I was asked by my friend and brother-in-law (kind-of, James is married to my boyfriends sister, but that’s a bit of a mouthful so it’s easier to call him my brother-in-law) to do a review on James Frey’s The End Game, The Calling*.
It’s the first time I’ve been asked to do a book review and I wanted to have the opportunity to reach out to a few new bloggers by doing something different to my usual travel tips or baking recipe, teamed with the fact that I have two hours worth of train journeys for my commute to work each day, it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
The End Game is about 12 meteors landing on earth signaling the end of the world where 12 original lines of humanity must fight against each other to find the earth key. Only one of these lines of humanity can ‘win’ and save only their line. What’s different about this story is that James Frey has created a puzzle for the reader throughout the book. On the launch of the book he offered readers the opportunity to win $100,000 by solving the puzzle (a lovely touch and good marketing ploy I thought!).
When I first read the synopsis of the book, I couldn’t help but feel a little deja vu, I’m sure you know what series of books I’m on about… yes, The Hunger Games. I was addicted to The Hunger Games, I thought they were done brilliantly. Normally I hate reading a book before watching a film as I don’t like to picture the characters and setting then be ‘let down’ by the film as it wasn’t as I pictured it. This wasn’t the case with The Hunger Games, I love Jennifer Lawrence and I think she plays Katniss very well. Endgame just sounded way too similar, even right down to the fact there are “12 bloodlines” (12 districts), “players must be between 13 and 17” (Each district has a tribute between the ages of 13 and 18).
I feel bad comparing this book so much to The Hunger Games as I’m sure James Frey was working hard on this book from before The Hunger Games came out…. I’m sure he was also pretty miffed (if my predictions are right about him working on it for a while) about the similarities in the story lines. The book follows different characters with each chapter jumping to a different characters view point of the events unfolding. I have to admit, because of this, it took me a little time to get into the flow of the book as naturally you’re going to want to follow some other characters more than others as you find some more interesting. What was most interesting was how you could relate and sympathize with all characters rather then just one main character. I wasn’t used to this way of reading and thinking so it was actually pretty tough to detach myself from certain characters when they died (I won’t spoil it for you by saying who!).
Throughout the book my mind couldn’t help but astray and not fully engage with the story. I’m not sure if it’s because my love for the hunger games is border lining obsessive, or if because I simply couldn’t engage with the characters like I would normally in a book. As a 22 year old, I think I’m right at the top of the age bracket this book is targeted towards and I would actually wonder how someone younger then me would follow it (although my attention span isn’t great so it could just be down to me…).
To sum up, if you’re a fan of fantasy books and you’re looking for something a little more then Harry Potter and you were obsessed with Divergent, then give this a go. Just because I wasn’t completely head over heels for it doesn’t mean you won’t be.
Let me know what your thoughts are on the book if you’ve read it – I’d love to know!
*a big thank you to Harper Collins for the PR sample and giving me the opportunity to do this review