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.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.
The sample of Endgame I read, intrigued me enough to want to read the rest. You can read my initial thoughts after reading the sample chapters here: My Review of Endgame – sample.
Unfortunately the rest of the book doesn’t live up to my initial expectations.
It continues its multi character approach and certainly delivers on action and violence. Given the characters’ young ages, I found this disturbing.
Interestingly, instead of working in isolation many of the players teamed up. This realistic touch emphasised the players’ humanity.
The story is punctuated with number sequences and pictures. I presume these relate to the game, which accompanies the book. I ignored these and reviewed the characters and story. The drawings and pictures would be better in the hardcover version. I read an electronic ARC.
The end of ‘The Calling’ throws up more questions than answers. I’m not sure I care enough about the characters to find out what happens.
However I am not the intended audience and if you are a fan of fantasy computer games and dystopian adventure this may be for you.
I received a copy of this sampler from Harper Collins UK Childrens via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars