Review: A Killer’s Game (Daniela Vega #1) by Isabella Maldonado


Print Length: 365 pages
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2023)

From FBI agent and former military codebreaker Daniela “Dani” Vega witnesses a murder on a Manhattan sidewalk. The victim is chief of staff for a powerful New York senator. The assassin turned informant is Gustavo Toro. His code: hit the target and don’t ask questions. When Dani suspects a complex conspiracy, the only way to take down the mastermind is from the inside, forcing her to partner with Toro. Together they must infiltrate the inner circle at a remote facility.

Except it’s a trap. For all of them.

Locked in a subterranean labyrinth and held captive by an unseen host, Dani, Toro, and others must fight for their lives. Now Dani must stay undercover, unravel a bizarre conspiracy, and survive lethal puzzles. But will Toro be friend or foe? Because in this killer’s game, everything is real: the paranoia, the desperation, and the body count. And only one person can make it out alive.

My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This story was..... interesting. It started off as an interesting police procedural novel, only to become an adult geared, assassin-for-hire version of The Hunger Games. And to be honest, when that happened? I almost just saved myself the hassle and DNF'ed it. 

But I soldiered on (haha, no pun intended), and in the end? I actually didn't hate it. Sure, there were moments that defied all logic (these moments happened more frequently than I would have liked). And sometimes I felt like Dani was a bit too Mary Sue-like in her ability to solve absolutely any kind of puzzle or riddle, even under extreme duress, and not only to come up with the correct answer but also to be able to perform (for lack of a better phrase) all of her own stunts without being injured. 

However, there were some good parts, too; Toro, for example, proved to be a compelling addition. Every time I thought I had him figured out, he would go and do something that I didn't expect (or, in a couple of instances, do exactly as I had expected, which meant that I never quite knew what to expect. There were also a couple of other twists that had me completely surprised.  

All things considered, I am definitely curious as to where this author takes this character next so would continue on with the series. And as I have enjoyed other novels by this author, I definitely plan on reading more from them in the future.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                           A Killer's Game is available on
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