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Games Wizards Play (Young Wizards Series) Hardcover – February 2, 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—In this 10th installment of the "Young Wizards" series (HMH), Kit, Nita, Dairine, and their wizard friends return for more interplanetary adventures. Every 11 years, Earth's wizards hold the Invitational, a prestigious competition in which young wizards compete to craft and execute the perfect spell. The three young protagonists are each invited to mentor a young wizard in the competition, and each ends up facing unique challenges. Among them, Nita has a complicated vision that could change everything, and through a series of events, the stakes quickly become much higher than winning a contest. The story is slow to develop and heavily hinges on knowledge obtained in previous installments. Everything comes together in the end, though, to create a well-thought-out climax, with a satisfying resolution. Recommend this series to young teens who devour books about magic and wizards. VERDICT This is a solid addition to the series; purchase where there are fans of the previous volumes or kids looking for "Harry Potter" read-alikes.—Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA

Review

"Duane neatly manages to pull together and tie off plot threads that have been dangling since the earliest volumes. A delightful treat for dedicated fans." 
Kirkus Reviews

“Recommend this series to young teens who devour books about magic and wizards. . . .  or kids looking for “Harry Potter” read-alikes.” 
SLJ
 
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
  • Series: Young Wizards Series (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (February 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054741806X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547418063
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 13, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 ones, though it does advance our main characters’ lives—both their wizardly ones and their personal ones—and set us up for future adventures.

The focus of the 600-plus page book is “The Invitational,” a sort of science fair for young wizards who get mentored as they create then present original spell work. Our main series characters — Nita, Kit, and Dairine — are all asked by the Powers That Be to be mentors. Kat and Nita as a team for an obnoxiously arrogant and sexist boy (Penn Shao-Feng) and Dairine to an Indian girl (Mehrnaz Farrahi) with family issues. In addition to their problematic charges, Kit and Nita together are struggling with the awkwardness of their new boyfriend-girlfriend relationship; Nita alone is having a hard time with some disturbing visions; and Dairine continues to have a hard time with the loss of someone she cared about (in the last book) and with her new sun-monitoring apprenticeship.

Duane has always had a sensitive hand when conveying the personal lives and interactions of her young characters and that remains a strength in Games Wizards Play.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't remember waiting so long for the next book in a series, or suffering so bad waiting for it. Waiting to get my hands on this book was akin to having a pile of burning coals heaped on my head - the burning desire was horrible, yet I could do nothing about it. The 5 1/2 year wait felt easily like 20. Luckily, DD published some really satisfying spin off books and short stories from this series, making the wait a bit more tolerable. I totally recommend the feline wizard books, ending with the coup de mmmmwhah!: The Big Meow. Okay, impatience is my middle name, and I have horrible wait issues and coping skills - enough said in that regard ...

The good: We finally got resolution to a helluva cliff hanger from book 8 - where did Roshaun go, his last nanosecond hair raising rescue, and return to the fold.

Nita and Dairene must have the coolest dad in existence.

The not quite so good: Nita and Kit's relationship seems a bit to cautious to be real life teenagers, as they seem waaaay too uncomfortable, and insecure - much like wearing a badly fitting coat, or pair of shoes. The issue flopped back and forth, rubbing and chafing, inviting all to comment on it from their senior wizard advisors to Nita' s dad. Even a kiss was strained - like Nita and Kit were gonna throw a major cerebral hemorrhage leading up to it. I can't honestly believe they haven't found some private time to fool around even a little and explore a bit. The strain seemed way out of the realm of realism, and that sorta got old real quick.

No Filif, very little Sker'ret, minimal Rhiow or her Grand Central world gate crew. Ponch doesn't even make a cameo appearance as dog's version of The One either.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm pretty sure this is my first book in the Young Wizards series, though I'm aware of Diane Duane, and I think I've read some of her 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. (I'm sorry I never got to know Ponch, and like the characters in the book, I wondered what happened to Roshaun.) I like Spot and Bobo and the Planetaries (cool idea!) So many imaginative characters and storylines. Great family and friends relationships--and believable. (I always appreciate that.) This story kept me reading, and I stayed up late one night to finish it. I don't want to spoil the rescues, especially at the end, and the new characters. I really liked this book and plan to reread it. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Big BIG fan of this series, but really sad to report that the last couple books seem to have fallen off in quality. I hate to say it, but really wish the series had ended with the 8th book (Wizards at War) - it felt like a terrific ending to the series and would have liked to see the author head off in another direction with her books - perhaps same universe, but different characters. Games Wizards Play felt like it missed so many opportunities - it could have had way more action and way less exposition. I found myself (quite unusual for me) skimming through all the angsty dialogue to get to the parts where things were happening - it just seemed the proportion of telling us things (too much) and showing us things (too little) was way off. I also agree with another reviewer that Kit and Nita's relationship feels strangely reserved for teenagers, and kind of boring. Again, I'd have been happy to see things wrap up a couple books ago. Also there was much in terms of Nita's prophetic visions that felt unrealized in the end. This has been a strangely uneven series, and this was one of my least favorite books.
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