Monday, February 9, 2015

REVIEW: Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

Title: Endgame: The Calling

Authors: James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: October 7, 2014

This description was obtained from Goodreads

Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all.

This is Endgame.

When the game starts the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule in their Endgame is there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as is tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case full of gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google's Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.

Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

This description was obtained from WV reads library. 

Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality...until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player that has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win. 

Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.


I've always been the type of person that is determined to finish a book once I've started reading it. Endgame: The Calling really made that difficult to start off with. It took reading several chapters for me to be able to get into the story, and I almost always end up hooked instantly. After a little ways into the book I was able to stick with it and it got a lot easier to read.

 I was reading an ebook copy I borrowed from the library and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what was up with all the Roman numerals and odd things placed here and there; it wasn't until after I finished the book that I found out that there is a puzzle within the book. After I found that out, a lot of the stuff made more sense. If you manage to solve the puzzle that is within the book first then you win $500,000 in gold. The puzzles are like some of the ones that the characters in the book have to solve. James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton had master puzzle makers to make the puzzles so that even they don't know the answers. That way no one would be able to say that they cheated in any way. 

OK, I'm going to try and get through this without using any spoilers but if I'm unsuccessful I apologize in advance. To start off I'm going to say that the chapter lengths are extremely short and were not numbered but named by using the Players name. I found that to be extremely confusing for the simple fact that sometimes with ebooks I forget to bookmark the page and I can usually remember, i.e. that I was on chapter 9. There were a few times because of that, that I was completely lost and it took me a while to find my place again. For the entire first chapter the writing is done in nothing but short sentences, I've tried to look past that really, but it aggravates me because two adults wrote the book.  

Usually with books you have a clear view of who the main character is and who they are supposed to be, but I had a difficult time determining who that was supposed to be when we got 12 different POVs. Yeah I thought it was good that you got a chance to see how all of the Players thought and acted but you only got a glimpse here and a glimpse there. Some of the Players were killed off all together before you had a chance to really meet them. 

On a positive note: the book was packed full of action. There were meteorites killing millions of people, plenty of explosions, well choreographed fight scenes (although a few seemed unrealistic), torture, dismemberment,  and plenty more exciting moments. They even managed to throw in a little bit of romance and character growth. It would have been nice if the Players that had the most growth hadn't been killed off when they were, I would have like to see if there was more growth possible for them. 

I've seen on Goodreads where a lot of people are giving Endgame a bad review without them reading the book, the only thing that they bothered to read was the synopsis, and comparing it to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and calling it a rip off. Well I'm a huge THG fans, I've read the trilogy 6 times, and I can say that there are a few similarities but that's it. Endgame has a completely different plot and is it's own story. Authors get their inspirations by reading other authors' work so maybe Frey did take a few ideas from THG, honestly I don't know. I do know that the two novels are different and I feel they should actually take the time to read it before they judge it.

It took me a little bit to get into the story but I stuck with it and I'm glad that I did. There are a few issues that didn't set well with me but I've done my best to over look them. If you can get past that it is a good story. I would recommend this book for adults and older teenagers. Because of all the blood, gore, nudity, and a few sexual encounters (nothing to risky), I wouldn't recommend this for anyone under the age of 17, although the recommended age limit starts at 14 years old. I do suggest giving it try because once the excitement picks up it grabs your attention and holds on.

(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave me comments, I love reading them. I try to respond to all comments within the same day, but it may take me a day to respond. I do comment back and enjoy the conversations.