Title: Endgame: The Calling
Author: James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
Genre: Adventure /
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.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.
When I read the synopsis at the back of this book before buying it, I was not sure what exactly to expect. Well perhaps I envisioned another Hunger Games or something of the sort. Twelve kids all trying to kill each other for their chosen tribe? Maybe I should not pledge my money for tribute.
What I got instead, was an action packed, emotional rollercoaster across obscure cities, landscapes, historical sites and entire continents, following Players as they each sought to defend their respective lines in the deadliest game ever: Endgame. Seeing the world through each of their eyes, stalking other players, betraying, killing, saving. I was riveted from the first chapter right through to the climatic end. When one speaks of suspended disbelief, this is the book I would refer them to.
The story is paced fantastically well. Not too slow and not too fast. I was able to follow each of the players without getting confused. I was able to understand each of their personalities and loved/hated each of them accordingly. Even one of the characters who is mute was portrayed believably. What I enjoyed most, apart from everything else that is, was how each character’s quirks and traits were written out. One of the Players has a stutter and was written with the stutters as part of his “thinking”, and not in an annoying or hindering way either. It fit so well that I could, in a sense, relate to him when I read his parts. Amazing character portrayal and development all round.
The action is intense. The authors did not hold back nor did they minimize the violence, showing just how far people would go when their lives and the lives of their people were on the line; even the young thirteen year old who was both childish and dangerous, was not afraid to spill blood for the sake of winning.
It’s been a long while since a book whisked me away from reality, has so thoroughly taken me, that I had to pull back out and remember there are no Players running around the world hoping to win some endgame.
If this book is not on your To Be Read list, it definitely should be.
Rating: Undeniable 10 out of 5… ok ok 5 out of 5!