Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton [Non-Spoilers Review]

Title: Endgame: The Calling

Author(s): James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

Pages count: 477 pages

Publisher: HarperTeen

ISBN: 0062332589

Rating: 2 stars

I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

Ladies and Gentleman, you are reading the review of the first DNF book of 2015 and the last 3 years. I have never ever in the last 3 years left a book unread or unfinished, and the time has come! I have a ton of books to read and ARCs to finish and I decided that once I don’t like a book, I’m not going to push myself to finish it. This was the case. I found myself not wanting to enjoy my reading time and watching TV instead; I tried people but this book just wasn’t for me.

The premise has been taken off GoodReads:

“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.

When the game starts, the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.

Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.”

I have to say that those people who think this is a copy of The Hunger Games are completely wrong. This book is very original in its concepts and plot, and the reason why I gave it 2 stars is the originality alone. I expected and wanted to love it, but this book just wasn’t for me. It lacked something I can’t put my finger on but it failed to suck me in.

The characters were bland. I was 150 pages in, and I still wasn’t connecting with any of the characters. The only one I truly like was Feo but he was nothing special either. The love story seemed creepy to me and I wanted it done the minute it started.

The writing was a little pretentious using big words but failing to catch the reader’s attention.

I’m not saying it is a bad book but it just wasn’t for me. It bored me to the core but I do encourage you to pick it up and give it a try! It has really cool concepts and apparently, the book is part of a worldwide contest in which you have to gather clues from the book and decipher a code. There’s a cash prize!

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11 thoughts on “Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton [Non-Spoilers Review]

  1. I started reading this book too, when it first came out. I only got about 30% in and stopped reading it. It wasn’t horrible, but I couldn’t find myself connecting with it and it was taking me so long to read and the entire time I wanted to read something else. I haven’t picked it back up since then. I’m actually waiting for the audiobook to be free from my library, so I can listen to it while I work. I really want to see how it plays out, but I don’t want to actually physically read it because I don’t know if I can. That probably makes me sound like I hated it, I really didn’t, it just started so slow. The switching between characters was kind of annoying and at times became confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, it’s too bad you like it. I really enjoyed it. That said, the writing really put me off at first, but I just looked past that and enjoyed it for what it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know a lot of people who really enjoyed this one, so it’s interesting to see why you didn’t like it so much. It didn’t really appeal to me, and it still doesn’t, although I never understood the references to The Hunger Games!

    Liked by 1 person

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