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Endgame: The Calling Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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“This book is fantastic. On every level. Please just go read it and try and disagree with me. I dare you.” (The Guardian)
“A unique dystopian adventure with anchors to the real world… set to become a cultural phenomenon.” (ALA Booklist)
“Endgame is like The Hunger Games on steroids.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“You officially have my attention, James Frey. And to anyone reading this, the challenge is on.” (Bustle.com)
“The premise is engaging, in a Hunger Games-meets-National Treasure sort of way, and the diverse global cast is welcome.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm reading it right now and so far is really good. I plan to buy the second one.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
Was an amazing book full of great dystopian literaturePublished 18 days ago by Victor Samuel Rosado
I just completed reading Endgame. The book was average and nothing truly new.
1. The book rides the YA wave that's been ever so popular lately, but doesn't measure up to some... Read more
I bought this book for my 15 year old son. He loves that book and could not stop reading it. He especially likes James Frey's visually descriptive writing that makes him feel like... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Celeste
Ok so yes, there are many negative reviews as you can see but I absolutely fell IN LOVE with this series! Read morePublished 28 days ago by Drew Davis
Slow start but highly intense and quick pick up. Exciting and unpredictable. Well donePublished 2 months ago by Robert H. Webb
Just read it for your self. Adrenaline rush for sure. Enough said. Agree that it's similar to hunger games but on steroids.