A Game of Life or Death

“I meant it, what I said before. I don’t trust rumours; I make up my own mind.”

Book title

A Game of Life or Death


Triona Campbell

Date published


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When sixteen-year-old Asha Kennedy discovers her older sister Maya’s dead body in their home, her world falls apart. Desperate for answers, and to stay out of the hands of the social services she grew up in, Asha turns to her hacker friends for help.

Her search leads her to Zu Tech, the hit games studio where Maya was a lead coder. As Asha begins to unravel the riddle of her death, she realises that the only way to uncover the truth is from the inside.

Asha ghosts her old life and infiltrates a Zu Tech eSport tournament as they launch ‘SHACKLE’, the revolutionary Virtual Reality video game Maya was working on – and which hides a monstrous secret…

My review

I truly love how this book is just a debut, what other wonderful things will we be getting from Triona Campbell? I picked up this book at YALC 2023, and to me it was just a paperback for my TBR. Am I glad I picked it off the shelve because of my book buying ban! So, this book is about Asha, who is an orphan and discovers her sister dead. Asha is an amazing hacker and technology is a big thing in this world. The world does not seem to be a lot different from ours, just set in the future. The book also states: “London, the near future.” so yeah, there is that. The book is littered with plot twist upon plot twist and the most amazing lovable characters. Ruby being my fave, but Asha is a really powerful woman herself. The technology and AI aspect is real in A Game of life or death and I totally love that about a book. It made me think about ‘Warcross’, but this is even better. Dark is my morally grey hero and he made sure my heart was broken multiple times. I am aching to read more about Dark and Asha and their chemisty. I do despise Jones by the way, I don’t know why yet, but I know I don’t trust her. It’s just a gut feeling. This is one of those books where you read and read and read and don’t realize the 400 pages are almost over. For me, going into this book thinking it was a stand alone, it came as a surprise to find out there is a book 2! I did break my book buying ban for book 2. I needed it. I even dare to compare this series to ‘A Good Girls Guide to Murder’, since it’s that good.


“I know it’s bad when I realize the nurse is leading me towards a room and not one of the cubicles.”

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