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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: endgame: the calling; by james freyEndgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
Series: Endgame #1
Published by Harper Collins on October 7th 2014
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality. until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win. Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.

reading this book was slow and slightly painful. it wasn’t the worst book i’ve ever read, but it most certainly wasn’t the best.

i hate to compare novels with other novels, but i couldn’t help but think of it like the hunger games. the plot is something along the lines of: twelve teenage representatives fight to the death in an epic end-of-the-world type of games. the circumstances are different, but the main gist of things are the similar.

the story is told from an omniscient (kinda) third-person pov. at the start of every chapter, it’ll tell you who’s pov you’ll be viewing from. it would be weird because there would be some chapters where you would feel omniscient, but others it would feel like third-person. it was awfully confusing to me because it would seem like the story was more focused on the plot, and not a certain character. however, in the end it still seemed focused on a character.. sorta. um… what?

what

i liked how the characters were diverse and distinct. each player was from a “line” in history, so they were all from different races and places. (rhyming~) it made me curious about history and how our civilizations were built. we travel the globe, stopping at places that aren’t popular in books, which i enjoyed.

however, i couldn’t connect with any of the characters. the players of the game were heartless, sadistic, irrational, and sometimes annoying. it wasn’t until the last two pages that there was some emotion shown through. before that, i was convinced the feelings were fleeting, or they were trying to use each other one way or another. there was also a love triangle going on.. *groan* as i mentioned earlier, it would feel like the story was focused on the plot, but randomly throughout the novel, there would an implying love triangle thrown in. the relationships were artificial and forced; i couldn’t sense any chemistry between any of the characters. i think it would’ve been better if the romance was gone altogether. it was there, but not there. 

my favorite part of the novel was the concept. although it was similar to the hunger games, the differences were clear and made it unique. there would be clues and other hints dropped throughout the novel: certain capital letters, spaces between words, symbols and photos here and there. it was interesting because it would feel like you were solving a mystery. i was hoping it would all be explained at the end, but it turns out you were supposed to figure it out yourself.

i liked how the author/publisher incorporated the story with real-life, as if you were playing the games as well. the entire book was a game, with the not-so-random symbols and letters. there’s even a website and like, ten pages of terms and conditions. the prize is $500,000, but i’m still not entirely sure if this is a fraud. buuuut i saw the endgame display the caesar’s palace hotel in las vegas and it was very cool! it all seems really legit.

overall, i did not enjoy this book. i thought it was quite interesting at first, but it eventually got really slow and it wasn’t enough to keep me going for it. the characters were unstable; the relationships were dry. i was confused on what was going on, and i didn’t particularly like the writing style. i’m curious to know what happens next, but i don’t think i’ll actually pick up the next book.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 2.1

(background photo of the header is courtesy of epic reads, design by yours truly!)

xoxo,

alexandra

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Alexandra Ling

alexandra is an eighteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.

  • I agree on the POV and chemistry-build-up issue. I did, kind of and sometimes, enjoy it, in some part.. great review! 😀

    • thank you! i felt a little bad for posting a semi-negative review, but your comment reassured me 🙂

      • don’t feel bad. You were just being honest. I feel good knowing i’m not the only one having same issues, it thought i missed a detail or something 🙂

  • *me, writing a comment on this post after 8 months of posting it*
    I agree with your review, I did find it interesting at the last 50 pages though, but I don’t think I’m going to read the next book…