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Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

Miss Shayne returns with a review of the first book of the Endgame trilogy.  Stay tuned for her reviews of the rest of the trilogy later this summer!

This is the first book in the Endgame trilogy. Years ago aliens enslaved humanity and left them with a message: one day, they will return, and the world will end, and only one of the original 12 bloodlines will survive. In the present day, twelve people from the ages of 13-20 compete in a worldwide scavenger hunt by solving riddles in order to find three keys. The winner of the scavenger hunt will save their bloodline, and everyone else on the planet will die.  

Because the premise of this book sounds ridiculously close to The Hunger Games, people have refused to read it. This book has taken a lot of heat from people who haven’t even read it, which makes me sad. Though there are minor similarities, this book is completely different from The Hunger Games. It is different from most of the other books that I’ve read because it follows the individual journeys of all of the players involved. We don’t have a clear protagonist or antagonist because there seem to be several of each. We get to see how the relationships between the characters shift, how alliances form and crumble, and what everyone’s true intentions are compared to what they’re telling everyone else. This wasn’t a part of The Hunger Games.

The only negative thing about this book is how confusing it can be sometimes. The characters have to solve puzzles and crack codes in order to find the keys that are essential to win the game. The puzzles are given to us, but they seem impossible to me. (I’m glad I’m not a player in this game . . .) There also seem to be a lot of unexplained events that I’m hoping will be explained in the second book. So I’ll try to be patient.

I finished this book sooner than expected. I don’t know if it was because the pages are sometimes set up with only fragments, or because I spent hours on my couch reading. Regardless, this book could have had a couple hundred more pages, and I wouldn’t have complained. Upon completing it I thought, “that’s it?!” The authors left us with such a cliffhanger! It almost seemed to cut off in the middle of the climax.

Overall, I love this book. I cannot wait to read the second book. I heard it’s better than the first. I can’t wait to read the conclusion, either. So, if you are into sci-fi scavenger hunts, I highly recommend this book to you!

--Reviewed by Miss Shayne


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