Friendship Games is a Best Books of 2023 selection by Kirkus Reviews Magazine


Friendship Games was selected by the editors of Kirkus Reviews as one of their Best Books of 2023!

Kirkus reviews thousands of books through its Indie program every year.  Only a select few are included in their Best Books of the Year list.

In July, Friendship Games earned the highly coveted and industry standard Kirkus Star and was considered for the Kirkus Prize for literary excellence.  Of the thousands of indie books reviewed by Kirkus, only about 2% earn the Kirkus Star.

Friendship Games is a modern take on the USS Maine incident that launched the Spanish-American War in 1898; this time it is a US aircraft carrier that sinks in the Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran and a changing world order.  Convinced that the United States will wage war against them, Iran strikes first.

"A profound and thought-provoking thriller examining humankind's self-destructive tendencies."

- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A nail-biter from beginning to end. A talented writer, Mr. James paints vivid pictures of characters such as Daddy Longlegs, Vice President of the United States, and Hash Ghavam, an Iranian admiral, in an all too real scenario of World War III ... Author James is skilled in his descriptions of desert warfare ... With non-stop action, this book is hard to put down."

- Nancy Panko, Military Writers Society of America (Bronze Medal Book Award)

"★★★★★ ... Wow! Found Friendship Games on WFP and it's a top class book. Great editing, great characters, and extremely original plot.  I read about 4 or 5 books a month and this is the best in genre I have read in years. Well done! Need more!"

- Anonymous reader (via Twitter)

"★★★★★ ... Things were getting worse in Detroit with massive demonstrations and gang wars as the police holed up in the central districts to protect the businesses. At this moment of crisis, an enormous disaster struck the Navy in Bahrain ... Hussein Salmeen had been busily radicalizing desperate youth into martyrs; could he put a leash on his zealous youths even as the orders had been to abort? ... Rear Admiral Hashemi Ghavam could see the folly of the mullahs and the imams beating war drums in Tehran.  But what could he do to save his people?

Friendship Games by Mark James is a must-read!

Friendship Games by Mark James is not only a meticulously written and entertaining work of political thriller fiction but is also thought-provoking."

- Frank Mutuma, Readers' Favorite

Friendship Games is available at Amazon in paperback, kindle, and audiobook.