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Endgame: The Calling Hardcover – October 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Endgame
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062332589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062332585
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

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2 of 3 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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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Endgame is a difficult novel to review for many reasons but judging the book on its own - without any thought to it's intended audience, intended marketing buzz or controversial author - this book can be a fairly decent read depending on what you find acceptable in young adult fiction.

The book : Frey starts out in a disjointed fashion and makes a very obvious attempt to shock the reader into interest. There is destruction, gore and violence aplenty that I found out of place in a book intended for younger readers. The premise is very similar to another series. Twelve young people, descendants of a long line of 'families', will be duking it out in order to ensure the survival of their line. All the other lines will be destroyed. They are given a clue and then instantly begin trying to kill each other and form quick alliances and enmities. The story also seems to have been borrowed heavily from Von Daniken's book 'Chariot of the Gods' that claimed that the Earth was seeded by Aliens (gods). It is these aliens who force the Endgame on us when we are too populous and show that we have wasted our 'enlightenment'. If you have read or glanced at the ideas rampant online about alien technology to be found all over the earth, you can suspect where our character's will be headed in search of the clues they must find. From the pyramids of China to the Gobekli Tepe of Turkey to Stonehenge they trail violence and gore in their wake.

Initially the book is slow to start but, once the action actually got moving and the kids were dispersed and hunting for clues, the plot did improve a little. The ideas are intriguing and the places they visit are fascinating indeed.
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