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The Game

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,694 ratings  ·  394 reviews
Hayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong—she is not quite sure what—they pack her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley’s shock, her family is m ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Firebird
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,694 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that had amazing ideas and potential...and then falls quite miserably on its face. Well not quite on its face.

The story centers around a young girl who is an orphan living with her Grandma. Her name is Hailey, adn often times she will 'think' her way into a strange world where nothing is what it should be. While in this world she meets many friends one of which is a boy in charge of several large hounds (Pan from Greek Mythology?) who accidentaly gets pulled back into
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Diana Wynne Jones Fans / Readers Who Enjoy Myth-Inspired Fantasy
Raised by her grandparents since she was a baby, when her parents mysteriously went missing, Hayley is homeschooled, and kept away from other children. When she does something to upset her grandmother she is sent to her aunts in Ireland, where she discovers to her surprise that she has a very large extended family she knew nothing about. As she gets involved in "the game" played by her cousins, a game involving the magical mythosphere, she makes further startling discoveries about the nature of ...more
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started to get into Diana Wynne Jones' books after enjoying Hayao Miyazaki films, then finding out that a few were based on her books. Both storytellers are very similar in their imagination of fantasy worlds.

I think "The Game" is a good book to introduce the reader to Jones' work. It gently lifts you from the real world to the mythical, while overall flowing as a fast read. It is rooted in our world, but the gates open to folklore and fairy tales of old. One comes to realize that the main cha
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was delightful and not-quite-expected. I loved the particular twist on mythology that DWJ took here; it's thoroughly delightful and clever. I will say that it's very short, just barely a novella. But it's still a good read.
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I wasn't planning on writing a review of The Game, but after finishing the book, I feel I need to. The book has a great idea: a girl who lives with her strict grandma and traveling grandpa, is sent to live with her cousins, where they take her to a place called the "mythosphere." No spoilers here; you can read that in the book description. Well while the idea is great, and the mythosphere sounds like an amazing place, the entire things falls short.

For one thing, there wasn't enough description.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lara Mi

“Hayley discovered that being a comet was more fun than she had ever had in her life.”

Hayley lives with her grandparents and has never met her mother or father. Life with her grandparents is dull - grandmother is severely strict and never lets Hayley leave the house on her own. But during an unwatchful moment of her grandmother's, Hayley slips away and meets her first friends ever, Flute and Fiddle. Once back home, though, grandmother becomes so furious that she puts Hayley on the next plane t
Pam Baddeley
Hayley is a child who has been sent away to an aunt's in Ireland in disgrace by her very strict grandmother and more tolerant but busy grandfather, although she is not really clear why. The reason gradually becomes clear, but meanwhile Hayley is immersed in a, to her, bewildering new existence, as a lot more of the family have come to stay with her aunt for an annual reunion. And as part of that, they play a strange Game which is a scavenger hunt with a difference: each child is set the task of ...more
This is a short book but it’s packed with references to mythology, mostly Greek/Roman, with Baba Yaga thrown in from Russian folklore and some fairy tales and other things. So there’s a lot to take in within this slender story, as if everything from the ‘mythosphere’ (where all myths and fairy/folk tales are forever ongoing in cloudy strands wrapped around the earth) of the story was endlessly unfolding into your head and bringing more and more references to other characters and stories each tim ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore Diana Wynne Jones' writing. Every story is a great adventure, with lots of plot twists and surprises, and at the end, things are usually drastically different than they were at the beginning, but always in a way that makes a crazy sort of sense.

Her characters shine brilliantly. All of them. Even though they all have elements of the fantastic in them, they're all so real and believable at the same time. And there are always strong female characters with roles that--even today--
Children's contemporary fantasy. Hayley grew up with her grandparents, isolated from the world. Only then Hayley did something wrong - she's not sure what, only that it was to do with Fiddle and Flute and the boy with the dogs - and now she's been packed off to a house full of aunts and cousins in Ireland. The house is riotous and warm and, best of all, the children play something called The Game, in the mysterious Mythosphere. But Hayley's misdeed has attracted the attention of the dangerous he ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Ancient greek myth, fairytales.
I liked it a lot. Interesting that it has a lot in common with Percy Jackson, but I liked the style of this so much more. It occurs to me to wonder what readers think of it if they have no experience of studying classical civilisations. Some material is explained here and there, and there is great info at the end of the book, but what young teenager is going to understand or pick up on all the fabulous mythological references?

From my point of view it was great that Wynne Jones slotted in all th
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short little novella that is probably aimed at younger readers, I would say this is more juvenile lit than YA. It's a fun read about classical era mythological people living in a modern time. A very large family of aunts and cousins (there didn't seem to be many uncles involved) convene in Ireland for a week every year for a family reunion. Most of the book is about a kind of scavenger hunt game they play whereby they enter a supernatural realm called the mythosphere, where myths, legends, and ...more
Jane Lebak
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This is not DWJ's best book, but it was really enjoyable. I found it by accident when my daughter was picking something up from another branch of the library. While it's not as deep as most of her works (because it's novella length) it was a fun romp, and I think anyone who enjoys her books will also like this one.

If you haven't read Diana Wynne Jones before now, don't start with this one. Start with Howl's Moving Castle.
Jannah (Cloud Child)
Reread in an afternoon. Its a fun and quick story with DWJs trademark of completely ignoring certain details and going straight into the fantasy as if its all acceptable and normal. Very interesting way of depicting all the mythical english families. Lol.
Very enjoyable
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The more times I re-read Diana Wynne Jones's books (yes, they're aimed at kids, and no, I don't care), the more I love the sheer depth of her mythological references, and this book is pretty much nothing but that, which is pretty neat. Good for when you just need to think about a random cool concept for a while, not so good for complex plotlines or character (but it's DWJ, so that's okay).
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the premise of this so much. Parts of this reminded me a lot of the Homeward Bounders but this was a lot happier than that one...
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant introduction to the delights of Diana Wynne Jones!!
Alexandra Ameel
first book for the 2020 Reading Rush

a fun, quick little re read for me :)

La Coccinelle
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
I am a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, so when I saw that she'd written a new novel, I was excited. Unfortunately, this book fell far short of my expectations.

I think one of the main problems was that I couldn't identify with the character. We're not told very much about Hayley (presumably because Jones was trying to keep the true identities of the characters a secret until later in the book). I couldn't figure out how old she was, or anything about her that really mattered. I assumed, though, that sh
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 6th grade and up, fans of Rowling, Pratchett, Gaiman, McKinley
This was my first experience reading the prolific Diana Wynne Jones, and I was very impressed! I'd heartily recommend her to anyone who is pining for more J.K. Rowling, or any good fantasy that incorporates both strong writing and good storytelling.

Hayley does something to upset her grandma -- she's not sure what -- and is sent to live with her cousins in Ireland, where everyone runs amok in a huge, leaky mansion and aunts are aplenty but uncles are mysteriously absent. The children invite Hayl
Jun 25, 2010 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hardcore Diana Wynne Jones completists
Definitely lesser-Diana Wynne Jones. The Game seems to have as plot as your average younger-skewing DWJ book except it’s about a hundred pages shorter, which really leaves out all the characterization and the slow build-up (so basically, arguably all the best parts of her work*) that usually form the filling of her opening-premise-and-crazy-explain-y-ending-with-several-identity-reversals-sandwich. The result is just so bland and oddly clipped that it feels like she found she didn’t really like ...more
Emily Collins
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uk-authors
Ohh does this book go way too fast every time I read it! It's extremely short but it contains so very much information if you only go looking for it!
First there are all of the characters! Each one has had various myths and legends told about them and Diana does such a wonderful job incorporating all of them so seamlessly together - characters that in reality should never have met but why not when you think about it! Why not have Haley's Comet be the daughter of a god and a mortal? Why not incorp
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Possibly because of the mental age of the protagonist Hayley, and her world view, this felt like a 'smaller' book than 'Enchanted Glass', but no less beautiful. Hayley's discoveries about herself and her family, and the need to learn to stand up to the bullies in her family, were well told. Her adventures in the game and her time among the stars were exhilarating.
A common thread with a number of D W Jones books that I've read, is a discovery of inner magic tends to go hand in hand with a sense
Zen Cho
Dec 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, kidslit, mythology
So good. I like DWJ's prose; it's like water -- no distinctive taste of its own, and you see right through it, but it is everything the story need. I admire tremendously her way of starting out with what appears to be a fairly mundane situation -- here, Hayley being sent to her aunt's because she's displeased her grandparents -- and introduces a shower of characters and ideas and places, and then starts pulling all these disparate threads together and weaving them into a story until it builds an ...more
Hayley has lived with her grandparents ever since her parents disappeared years ago. When she does something to upset her grandmother, she's suddenly sent to live with her aunts in Ireland, where she joins her cousins in playing a mysterious game in which they visit a wonderful place called the mythosphere, where stories live and are connected to each other.

I loved the premise of the mythosphere, but I didn't think the novella form gave enough room to explore it and the ways in which Hayley and
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the best part of this book is even though there is a lot of references in this story there is enough plot that if you are missing the references there is something to compel you on.

Diana Wynne Jones seems to be very good at rewarding those who can get the references without leaving those who are missing them flat. Something that even Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman don't manage to do all the time.

Hemavathy DM Suppiah-Devi
I loved it, til I reached the end. Until then it had been a delightful, playful, gorgeous romp. But the ending was so rushed and squeezed into the last few pages that I'm still wondering what happened. So many unanswered questions still. Why was Grandma such a stickler for rules? How did Grandpa have a second family? What happens to Uncle Jolyon after? What happened to the kids in the house? Why were Grandma and Grandpa estranged from the rest of the family? Aaaargh!
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, sff
Novella. Hayley is sent away from her strict Grandma and indulgent Grandpa to her cousins, where she learns about her family history and the mythosphere. Fun, engaging, too short; doesn't have the emotional hit of the best Wynne Jones and the ending is even more rushed than usual, but the game itself (a treasure hunt among mythology) is neato keen.
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

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