very large space of my shelf of book boy favourite’s now. I have no words to describe how beyond incredible he is.
Characters = 9/10
Humour: This book wasn’t particularly haha funny. But I somehow found myself laughing on occasion. Usually because of Zev. It was the kind of humour that isn’t obvious. It was more flirtatious and bantering and it worked super well with his character. I laughed at a lot of things that probably weren’t designed to be humorous – little things like a O’s bluntness or miscommunication between the way species do things. It was very subtle but really well done.
Humour = 9/10
Atmosphere: It was really immersive. I think the fact it was so fast-paced and you get dropped right into the centre of a much larger on going issue really is what makes it so gripping and captivating. I love that it is predominantly set in a real life setting of earth. It’s a personal thing but I much prefer reading books that have a semi-familiar setting rather than a completely new created world. Not only does it mean there is less info-dump but also you can focus more on all the interesting plot drama when you’re not trying to acclimatise to a new world/setting. It meant there was a nice balance especially since you had so much other things going on and so many new things to learn. I really liked when elements of the human world collided with the supernatural and it was done so well and it just made everything feel so grounded and normal despite all the craziness that was going on.
Atmosphere = 10/10
Writing Style: This isn’t my first time reading a book by Rebecca Crunden so I went into this knowing that I really enjoy her writing style. Again, she did not disappoint. Just like before it’s still informal which is the kind of writing I enjoy, it wasn’t overly flowery and I think this style worked super well because it brought a bit of normality to book that didn’t have completely normal elements. I did find that there was more of a tendency to info-dump in this one, especially right at the start when everything hit the fan so quickly but it didn’t continue throughout the book so I wasn’t too mad about it.
Writing Style = 7/10
Plot: I loved that there seemed to be a lot of smaller plots rather than one overarching one. They all intertwined super nicely. I don’t know much about Angels and Demons and Christian backstory but I really loved her interpretation of it. I felt like it was a really nice mix of the christian theology as well as more supernatural or fantasy interpretation. It was very self-aware in that way where O’s preconceptions because of theology were challenged (mostly by Zev) and it created a really nice balance and I just loved that.
Plot = 10/10
Intrigue: There was never a dull moment in this book. I was always on the edge of my seat. Totally gripped into whatever was happening at that moment. It was extremely fast-paced and there was constantly something happening. Angels, Demons and love triangles…OH MY! I think because there was so much going on all the time that was probably an element of why some of the characters weren’t developed as fully as they could have been because there was so much other drama to tackle that delving into their history seemed out of place. Never-the-less I still wish we had gotten a some more of it. The only plot point that I felt was really predicable was O and Raph’s relationship. It felt a teeny bit forced to create more drama. But I could be slightly biased because why choose Raph when you could have Zev?
Intrigue = 8/10
Logic: Like I briefly mentioned when talking about O. I didn’t like that most of her responses didn’t feel accurate. It was probably one of the only things that kind of let the book down a little in my eyes. It’s natural for her to be scared and worried and confused. I feel like she definitely got better as the story progressed, but at the start it definitely was slightly less believable.
Other than that, I did feel like all of the characters actions were super well thought out and justified and not just to further the plot.
Logic = 8/10
Enjoyment: I loved this book. Yes, Zev may have played a really large part of that but there wasn’t any point during reading where I felt bored or that the story lacked. It was only after since writing my review that I have picked it apart a little. But I still come to the conclusion that I adored this book. I was swept away into an incredible world and I was enamoured by everything that was going on. Highly recommend.
Enjoyment = 10/10
Relationships: Like I said above while their relationship was predictable, I still really liked O and Raph together. They were both rather meh characters with not much interest outwith each other so they suited each other well. I thought the love triangle was a nice addition to the plot, and despite the conclusion to the love triangle again being rather obvious it was a nice bit of drama to add to the plot. There was one stage where I was a little uncomfortable because I thought that O might cheat because that is a big no no for me in a book. I love love triangles but as soon as cheating starts then I am done, but thankfully there was none.
Relationships = 8/10
Overall Score = 79/90 or 8.7/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is unusual for me to say and I feel like a lot of people might not understand. But do you ever read a book and when you review it you realise there are a lot of things that actually on paper let it down but when you’re reading it you don’t feel those things? Just me? Great haha.
Well, this is one of those books. Yes my rating works out as a 4/5 star but I cannot shake the feeling that it deserves a 5. I adored this book beyond words. I know I am going to reread this again and again. Despite the seemingly negative things about this book, the good parts outweigh it by so much that you don’t even notice them. And I feel like my overall enjoyment is the real test of what a book is worth. I loved this book and I think it deserves 5 stars. I highly highly recommend this. It is one of my favourite reads this year. You need to try it if you are a fan of angel/demon types of books.
I hope this makes sense. Please tell me if you have ever had one of these reviewing conundrums before? And as always, if you’ve read this or you like the sound of it tell me below what you thought of it. Have a great day, see you tomorrow!