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Title: These Deadly Games
Author: Diana Urban
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Page Count: 407
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
Let’s play a game.
You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.
Are you ready?
When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.
But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt–and kill–her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…
As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.
Author of All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban’s explosive sophomore novel, These Deadly Games, will keep you riveted until the final twist is revealed.
These Deadly Games by Diana Urban is a young adult thriller novel. The story in These Deadly Games is one that is told in the current timeline along with flashes back to past events in the protagonist’s life.
Crystal Donavan has become one of six top gamers in her area and has all her focus on making the five person team to play in an upcoming tournament with millions on the line. When Crystal is asked to drop her little sister off for a field trip she thinks nothing of it.
Later Crystal gets an ominous test message with an attachment showing her little sister tied up. The message, “Let’s play a game. You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies.” Of course Crystal will do anything to save her sister but what starts off seemingly random and bizarre only become that much more dangerous.
These Deadly Games by Diana Urban was a high octane thrill ride from start to finish mixing a bit of psychological games with physical danger. There’s a lot of books out there with parents searching for a missing child but this story takes a different route with a sibling upset and trying her best to win these demented games. Everyone is a suspect and I couldn’t have been more impatient to see what would come next. This was my first book by the author but certainly won’t be my last.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Diana Urban is an author of dark, twisty thrillers, including All Your Twisted Secrets (HarperTeen) and These Deadly Games (Wednesday Books, 2022). When she’s not torturing fictional characters, she works in digital marketing for startups. She lives with her husband and cat in Boston and enjoys reading, playing video games, fawning over cute animals, and looking at the beach from a safe distance. To learn more about Diana, visit dianaurban.com or follow @DianaUrban on Instagram and Twitter.