Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DNF Review: Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Title: Endgame: The Calling (Endgame #1)
Author: James Frey
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 7 October, 2014
Source: Bookworld

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.
Review by Nara

Before you all go yelling about it in comments, yes, I know about the FFF/James Frey thing. I thought I'd still give this book a go, because I like to separate the author from the book. I did the same thing with Ender's Game, even though the author is a terrible person.

Well, in this case, really there was no need to separate the author from the book because this book was just the worst. Congratulations, Endgame: The Calling. You get the award for being my first DNF book of 2014.

I think the main problem I had with Endgame is that there are way too many points of view. Twelve is just ridiculous, and the author is really just unable to handle them all adequately. Frey switches too quickly between the povs for the reader to really be able to connect with any of them, especially because the characters are so poorly developed.

The entire premise didn’t really make sense to me. I feel like things should have been explained in a bit more detail or something, because the whole “twelve lines of humanity” and each having one member to “fight” for the survival of the line? Um, whut. Please explain how, when, why.

The writing itself is pretty poor quality as well. It has a feeling of almost being more of a script than a novel- it’s very overt in stating everything, with complete disregard of the classic “show don’t tell”. The dialogue seems pretty cliched and cheesy at times, and the plot is very chaotic.

Minor point that annoyed me nonetheless: there’s an Australian character, and that character would say "mate" at the end of every phrase. STAHP IT.

Well, shaky premise, terrible world building and poor handling of multiple points of view- I’m certainly not continuing on with this series.

DNF at page 211 (45%)

Hated it

Overall: 0/10
Plot: 0.5/5
Writing: 0/5
World Building: -100/5 (freaking explain things, please)
Characters: 0/5
Cover: 3/5