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Endgame: The Calling Hardcover – October 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Endgame (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062332589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062332585
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A unique dystopian adventure with anchors to the real world… set to become a cultural phenomenon.” (ALA Booklist)

From the Back Cover

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 of their Endgame is that 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 it 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 to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with 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.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.


More About the Author

James Frey is originally from Cleveland. He is the author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

The book is fast, fun, and I read it in one day- all 480 pages of it.
OutlawPoet
His style of writing in this book in particular is very Avante Garde and off the cuff, with short dramatic sentences by the characters involved.
Amy Lynn
This is just my opinion though and I do know a few people who loved the way it was written so please give it a shot you might like it.
Book lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian Klein VINE VOICE on September 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
*NOTE* Endgame: The Calling is at its core a puzzle, and any review of it must take that into account. However the review copy of the book I was provided contained a placeholder puzzle, so as not to release the actual puzzle early. Thus I won't be reviewing the puzzle portion at all, only the book itself. This is not entirely fair, so judge this review accordingly.

When I was a child I was enthralled with Labyrinth, a puzzle book where the user flips through the book like a 'choose-your-own adventure', going through the labyrinth. The catch was that encoded in the maze was a riddle, and if you discovered the answer you won a prize. While the contest was over by the time I started reading I was still enthralled, and I have fond memories of trying to figure it all out (I never did, by the way).

The author of Endgame: The Calling has a similar recollection with a similar book, and is hoping that Endgame can provide this feeling to a new generation of readers. The conceit is simple: encoded in the story are puzzles, tied in to social media, and if you figure it out you find a key that unlocks a box full of gold. This is all fun and well, and the puzzle may itself be delightful. But this review is about the story - one that I found very lacking.

The central problem I have with the story is that it requires turning off your mind and throwing away certain facts in order to accept some of its tenants. This would be fine (it is a fictional story after all) if not for the fact that its also a puzzle that demands your full attention and that you nitpick and research details. These two things are inherently contradictory and definitely brought the book down a notch for me.

I also take issue with the characters in the story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I think we know what the pitch for "Endgame: The Calling" was: It's like the Hunger Games, but without the realism! And there are PUZZLES! And a fetch quest!

And sadly, the pitch is all there is to recommend the first book of James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton's new series for young adults. The actual execution is like a piece of stale pizza with no sauce -- dry, flavorless and kind of tedious. In addition to the awkward, lifeless writing with its short bland sentences, the characters feel more like game pieces than actual people.

The premise is that there are twelve ancient lineages who have been preparing to save the world for thousands of years... and for some reason, only one person is eligible per line, even though any one person from thousands of years ago is going to have a LOT of descendants. And for some reason, only teens are eligible, even though you would expect people at their peak physical condition to be chosen. But what do I know? Endgame!

Now meteorites are falling on whatever city the ONLY appropriately-aged descendants are living in, signaling the beginning of the vaguely-defined Endgame. Every one of them has been trained in deadly Special-Ops-style combat, so they can kill anyone who gets in their way -- including each other. Their goal: when Endgame starts, they must fetch three keys. And so begins a world-wide, bloody quest for the Great Puzzle of Salvation. If they don't win, they die.

"Endgame: The Calling" is the worst kind of story -- the kind of story that has a brilliant premise... and falls flatter than a tortilla that has been run over by a steamroller. In the hands of a better writer, this would be an epic story.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Book lover VINE VOICE on September 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay I give up. I know this book was written this way for a reason but I have a headache from all the short sentences and I just don't get it. I don't even know what the story was about because I couldn't get past all the strange filler! I had no clue until recently that this is the same author that wrote I am Number Four so I thought I would enjoy this when I picked it up, but this is a far cry from I am Number Four. The story starts off with these strange staccato sentences and they never go away. The entire book is written this way and it just didn't work for me. It felt like a middle school novel. I am giving up after 30% because after some research I can see that this book is just not going to work for me. The story isn't worth it. This is just my opinion though and I do know a few people who loved the way it was written so please give it a shot you might like it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CCGal VINE VOICE on October 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To be fair, I am a Vine reviewer, so we aren't afforded the game pieces to solve the puzzle, which leaves us just reviewing the story and writing of the author... which is lackluster at best. I am a middle school teacher and an avid reader. I have seen a lot of end-times, Hunger Games, etc. type of books and this one is not worth the time for the story line. As other reviewers have said, get this book to play the game and win the prize, not for the writing or the story line. It seems very forced to create a story for a game. Almost like the author/company said let's make a game our readers will want to participate in to sell lots of cheap-to-produce books and make a lot of money. Oh, and hey! We should have someone write a story for it.

The characters are packed into mini chapters and snippets, as they grow closer to killing one another off. They have all had extensive training in killing off others throughout their entire lives (most are teenagers), and have trained their entire lives. It's very angry and vengeful or woe is me I don't want this position. The author throws a lot of ideas and characters at you and hopes you can keep up with them throughout the book.

He also writes in short sentences. And tries to sound dramatic. And reinforce the idea. And fails. See how annoying that is?! And he continues to do it over and over again. If you read the summary of this story on Amazon, you have a great sense of how the story flows and how the author writes. It doesn't flow or give the reader enough time to really become one of the characters before he changes the chapter and begins writing about another character. You can't insert yourself into this story as a reader/character and you come away feeling empty.
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