Endgame: The Calling by James Frey
Long ago, 12 families were chosen to prepare for a to-the-death competition that will decide the future of humanity itself. Each player is eligible from the ages 12 to 18, passing on the responsibility when they age out. Generations later, the players are still preparing. But Endgame is no longer coming, Endgame is here.
What I Thought of Endgame: The Calling
Endgame: The Calling is simultaneously one of the most predictable, strange, and action-packed science-fiction books I’ve read. First, its concept seems to be a direct copy of the Hunger Games (12 very capable teens, a deadly fight, etc.) which was immediately discouraging. But as you continue reading, you realize it’s much more, encompassing aliens, ancient extraterrestrial religion, and prophecy. Yet somehow, it doesn’t really get better then either.
To start with the good, there was not a single dull moment in Endgame. Even in the exposition, while the characters (the many, many characters) were being introduced, there was an air of suspense and tension that kept me reading. The more exciting parts were written very vividly and quite honestly were the best parts of all. Additionally, the author did a surprisingly good job of having 12 different and interesting characters that developed over the course of Endgame. However, this was a sort of a double-edged sword because it was immediately obvious who was going to survive based on the amount of characterization they had, making this book painfully predictable.
The parts of Endgame that really annoyed me were the ones about the extraterrestrials and strange other-worldly prophecies. Sure, they were original, but they also came off as very tacky and stupid. This observation is coming from someone who loves fantasy, so something must be very wrong here. Speaking of tacky, the love triangle between Sarah and Jago and Christopher was just awful. It was so horribly executed that I couldn’t help but cringe while reading it, mainly because Sarah had been my favorite character up until then.
Overall, Endgame: The Calling has its very good aspects as well as its painfully bad aspects. For the reader who loves an action-packed science fiction book and doesn’t mind a couple weird extraterrestrial details and an unnecessary love triangle, Endgame is perfect, however I can only give it 3 out of 5 stars.
The most memorable part of this book is the final chapter, where everything comes together for a tragic, epic, and completely unforgettable final moment. Although there were some bumps in the road of Endgame: The Calling, this part made me glad I continued reading it.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars