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

Endgame-James-FreyEndgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.

The end of the world as we know it is quickly approaching, and the fate of humanity lies on the shoulders of twelve teenagers. These twelve descendants of the original civilizations of Earth, and they are Players. Trained from birth to be highly-skilled assassins, puzzle-solvers, and survivors, the Players must find the first of three keys, hidden somewhere on the planet. The Player who wins the Endgame will save his or her race, but all others will be exterminated.

It’s a fascinating premise, albeit familiar to young adult readers interested in the dystopian genre. Inevitably critics will compare it to the Hunger Games—and though they do share many similarities (twelve “tributes” in a deadly “game,” a fight to the death, an initial bloodbath, and romance in between the action)—Endgame is told very differently. Author James Frey jumps around from each of the players’ perspective from chapter to chapter, and it’s not at all difficult to follow because of the distinct fleshed-out characters he’s created. Despite the fact that the storytelling and plot isn’t as well thought out as Hunger Games, Endgame still succeeds because it has higher, deadlier stakes.

In addition, Endgame is bigger than the book itself. Puzzles are scattered throughout the pages, and some are puzzles meant for the characters, but others are meant for the reader. The clues—which may take you online and to actual locations as well—will lead to a key, unlocking a cash prize in real life. It’s an epic premise with a lot of promise. Even without the puzzles, Endgame is still a page-turner with memorable characters and heart-racing action, perfect for the young adult target.

First Published @ Teenreads.com


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation . https://twitter.com/Cassandra_Hsiao

Posted on October 7, 2014, in Books Review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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