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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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The End Games Hardcover – May 7, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062201808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062201805
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-In a new take on the zombie apocalypse,17-year-old Michael and his 5-year-old, autistic brother struggle to find safety in the mountains of West Virginia. Michael keeps Patrick from freaking out by keeping score after each attack and relating his instructions from the Game Master each morning. Maintaining this facade becomes more difficult, however, as they meet other survivors and become involved with the mercurial Captain Jopek. Though the story is told in the third person, Michael's thoughts are in a distinctive, stream-of-consciousness voice that takes some getting used to but effectively brings readers deep inside the character's head. This freewheeling style, combined with Patrick's fondness for butt jokes, might appeal to younger readers, but the story is not all zombie fun and games; it is brutal bordering on horrific, and it packs an emotional wallop, particularly when it comes to Michael's determination to protect his sibling.-Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hacking and slashing your way through the hordes of YA zombie novels can be a thankless, grueling task. But what’s this? A glimmer of postapocalyptic hope! Martin’s debut is the best of the undead bunch, meshing relentless action, intelligence, and emotion in a way that recalls Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008). Michael, 17, has managed to mentally and physically protect his 5-year-old brother, Patrick, for weeks among the flesh-eating “Bellows” by convincing Patrick that the whole thing is a video game, complete with levels, points, and—worst of all—cheaters. A victorious “Game Over” seems imminent when they meet a small group of well-armed survivors led by the powerful and commanding Captain Jopek. But Michael starts to doubt the man’s methods as the Bellows begin to mutate into more powerful creatures. The plot rockets forth like a single exhaled breath, tumbling with wild, thrown-together phrases (“a terror-syrupy moment”). Jopek, meanwhile, is a titanic villain of unstoppable strength, a never-ending threat to disrupt the fantasy world Michael has so carefully constructed. Martin has a knack for making bad situations much, much worse and for using Patrick to gentle comic effect. (During a horrific climatic battle, he deadpans, “You guys are butt-monkeys.”) Any last words? Yes! Very. Exciting. Book. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

T. Michael Martin is a novelist and screenwriter who holds a BFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He was inspired to write his debut novel, The End Games, by his own younger brother, Patrick, and their mutual love of zombie movies. He and his wife, Sarah, live in West Virginia. You can visit him online at www.tmichaelmartin.com.

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Customer Reviews

The characters were very well developed and kept the story so interesting.
ROSIELEE
So although the writing wasn't bad, the book became tedious to get through because I really didn't care what happened to the characters.
Cathe
I loved that part of the story--you could really feel how much Michael loved his brother.
Ruth Day

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bob on July 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since the start of this zombie craze, I haven't found a piece of literature or film that could suck me into it, until recently. The Walking Dead is somewhat interesting, but not enough so that it consumes my attention. The End Games definitely is, however.

I am only about ten chapters into the book, but I'm already obsessed with it. The End Games is about more than just surviving a zombie apocalypse: it's about an older brother trying to keep his younger brother from freaking out by telling his younger brother that it's all a game. The originality in that, compared to the plots of other zombie stories, is truly refreshing and is what makes this book a great read. I also love-for some reason-that T. Michael Martin named the zombies "Bellows".

Along with the story, the writing style of Martin is a large part of why I love The End Games. It's easy to tell the mood of a chapter based on it's sentences. For example, in times of panic the sentences become shorter. "Don't freak, please. Not now, Bub. Michael spotted the keys. They'd fallen onto the passenger seat. They were just out of reach-" This style of writing adjusts the reader's emotions to that of the characters.

As for the occasional references to products and video games, it bothered me at first, but they began to create a relatable feeling after a while. They also work to form their own type of metaphor.

The End Games deserves five stars, because of its originality and lack of fear to shock the reader in sometimes offensive ways (when the priest slits the throat of a woman). I can't wait every day to read more of it, and I can't wait to read more works from this already very talented author.
-Adrian Lawson
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Conrad on August 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A story of two brothers, Michael and Patrick, trying to survive a game designed by the Game Master. The goal... to reach the safe zone. The problem... zombies the brothers termed "Bellows" are trying to keep them from reaching their goal.

But is it really just a game?

The two start off by themselves, with only each other for support. In their attempt to reach the safe zone, they run into other survivors, who may or may not have their safety in mind. Adding to the difficulty level of their game are several things: Michael's lack of experience, despite being 17 years old; Patrick's age (5 years old) and unstable condition; religious fanatics; uncertainty of who to trust.

Does the safe zone exist? Are there other survivors, and are the other survivors to be trusted? Are the bellows merely zombies, or do they pose more danger? In the end, is there a cure?

It's been a while since I've picked up a book and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book broke that drought. A whole lot of "ya-ya" for this author. I am looking forward to other work by this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Miller VINE VOICE on August 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Summary:
Michael and Patrick are in the midst of attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse. In order to keep his brother from falling apart, Michael sets up their survival as a game. There is a game master that makes up all of the rules and safe zones. Although this starts out as being a rather playful way of seeing things, it is a dangerous world the two brothers now find themselves in. How will they actually make it through?

My thoughts:
Honestly, this was a lot of fun. It takes a while to get into it an the pacing is a little off once you get going, but it is worth it. I enjoyed the humor the most within this story. Although filled with action and some gruesome zombie scenes, the comedy is what made me like this book above others in the same genre. While I like the premise of turning this into a video game and it relates to many teenagers, the set-up for everything was too long. This could be because this is a debut for the author, so I'm interested in keeping an eye out for new books. I'd love to see him find a better balance for pacing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Baker on July 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The heart of the story is the older brother/younger brother and guardian dynamic between Michael and his little brother. This is what makes THE END GAMES stand out for me in terms of what Mike seeks to do to make sure his brother doesn't lose it and can actually enjoy the world they are both in. Of course things derail this mission and Mike has to dig deep into himself and realize what he can and can't do and perhaps that The Games is much more demented than he originally thought.

In T. Mike Martin's debut there's a solid and knowledgeable voice throughout steering the reader into territories unknown and a world that is quite freaky. I can't wait to read more from him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kitten Kisser VINE VOICE on July 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At first I was a bit put off due to the confusing manner of the beginning. I thought I selected a zombie thriller & thought that perhaps I was wrong & it was some Hunger Games type of twisted game two kids were on. Don't worry, it is a Zombie thriller. The author has a strange writing style that ruins the flow of the book. It takes a bit of reading to understand the jumpy writing. Once one gets past that learning curve, the book is very very good!

I am a huge fan of zombie books. So far out of all the books I've read, none have been quite like this. The two main characters are brothers with a pretty good age gap. The younger brother has a mental disability while the older does not. They have a beautiful brotherly bond. The older brother is willing to sacrifice everything to keep his brother safe. He uses gaming to appease his little brother; looking at the zombie apocalypse as just that, a really amazing "game" not real life in order to help shield his brother from reality.

As in most zombie novels there are the good guys, the bad guys & the undead. Besides the incredible relationship between the brothers, the undead get pretty interesting. They are more than just brainless shuffling husks of what once were human beings. They are something else, something terrifying. The bad guys are very bad & even the good guys aren't always as good as they should be.

This would be a 5 star zombie thriller if it wasn't for the disjointed writing style of the author.
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