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 basic feel of this book is like 39 Clues/ I am Number Four mashup. I have no idea why a lot of people think it’s like the Hunger Games, because it definitely is not that but oh well. Anyways, 39 Clues was a big thing for me back in like elementary school so I was very weak for this one.
So the basic plot is 12 kids, all about the same age, scattered all over the world, like literally ALL OVER THE WORLD, the representation is amAZinG in this book, and they’re like part of this select bloodline, one for each of the ancient peoples (ex: Cahokian, Olmec for North and South America respectively) and only these people know that one day the world will end and only they can rescue their people. This part of the plot kinda drove me up the wall though. The idea is that each of these 12 bloodlines have one Player, and it’s just passed down through the family, and when the time came, they had to solve this puzzle and whoever solved it, their entire bloodline and respective people would survive and basically everyone else would die. That seemed to suck a lot and I felt like that little issue could’ve been solved if the lines just married each other but I don’t know maybe it’s a rule they can’t.
Let me tell you that these Players are great. They all had different personalities, not sure if their cultural backgrounds are accurate but they all had different backgrounds. The book flip flops between the perspectives of the different Players so you get to know them better. Half of the kids are killed pretty fast and all of them are crazy talented in weaponry, intellect and combat so that just shows none of us would survive as a Player. I mean the books starts with a Moroccan boy (I forget his name) and he’s cocky as hell that he’ll be able to kill his opponents but joke’s on him, he dies first.
Of course the books begins with the signal that the end is near and it’s time to play… Endgame dun dun DUN. Then they all meet and then race to solve the puzzle, 39 Clues style.
Alright, about the Players themselves. There’s three main teams: the two from the Americas, the two from East Asia and the South Asia team. The Americas team is like the typical white people who are like haha, flirty suave boy and charming, kickass girl who have a hint of romance and yeah they’re smart but the tropes used for them is so overused it’s exhausting. The East Asia team is composed of a boy from China and a girl from Japan who both have… issues. He’s twitchy and a maniac and she’s a mute and scary and I don’t know why the author thought they’d be good together and I don’t understand why they are together but oh well. The South Asia team isn’t really a team really. It’s two girls who decided to be friendly but don’t ‘team up’ per se. They just happen to pass by whenever the other’s in trouble and help each other out and they probably have the healthiest relationship if we’re being honest. There are other players that are just kinda the typical bad kids who don’t know what they’re doing so they decide to try to kill the actual Players. It’s a little boy who barely makes the age requirement and just hunts the other Players with his brothers so. The teams are actually really civil when they meet each other even though they’re always lowkey trying to steal from each other.
I kind of hated the ending though. I felt like the book could’ve been wrapped up in this one book. There’s only like six players left in the Final Showdown and three of them die so, I don’t exactly know how the plot is supposed work in an entire other book, especially if its planning on being as long as this one. This one was good I guess, if you like the 39 Clues vibes but the ending wasn’t really much of an ending. There wasn’t a cliffhanger or anything and it seems like the Endgame is completed so how James Frey is going to write another 500 page book is beyond me. The summary says that this book only revolves on the hunt for the first key out of three but there’s only like three Players left so I’m not sure how that’s going to work.