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Games Wizards Play

(Young Wizards #10)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,213 ratings  ·  166 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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Nfeldbaum This is definitely not the last book in the series. Diane Duane has stated that book 11 *might* be ready for publication in 2021. It will begin 10 min…moreThis is definitely not the last book in the series. Diane Duane has stated that book 11 *might* be ready for publication in 2021. It will begin 10 minutes after the end of book 10.(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  1,213 ratings  ·  166 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
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In general this is an excellent book ten in an excellent series! I had emotional responses several times when characters were struggling with their families, frustrated with their relationships, and mourning lost or missing loved ones. And the plot of this story hinging on a competition was pretty interesting; usually these wizards battle life-or-death situations with high stakes, and it's pretty neat to see them working with a plot that has stakes but not generally the life-or-death kind. (I ex ...more
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.
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
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
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, ya
Ah geez. This is a hard review to write. For starters, this took me over a month to read, which either means I wanted to read every.single.word a la The Blind Assassin or that I just couldn't sustain enough interest to read more than a few pages at a time. I've already returned it to the library once and was about to have to return it again, so I gritted my teeth and finished the last 100 pages or so.

Let me say that I just bought this series for some of my nieces and nephews, and I just reread t
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Honestly, I felt this was probable Duane's weakest work of the series. She started with a solid premise, but strayed too often into unnecessary thoughts and talks on sexuality that didn't seem to fit the rest of the book. After spending 9 books with Kit and Nita, it felt like a disservice to Nita to spend so much time in her thoughts where not only was she telling herself to get her crap together, but was so shocked at never having thought of other character's romantic orientations or status. I ...more
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
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
Samuel Lubell
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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
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
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I read the first Young Wizards book when I was around 10 years old. I loved it and have loved every other book since. Until this one. It was way too long, but more importantly, for the majority of 500+ pages nothing happened. The actual story could have been 100 pages.

It seemed as if the author was trying to write what she thought would be wanted in today’s YA fic world rather than staying true to the characters. Nita and Kit went from being best friends and wizard partners to being a couple (w
Kit 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
Shelves: 2016
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
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than forty 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 an

Other books in the series

Young Wizards (10 books)
  • So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards #1)
  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards #2)
  • High Wizardry (Young Wizards #3)
  • A Wizard Abroad (Young Wizards #4)
  • The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards #5)
  • A Wizard Alone (Young Wizards #6)
  • Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7)
  • Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8)
  • A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards #9)

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