Here is a novel for those who love puzzles and cyphers, and aren’t afraid of having their heads explode. Book One in the Endgame series, The Calling, is not for the faint of heart. And it isn’t a book you will read in one sitting.
One day, across the globe, twelve meteors hit Earth simultaneously, wiping out entire cities in some instances, remote areas in others, but all causing worldwide panic and terror. Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, these celestial warheads are the signal for Endgame to begin. They are The Calling.
Millennia in the past, humanity was created and enslaved, and a game was set that would determine their future.
The twelve original lines of humanity have existed in secret for all these millennia. Each must have a Player, boy or girl, between age 13 and 19, prepared at all times. Generation after generation of Player has been trained as the ultimate weapon. These Players will determine the fate of not only their own lines, but also of humankind. These Players good, evil, kind, deceitful, generous, stingy, lovely, lazy, smart, stupid, sons, daughters, friends, teenagers. Killers. Human.
The only rule of Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. It could be anywhere on earth, and to win is to survive.
Told from twelve different perspectives, the reader gets inside the players’ heads, but the story is written in the third person. Which I loved. The players are from all over the world, so different cultures influence the rise of each of the Players.
Holy crap. The world building is INCREDIBLE. With the thoughts of each of the Players, the reader is transported through time and space. There is magic and mystery and evil and despair and competition. The book is dark, twisted, mind-bending.
After reading the synopsis of the book, written by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, my first thought was The Hunger Games. Great. A copycat. But once you are inside the book, it is SO different.
And another awesome feature? This is an interactive book. Just as the book tells the story of the hunt for the hidden keys, written within the story is a puzzle for the reader. Solve the puzzle, join the hunt, and possibly win the prize. Marketing genious.
Book two of the series, Sky Key, has just been released, and it is definitely on my pile to be read. But I need a break first. Anyone can read this one, just be prepared for descriptive violence. And your head to explode.
Endgame: The Calling is published by Harper Teen.