Endgame: The Calling

The Calling (Endgame #1)

James Frey

Rate: 5

Two Structural Things You Should Know About This Book and the One Character I Disliked the Most

Format: One thing you’ll notice right away when reading this book is that there are no indented paragraphs and no spaces between paragraphs. This doesn’t mean that each chapter is one long paragraph, but they aren’t as clearly defined like in a conventional novel. More often than not you can tell when a paragraph ends based on whether a sentence ends mid-line and there’s no subsequent sentence. It doesn’t make the story difficult to read, just different.

Another thing you’ll notice when reading this book is all the numbers. At times, Frey goes overboard in his exactness. Not only do numbers show up a lot, there are also many long decimal. There are coordinates, seemingly random clues, and even times explained to down to its nanoseconds.

Third, and my last thing about the format, the Calling has changing narrative forms. At first, the book is in the first person and the speaker talks to the reader, but then it shifts to a third person multiple point of view. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but at times, the POV changes between paragraphs instead of between chapters, which most people are used to. This was jarring at first, but I got used to it as I read on. Since the focus of the speaker changes often, it’s best to read the title of each chapter, which tells you which characters will be present in the chapter and you can anticipate the voices and any POV changes.

Similarity to the Hunger GamesSo I didn’t read the original synopsis of this book, but from the reviews I saw on Goodreads, a number of people complained that they wouldn’t read this book because it sound a lot like the Hunger Games. I’m here to say that only minor details of this book are like the Hunger Games. If I wasn’t looking for connections between the two books, I wouldn’t have thought the Calling is like the Hunger Games.

  • Both books center on 12 teenagers. They’re called Tributes in THG and Players in TC.
  • In TC, Players kill each other because the faith of humanity depends on the winner and only one can win (I have a theory against this, but it’s irrelevant here). In THG, Tributes kill each other for sport and entertainment. Teens are killed in both books, but the reasons why are different.
  • TC is more like a complex, deadly treasure hunt, while THG is a game based on surviving.

Christopher: Christopher is a useless character. He isn’t a Player, but he gets in the way until the end. And surprise, surprise (can you hear my sarcasm?), Christopher is used to create an unnecessary love triangle. Besides being upset that Frey inserts the cliché of a love triangle (cause really love triangles are becoming tiredly clichéd), he uses a flat character like Christopher to do it. The whole time I was rooting for Jago because he at least seemed to have some substance. I was glad to see Christopher go because he was a character that added unnecessary drama. If Frey really needed to spice up the book, he could have had the Players cross paths more often instead of giving so much screen time to this non-Player character.

All in all, you should read the Calling because it’s not your usual YA novel. I found it interesting because even though it’s called a science fiction book, it’s more like a pre-apocalyptic story. Also, even though the characters have difficult names and some are complete monsters, if you get into the story, you’ll be reading to the end. I can’t wait for the next book so I can continue reading all the drama.

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