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.
*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 KrausSee all Editorial Reviews
I must admit that I am highly biased as I have known Mike for years, however, I really loved this book. Slightly scary. Fast paced. Read morePublished 2 months ago by indiesound
I don't usually enjoy "zombie" books but I loved this one, particularly the ending. I also enjoyed that the focus was on the brotherly relationship and not a love interest.Published 4 months ago by Rachel
The zombi-calypse has come to the United States (if not the world) and Michael (17) and his little brother Patrick (5) are trying to search through the zombie-filled countryside of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Staci Griffith
I have been obsessed with "Trapped in Game" genres of movies, TV and books. And this book was advertised as a "trapped in game" story. Read morePublished 9 months ago by CinemaEditor
The book was good however, certain chapters and character deaths had me upset. It seemed like there was a cliffhanger with the book...Wil there be a sequel?Published 12 months ago by Laura Broadnax
Fantastic. I actually stayed up until almost 2am because I couldn't put it down.
And to someone who complained about too much swearing - read the book carefully. Read more
This is the book with the "Everything not saved will be lost -- Nintendo message" epigraph. It sounded promising, but did not deliver. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Eric Juneau
I got this cause a youtuber suggested it, but as I was reading, it had way too many swear words in it.Published 14 months ago by Jenna Schaelling
T. Michael Martin's debut novel, "The End Games" is an absolute must read. Not only does the story have a unique take on the zombie genre, which I'm usually not the biggest... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jonah