Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 3, 2014: 'Endgame: The Calling'

Welcome to Book City
Date: December 3, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

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.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Meteors rip through the world. The Players all see. They go to the meteor in their area and pluck a rock from it. They get a message with a location. The Players all go to that place. Before Sarah leaves, she explains that she's playing a dangerous to her boyfriend Christopher who promptly leaves a few days after her. Jago and Sarah go on the same train, but An Liu finds that train and places a bomb on it. Sarah and Jago escape and form an alliance. They all end up in Beijing. They get transported to a pyramid by a disembodied voice. They get the rules and are set loose. Some, like Chiyoko, An, and Baitsakhan, attack. Others flee into the woods or through the pyramid. Marus is killed by a bomb. Christopher follows Kala out of the pyramid and thinks she's the last one out. Jago and Sarah go next after Jago retrieves a disk. Aisling, Maccabee, and Chiyoko all go through the pyramid after Jago and Sarah. Jago and Sarah go to a reclusive hotel. Chiyoko, who knows they have the disk, follows. Shari follows Alice. On a bus, Shari helps a girl give birth. During this, Alice escapes. An and Chiyoko meet. Baitsakhan kidnaps Shari and tortures her. Jago, An, Sarah, and Chiyoko go to the Terra Cotta warriors, following Jago's clue. An blows up a secret room. Christophe follows Kala out of China. Alice frees Shari from Baitsakhan's grasp. An and Chiyoko share a bed, with An falling in love with her. Kala goes to a temple. Jago and Sarah check each other for bugs on a plane and find nothing. Chiyoko leaves An. Kala is taken by an Air Marshal that she kills. She, and Christopher, are caught in a plane crash. They escape. Jago and Sarah go to Jago's relative for guns and a car that has been altered. Baitsakhan stalks Maccabee. Kala calls Sarah after realizing who Christopher is. Maccabee and Baitsakhan become allies. Chiyoko saves Kala. Chiyoko, Jago, Sarah, Kala, Baitsakhan, Maccabee, and Christopher all go to a temple. Kala kills Jalair Baitsakhan's brother. Kala is killed. Maccabee finds Christopher. Chiyoko temporarily allies with Jago and Sarah. Chiyoko rescues Christopher. They go to Italy. Baitsakhan and Maccabee find Hilal with an orb they found at the temple. Chiyoko confronts Cheng Cheng's friend in Italy after stealing the disk. Sarah, Christopher, and Jago go to Stonehenge. An and Chiyoko also go. An takes Christopher prisoner. Sarah kills Christopher, who was doomed to die by An's hand. Sarah gets the Earth Key. Chiyoko dies. An dies. The end of the world begind. 
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Japanese. Stealthy. Mute. Sneaky. Spy. Watches and waits. Ninja. 

Has tics and a stutter. Hacker. Bomber. Genius. Falls in love with Chiyoko. 

Cocky. Also called Feo. Fighter. Has family in high places. Likes Sarah. Understands whether someone is lying or not. Strong. 

All American girl. Smart. Beautiful. Has boyfriend but also likes Jago. Used to be normal. Was valedictorian. Understands codes. 

This book is pretty interesting. It's not the best book. There were problems. I do like enough of it, though.
The book has action. Fighting. Hand-to-hand. I love action. And this book has action. It brought the action I needed and have been lacking. This book makes up for the action I need. The fighting is fantastic. It's fast, though. Quick. To me, it seems too quick in certain times. 
While I don't love all the characters, I do like Christopher and Chiyoko. I like Christopher because he seems more down to earth. The other characters are superhuman. They don't seem to be humanly possible. Christopher is the only non-Player. And I like him. He also follows his heart. And he's stubborn. And he chases his love no matter the cost. I like Chiyoko because she's silent. She isn't fighting or killing unless she has to. She watches. Waits. I like that. She isn't confrontational in the way you might think. You think that I would like An, but I don't. He's too cocky. Sneaky. And obsessive. 
I like that it involves a diverse set of characters. They come from all over the world. American girl. Japanese girl. Hispanic boy. I think diversity is important in books. Especially in young adult fiction. I rather not be restricted to Caucasian males and females. The world isn't just Caucasians. No offense. (Sorry, guys. I'm not trying to offend. But diversity is important. I'm Asian American after all.) 
There are problems, though. I don't 
I disliked the romance. I didn't like that Sarah was 'cheating'. It seemed wrong. Though, she's is better suited for Jago. Jago is more like her. Which is good. And An? Really, Chiyoko? Can you not? I like you when you're not seducing your captor. Thank you very much. (I know I sound very sarcastic. But I like Chiyoko. And I wish she hadn't slept with him. Or did anything for him. Really? I'm sorry, but I wish she fought her way out.) 
I also disliked the characters. Most of them at least. I don't see why there has to be so many characters. It's hard to keep track of them. We have An. Chiyoko. Hilal. Jago. Maccabee. Alice. Shari. Baitsakhan. Sarah. And more. There are twelve. It's hard for a reader to keep track of them. I honestly considered using a notebook to write all of them down. It's hard for me to keep their back stories separate if they have similarities. I dog-eared the page that listed their ages and names and family. I used it for reference. 
Along the lines of characters, I have more problems.
There is minimal character development. Except in the four ones that are mentioned. And even they don't change that much. They start out and end up as the same people. I hope that all the characters get development. 
And, again with characters, the plot was hard to keep track of. The story jumps from character to character. This goes along the lines of too many characters. You get one character. You get another. It doesn't make any sense. I got lost. Especially with the characters that aren't mentioned a lot. It's hard to keep track of Hilal if he's mentioned only a few times. I don't mind it sometimes. But this was too many characters. And too many jumps from character to character. 
And...the characters seem so impossible. So superhuman. What do I mean? do they have all those talents? They can fight. Kill. Decode. Translate. It's insane. Even the best army guys can only do a few of these teens' talents. And they're only teenagers! How is that even possible? Teens can barely get out of bed sometimes. And killing? Traumatizing at worst. 

Sunny with a 20% chance of rain 

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