demon's wagerRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel


A Demon’s Wager is the second book in A.C. Everett’s Infernal Affairs series and there are some spoilers here for events of the first book, An Angel’s Song.

Aidan Lucas found himself in the midst of an unknown world and landed himself in the center of a war between heaven and hell. Growing wings and stopping an archangel intent on destruction was nothing Aidan could have ever imagined. Now, in the aftermath, Aidan knows that he is not quite human, but he still doesn’t really understand his powers or why he has them. Aidan is also being haunted by recurring nightmares of a dark shadow, nightmares similar to those he once had as a child, but again, Aidan has no idea what they mean or why they have returned.

Fortunately, Aidan has Caspar Tenebris by his side and the demon prince is determined to help protect Aidan. The men never expected to fall for one another amidst their insane adventure, but the bond between them is strong. However, Caspar isn’t sure what is hunting Aidan either and there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the attacks.

The one thing Aidan insists on knowing more about is his friend, Auggie, who clearly is hiding a lot of secrets and knows more than he is letting on. When Auggie lets the men in on his past, it reveals more about a conflict that neither Aidan nor Caspar knew existed. But that is only one problem the men face, and with more questions than answers, danger appears to around every turn. It is going to take all their combined abilities to stay ahead of the danger and find out how to stop those that want to see them dead.

I really loved the first book in this series, so I was super excited to catch back up with Caspar and Aidan here in the aftermath of those events. These books follow directly upon one another, as well as having an overarching series plot, so you are definitely going to want to start with book one before reading this one.

As I said, this story picks up right away after the first book and reads as one long story. Aidan and Lucas have finally had a night to breathe, but Murk is still injured and there is so much uncertainty that things are definitely still in a dangerous place. After getting us caught up on what’s going on, the first part of the book focuses primarily on Auggie and his past and the secrets he has been keeping. Auggie gives Aidan and Caspar the magical opportunity to “witness” these past events, so we live them on page along with the men as they learn more about Auggie. I think it was a good choice to have us see what is happening through their eyes, rather than just listening to Auggie tell the story, as it gave the events some immediacy with a “show” not a “tell.” I found this part of the story interesting and very poignant as we learn more about the motives of those who have harmed Auggie. It also really develops Auggie as a character and fills in a lot of blanks about him from the first book. However, I wasn’t totally clear why the book dedicates so much time to this part of the story, as nothing really happens to move this subplot forward beyond learning about these past events. After the first book jumps right into the action in an intense way, this story really started much more slowly. I wonder if this subplot will come back around in the next book, but here I was sort of waiting for something to then happen after learning all this backstory, but it doesn’t really go further than that.

The second part of the book gives us a lot more excitement as Aidan and Caspar venture out to get the ingredients for a salve to help Murk. I don’t want to get into too much detail on their adventures, but things get quite wild when they get to the market. There is some humor, some danger, some really exciting and surprising revelations, and more world building. While not all the questions are answered, I do feel like we got some forward progress and some new twists to build into the next book. We also see the relationship deepen between Aidan and Caspar and the men feel on more solid footing on their relationship by the end of the story.

In some ways, this book has a “middle story” feeling, as a lot of information is put out there, but there isn’t a ton of forward progress toward resolving things. Like I said, after the first book was one non-stop crazy ride, I found the pace here a little more sedate and I was looking for more plot advancement. But I continue to really enjoy this world Everett has built and I really love these characters. This story gets the men in a safe place for now, but we learn enough about what is coming up in the next book to know there is a lot of danger and excitement to come. I really can’t wait for the next book to continue this journey and can highly recommend this series.

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