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Games Wizards Play

(Young Wizards #10)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,045 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Every eleven years, Earth's senior wizards hold the Invitational: an intensive three-week event where the planet's newest, sharpest young wizards show off their best and hottest spells. Wizardly partners Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan, and Nita's sister, former wizard-prodigy Dairine Callahan, are drafted in to mentor two brilliant and difficult cases: for Nita and Kit, t ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,045 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I started reading this series when I was in middle school and reread the first four books countless times, so when I won a Twitter contest to be a named character in this book I was ECSTATIC. (Rivka added the relevant pages (no spoilers) to her review). It was a very peculiar feeling to read along in a book with characters that I have known for years and run into a description of myself (TALL BLOND LADIES FOREVER AMIRITE?). So I obviously loved that part of the book, and as someone who loves the ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh gosh, where do I even begin but to say how much I freaking LOVED IT!!!!!!


UPDATED 6/24/13

Expected publication 2014!?

ARC Please? :(

UPDATED 2/25/14

Well now this is getting depressing... it's been pushed back yet ANOTHER year!? :*(

UPDATED 10/13/14



February 2, 2016

*Patiently starts the countdown*

UPDATED 4/12/15:

I've pre-ordered my copy!!!!!!!!!! Come on, February!

UPDATED 2/2/16

*Pets my copy lovingly* My Preciousssss...
Oct 29, 2011 marked it as to-read
Edit: 4/22/15

Oof. I think this review was first made in 2011. 2011! And it's not even coming out until next year. I don't even remember was last happened in this series.

Edit 8/3/14

Okay, why isn't this book out yet? Why does it say 2015? My old person college brain is going to forget everything that's happened in the series by the time it comes out.

Edit 4/29/12

The description! The. DESCRIPTION.

Between this, Harry Potter, and other witch culture, I want to be a witch/wizard. So bad.


I want to
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: present-scifi
Why have I rated this book 5 stars and put it under six-star-books? Because I'm Nita Callahan, that's why! (The only other people who would get this are the YW fans on FF!)

I just need to read this book! I've been deprived of YW since... Beginning of seventh grade? That's a full two years! When I began reading he books, I was astounded at the quality of the writing...and I hadn't even tried any trashy books by then!!! True, Animorphs began my reading career, but until I began reading SYWtbaW I wa
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting for this book for 5 years. I not only bought it new, I pre-ordered it - and I almost never do that.

The opening chapter is reminiscent of the opening of STII:TWOK, but the rest of the book is more like a rollicking travelogue. And all on Earth (and the Moon) for a change - no trips through Crossings to far distant planets this time. Instead, we get the Javits Center in Manhattan, the streets of Mumbai, a hill in San Francisco, a spot in Canberra, an ice cave in Antarctica, and o
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I first discovered the Young Wizards series back in middle school, around eight years ago, and the last time I read any of these books was when A Wizard of Mars came out back in 2010. These books are definitely marketed towards a YA audience, so perhaps my 15-year-old self would have enjoyed Games more than I did reading it this week. I suspect, though, that this wouldn't be the case.

I tend to judge books more on character development and setting more than on plot. Even so, I expect someth
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First order of business. this series has long been transitioning into (modern) YA territory, and I'd say it's definitely there. I used to recommend these to younger kids because any references to sex would pretty much go over a young person's head. I can't do that any more. As the characters are growing up, they are definitely thinking more grown-up thoughts. Still relatively innocent as YA goes, but I'm upping my rating to PG-13.

Now, if you're on this book, I sure hope you've read the first 9
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a long wait ... I tried to savor it, I really did, but such are plans of mice and men. I had an almost kid on Christmas morning feeling getting this book in my browser, but felt great reluctance to start reading because I knew this was all there would be for a long, long time.

I don't want to give a review and spoil it for those whom have not read it, but I will say that for a book I have given 5 stars there were some critical fails. Mostly the almost complete lack of the Lone Power's inv
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is said that the saving of one life is the same as saving the entire world, and that’s a sentiment that the main characters of the Young Wizards series would surely get behind. Unlike previous volumes of the series, where the fate of a city or the planet or even the entire universe are at stake, the stakes are far less – and thus far more. Despite the book’s low stakes, Duane still manages to craft a beautiful, meaningful tale resplendent with character development, exciting (but rather incom ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
These books are great, and every time there’s a new one in the series it’s a thing of joy. If you’re not familiar with Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, imagine a Harry Potter that actually engages with the world around it rather than hiding in Hogwarts; not only do they make friends with wizards and other creatures (I still get choked up over Ed, the Master-Shark.) but the books are also deeply involved with their non-wizardly families as well, and their adventures are both wonderful fun, and ...more
The author's version of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Though Duane can still craft some good lines (see below), and her penchant for terrific young characters who turn out to be made of tougher stuff than expected remains her strongest trope, that old storytelling magic didn't kick in for me until the climax--after many, many, many pages of conversations that continue long beyond any constructive purpose, lengthy prophetic dreams, and angsty ruminations over relationships or events from previous ep ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before reading: Now that I finally finished #9, I don't want to forget that this is coming out in 2013 (now changed to 2015, after being changed earlier to 2014--9/5, it's now 2/2/16)!

After reading: I absolutely love these books, and so enjoy revisiting the characters and the world that she's created for them. The beginning where she set up what their lives were like in current time wasn't quite as good, but after the first 50 pages or so it sucked me in.

4 1/2 stars, rounded up, just because of
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
EDIT: Yay an expected release date! February 2nd 2016?!?!??!
I mean, what's a year?! IT'S ONLY A YEAR!

I wish she didn't take FOREVER to come out with each new book. Honestly, it's painful to wait. And I never want to read all the books over again until I know when the next books is coming out. That would be absolutely wonderful to have a release date. Really. Please.
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
3.5 stars

So much of this is 4-star worthy but there are a few things that knocked off a half-star for me.

For the majority of the Young Wizards series, Nita, Dairine and Kit have been running from one crisis to another, doing what they could to slow down entropy and defeat the Lone Power. But as they're growing up, they're realizing that things aren't so black and white, and that there are multiple, subtle ways for the LP to work and some of those ways are their in their own doubts, insecurities
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Wow do I not have words for how awful this was.

But I will try to.

To preface: I have been reading this series since I was a young teen, which means it took her forever to finish the series AND there is some long-term investment on my part in the series. Overall, I would characterize them as interesting adventures, adequately written, with engaging characters. They were not my MOST FAVORITE BOOKS as a young teen, but they were fun enough. I was looking forward to finishing the series with this bo
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
As a fan of the Young Wizards series, I'm sad to say this is by far the weakest entry in the series so far. I debated between one and two stars but there were at least glimmers of a story in the book. It is true that the last entry was also fairly weak compared to earlier entries - early on things like the loss of a parent were touched upon and explored in a way that felt more real than anything this book gave us.

My issues were as follows:

1. The story itself was extremely weak. The endgame of Ro
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. Um. I'm not sure what to even say, except that I am quite happy with this latest installment. I gave this a pretty high rating, 4 stars, though that may go up a bit with a reread, that's usually how these books go. Great books the first time through, but better the second (or third, fourth...) time through.

**Review while waiting***
Having read the first book in this series when I was 12, I have literally spent more than half my life reading these stories and WAITING for the next book.

Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

Really, if you've read this far into the series, how could you not automatically pick up Book 10?

Now, I'd like to talk first about the Young Wizards series as a whole. I've seen some reviews claiming that Games Wizards Play is 'not as strong' as previous books, or is "a weak entry in the series". Looking back, I've noticed that the odd-numbered books (1, 3, 5) tended toward huge, universe-at-stake events, while the even-numbered books (2, 4, 6) focused more o
Joy Smith
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I believe this is the first book I've read in the Young Wizards series, though I'm aware of Diane Duane, and I've read some of her other books--but not in this series, which I'm only now aware of. Games Wizards Play caught my attention because I like the idea of the mentors and their mentees and their puzzling backgrounds. The premise is intriguing, and I enjoyed the book. The characters are interesting and fun and sometimes annoying (Grow up, Penn!), and the author filled in the background well ...more
Samuel Lubell
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This remains a fun series with an interesting combination of fantasy and science fiction. However, this seems like a minor entry in the series until the end when something happens pretty much out of nowhere.

The plot is Kit and Nita (as well as Nita's little sister Dairine) become mentors to two other wizards who are enrolled in the wizard equivalent of a science fair to show off invented spells. Kit and Nita's new protege is sexist and obnoxious while Dairine's contestant is bullied by her famil
Emma Blair
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very slice of life, which is strange for a series that usually revolves around life-or-entropy scenarios, but it felt organic. The real thing that makes it shine is being able to see the characters outside of the normal situations we usually see them in. A good comparison would be to the Half Blood Prince--paced differently than other books, but not losing anything by it, and building an atmosphere of the calm before the storm.
There's a lot of new characters, and it feels a little like panderin
Fantasy Literature
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Games Wizards Play is the tenth book in Diane Duane’s YOUNG WIZARDS series, and while a reader could struggle through it as a standalone, I’d say it’s definitely best read in the series, as there are many references to past events, a host of characters big and small and lots of terminology that will resonate more fully to fans of the series. As far as where it stands in that series (which I highly recommend, BTW), I’d say it’s one of the weaker books, though it does advance our main characters’ ...more
Susanne Donovan
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As always, since i first began reading these books, years ago, Nita and Kit continue to capture my imagination and feelings. This long-awaited book does not disappoint and upon finishing it, I am anxiously waiting to hear when the next one will come. Aside from the compelling story, what has always stuck out to me about these books is that while Kit and Nita might share a starring role to some extent, the series is primarily about Nita. For there to be such a well-developed and developing female ...more
Rita C
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It ended well but (view spoiler) ...more
Cat Bradford
Jun 24, 2014 marked it as to-read


Okay, I just really hope to see Nita and Kit and Nita's sister and that one guy with super long hair who I'm pretty sure isn't actually (view spoiler)

clearly I haven't read it in a while...



Nita’s wizard-sister Dairine has also been assigned mentoring duty. Unfortunately she hates not only her own mentoree candidate, an infuriatingly self-effacing girl called Mehrnaz, but the whole job that takes her aw
Eric Camarillo
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
There are not words for how much I love this book. Characters are well developed, the settings are incredibly detailed, and the plot is so well constructed. Diane Duane has a knack for capturing just the right word to use, which I guess is to be expected in a novel where a single sentence can alter forces of the universe. As a long time fan, it was so satisfying to see all of my favorite characters in one place again. As a general reader, this book is a hell of a lot of fun. I highly recommend i ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable story. The competition aspect was pretty cool and very different from other books in the series. It didn't really have a direct bad guy in this situation.

Since Kit and Nita are officially going out now, their relationship is brought up by both of them and discussed in more detail than I really had interest for. Really, sexuality was a subject that had more coverage in general than I really was interested in hearing about.

Otherwise, a really fun story, and I am looking forward to the ne
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
A change of pace from the last few installments, but it worked well I think. Definitely a little too much feet dragging on the romance for me (after all the lead up in book 9 and the intervening novellas) but overall the character interaction was strong and the multi perspective interweaving was really engaging.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon
I totally want to read this book . . . I've grown up with this series, and it's been fun watching Nita, Kit, and Dairine grow up with me.

Kind of wish I hadn't read the summary just now, though. I feel like it gives too much away.

Proceeding to forget about this until 2013 when I can make my own opinion about the newest installment.
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a

Other books in the series

Young Wizards (10 books)
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard
  • Deep Wizardry
  • High Wizardry
  • A Wizard Abroad
  • The Wizard's Dilemma
  • A Wizard Alone
  • Wizard's Holiday
  • Wizards at War
  • A Wizard of Mars
“As I said, wear flats. No point in injuring them with heels while they’re abasing themselves.” 0 likes
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