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The Battle

(The Gauntlet #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The game begins again in this gripping follow-up to The Gauntlet that’s a futuristic middle eastern Zathura meets Ready Player One!

Four years after the events of The Gauntlet, the evil game Architect is back with a new partner-in-crime—The MasterMind—and the pair aim to get revenge on the Mirza clan. Together, they’ve rebuilt Paheli into a slick, mind-bending world with fl
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Harker The first book is pretty essential to understanding who Ahmad is, how he connects to the game, and the history of the Game as it pertains to his famil…moreThe first book is pretty essential to understanding who Ahmad is, how he connects to the game, and the history of the Game as it pertains to his family. It would feel like being thrown into the deep end, otherwise.(less)

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Annemieke / A Dance with Books
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

2,5 stars

TW: Police schooting at Children / Fire Bombs

The Battle is the sequel to The Gauntlet, and almost like a companion novel. Unfortunately it could not quite live up to the first book. The compelling things from the first book seemed to have fallen away.

The Battle focuses on Ahmad, the younger brother of Farah who she had to find back in the first book. The ga
Avery (Book Deviant)
a fun read! i enjoyed the first a lot more, and while there were a few hiccups here and there i ultimately enjoyed this sequel!
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually 3.5 out of 5

RTC upon publication date. Thanks so much to Saalam Reads/Simon & Schuster/ Lili Feinberg for the ARC.
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
This claims to be a companion book to The Gauntlet, but it does rely heavily on details from the first to make sense of who some of the characters are as this book does little to explain them and advance their story.  In reality the book is very similar to the first book, but sadly not as fun.  I was disappointed in the 295 page AR 5.2 book, but my fourth and fifth grade boys enjoyed it as they had few expectations and the fast pace kept the book fun.  


It has been four years since Benga
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A cute and fun story! The Battle is the sequel to The Gauntlet and is action-packed with some fun twists.

- Follows Ahmad, a Bangladeshi-American and autistic kid, and Winnie, a Black girl, are thrust into the world of Paheli, a place that Ahmad draws about and seems to know, though he can't quite remember why.
- The concept of a modern Paheli based on New York was such a cool idea, and I loved the meld of Middle-Eastern influences with technological elements!
- I thought the challenges in this
Lisa Dobra
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
I really enjoyed Riazi’s The Gauntlet, so I was excited to pick this one up. While this is technically a sequel, it can definitely be read as a standalone novel. I enjoyed the story and the development of Ahmad and Winnie’s friendship. A solid MG fantasy for readers who are also gamers, or who look like fast-paced novels.
Alex  Baugh
It's been four years since Farah Mirza proved that "there is no one who knows how to play - and win - a game better than a Mirza" in The Gauntlet. And if you read The Gauntlet, you will no doubt remember her younger brother Ahmad, and Farah's quest to rescue him from the game world of Paheli that he found himself in or remain there until another game player comes along and wins.

Ahmad is now a 7th grader at PS 52 on New York's Upper East Side. He's not the star student his sister was, he still ha
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the cultural elements in this book, and the writer is clearly very talented, but unfortunately I can't really recommend this one. The book's biggest problem? It's boring. Here, best I can tell, is why:

One of the biggest issues, in my mind, is that we spent so little time at the beginning of the book getting to know the characters that I never really felt I understood them very well. Even now, having read the entire book, I can't clearly state what the main character, Ahmad's character ar
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Mizra is heading back to the City of Paheli for a new game, and in an updated city.

Ahmed Mizra doesn't mean to get in trouble. It just happens. This time, it really wasn't his fault that a classmate--the super smart, goody-two-shoes Winnie--hand-delivered a package to him when he was supposed to be in lunch detention. But he's about to find himself--along with Winnie--on the adventure of a lifetime when the package
Tobias Halpern
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The battle was a great sci-fi novel that goes beyond the bounds of reality, spinning a web of tricks and mysteries in the form of a virtual reality game with a mind of its own. When someone Ahmad barely knows gives him a game for his Nintendo switch, he can't help but try it out. The person who gave it to him, Winnie, insists on trying it with him. But when it boots up, it is not all that it seems. The game is called paheli, the made-up city that Ahmad has been drawing! but things get worse, the ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Battle is a continuation of Karuna Riazi’s The Gauntlet series that those who have been waiting for a new entry will surely enjoy. Highly recommend for fans of adventure books and films like Jumanji and Zathura.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC.
Shireen Hakim
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Similar to the first but not as good.
Thank you for the ARC.
London Shah
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Content Warnings: Scenes of peril, including police figures shooting fireballs at children (the main characters)

Rep: Bangladeshi-American MC with ADHD, Black female SC

Farah Mirza faced the Architect in The Gauntlet. Now, it is Ahmad Mirza’s turn in this futuristic take on the in-universe game.

The Battle unites Ahmad with Winnie as the pair are swept into a high tech, glittering city where familiar faces and new puzzles will be thrown at them in order to entrap them and gain justice for the Archi
*I received a copy via the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

Years after The Gauntlet, the Architect returns with a new partner, MasterMind, to take revenge on the Mirza family. Now twelve-years-old, Ahmad Mirza must face their latest creation, The Battle. Ahmad is forced back by the Architect to a brand new Paheli. A slicker and more modern update raises the stakes, and with New York frozen in time, Ahmad must beat the game a
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: muslim-reads
Ahmad is used to two things: being on his own and getting into trouble. But when Ahmad's classmate Winnie hands him a package from his sister Farah, everything is about to change.

The Battle, by Karuna Riazi, is an exciting follow-up to The Gauntlet and picks up years after the Mirzas moved to NYC. Farah is away at college, and Ahmad is muddling through life as a twelve-year-old. He loves to draw and spends a lot of class time doodling pictures of a strange city called Paheli that he remembers dr
Ms. Yingling
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Ahmad has just gotten into a lot of trouble in school for leaving detention and retrieving a package from the office. The package is addressed to him and is from his older sister, Farah, who is off at college. He didn't actually take it; another student, Winnie, delivered it to him. After she tells the assembled teachers and administrators this, they let Ahamd off, even though he is usually in big trouble for something or other. When Ahmad and Winnie walk home tog
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I was really excited about The Battle after I read The Gauntlet a couple of years ago.  The Battle was just okay for me, and I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

This book focuses on Ahmad, Farah's brother.  I don't know why but I just wasn't as interested in his story as I was in Farah's.  It did have a video game sort of feel to it, which seems right up Ahmad's alley.  I'm not really a video game person, so I wonder if that's part of it.  

The story was interesting, and I'm glad we got
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
3.5ish * but I'll bump to 4 because I enjoyed it a lot. I guess I'm an outlier judging from some of the other reviews I've read in that I liked The Battle more than The Gauntlet. I liked that Paheli and the challenges went more video game style than tabletop.

Pacing is very quick, which is mostly fine except it made Winnie feel less fleshed out as a character than Ahmad. We only see Winnie through Ahmad's eyes, and since he hardly knows her we don't really get a feel for her/her background aside
shri (sunandchai)
Full review on my blog!

I want to thank Lili Feinberg @ Simon and Schuster for sending this ARC my way in exchange for an honest review!

I’m not much of a middle grade genre reader– I’m generally nowhere near the intended audience, so I keep my distance. However, when I saw that this was by a desi author (a plus) and pitched as a Jumanji/Zathura style plot (also a plus in my book), I was way too curious not to give it a go.

And The Battle did not disappoint. A fun and thrilling ride fr
Emily Masters
I really enjoyed this book- think middle grade ready player one. There were a couple things that I think could have been explained a bit further, but overall a fun and exciting read.

EDIT: it has come to my attention that this is a sequel. my assumption is that the things i didn't quite understand were references to the first book. if that's the case, this is a great sequel cause you can more or less pick up the entire story even without the author having to walk you through every little thing!
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-reads


I really enjoyed this follow up to The Gauntlet. BUT they never wrapped up how Ahmad got the game and I really wanted some sort of like "one month later" moment where he gets to talk to his sister and tell her what happened and have him finally really remember that he'd been there before. I liked that he didn't remember that he had been in the game but there was never a real moment of discovery where you really feel like he totally remembers what happened.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was just ok for me. There is too much deus ex machina for my liking. It’s also plot-driven/action, which I tend to enjoy far less than character-driven/emotional - especially when the plot is a bit sloppy. The kids enjoyed it, though. In the end it’s intended for them, not me.
Sean Callaghan
Quick fun read, but didn't realize it was the second in a duology. Nothing says I needed to read the first novel, but I felt like a bit of context was missing initially with the story...

Also, there's nothing on the back or cover indicating this is book 2.
Laura (bbliophile)
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really, really hate saying this because I adored the first book and wanted to love this one so badly but... I really didn't like it. I'll write a full review soon but let's just say I'm very disappointed. ...more
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mine, middle-grade
What a fun sequel!! I like that we have Ahmad as a player in the game for this book and the stakes are higher with the entire New York City in danger. I enjoyed the developing relationship between Ahmad and Winnie throughout the story. It shows the building of trust and the discovery of unlikely friendships. Converting the game to resemble video games and the Mastermind being a coder was great and definitely relatable to middle grade readers!
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
Not as good as the first one, unfortunately. I was less drawn into the challenges and the world. For fans of The Gauntlet, grades 4 & up.

eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved The Gauntlet so much so when I heard that a companion novel was being published I knew I had to read it! I was lucky enough to get this ARC in a trade. And I really loved this book too!

In The Gauntlet, Farah was the main character and she had to play the game to save her brother Ahmad, who at the time was 8 years old. We don’t really see Ahmad much in The Gauntlet as it’s Farah’s story so it was really nice to see that Ahmad would be the main character and we would follow him on his adve
rated it it was ok
Oct 12, 2020
Theresa Sandifer
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2021
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Karuna Riazi is a born and raised New Yorker, with a loving, large extended family and the rather trying experience of being the eldest sibling in her particular clan. Besides pursuing a BA in English literature from Hofstra University, she is an online diversity advocate, blogger, and publishing intern. Karuna is fond of tea, Korean dramas, writing about tough girls forging their own paths toward ...more

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The Gauntlet (2 books)
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