Endgame: The Calling – James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton


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.


It makes me a little squeamish that this book has two authors, but one is kind of hidden underneath the huge “JAMES FREY.” Are they not co-authors here?

Aside from that, this book was a little too ominous for my liking. There were a lot of plot holes — like if places are cleared out of commoners, how does Christopher get in? Why is everyone so trigger-happy with anyone not in Endgame (and let’s be real, even with the players too), but magically don’t shoot at Christopher immediately? Why would Jago stand by Sarah? Why are some people not getting involved when others are?

And there are a bunch of other annoying things, like the fact that “the enlightened” are unable to spread their insight because the rash do not listen. I understand that’s the point, that this whole tragic turn of events could have been circumvented, but it makes MY blood boil too.

Also, all the cryptic clues? Not really a fan. A bunch of it is… reaching. Likewise, I wonder what’s happening with the “real life” Endgame. Isn’t the point that no one wins in Endgame? Why is there a prize of $500,000?

The story itself is also pretty standard. It’s a fusion of several well-known dystopian stories.

Related Reading

  • I am Number Four – Pittacus Lore (SO MUCH)
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (12 brutal youth, hmm…)
  • Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card (Do you have any idea what the stakes are?)
  • Ready Player One – Ernst Cline (three keys?!)
  • My Name is Memory – Ann Brashares (history)

Rating: 2/5


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