[ARC Review] The End Games

Friday, May 17, 2013

Title: The End Games
Author: T. Michael Martin
Format: Hardcover, 369 pages
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: HarpeCollins
Source: eARC received via Edelweiss for honest review

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 It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.

I had really High hopes when I picked this book up. Zombies combined with video game lingo? Who wouldnt love that? But sadly this book did not live up to all of my expectations.

What struck me most about this book were the characters. Because the world is surrounded by "bellows" or Zombies, there aren't many characters to chose from. But what I did notice was that the characters that we did eventually meet were overdone. Through their dialogue I found them to be caricatures of themselves. It was almost as if the author was trying to make them more interesting than they needed to be.

Oe of the characters that I hated the most was the Army Sargent/Captain. He was so overdone to the point where every time he said something I found myself rolling my eyes. And the narrator, Micheal would always react in a way that did not make sense to me. I wanted him to be the bad ass character he was at the very beginning of the novel. It was almost as if his character disintegrated the moment he was near other characters. It was just inconsistent.

What I did love about this book was the relationship between Mike and his brother Patrick. I found it very refreshing to see a male character care more about protecting his little brother than getting the girl. I also loved how "The Game" came about and why it existed in the reality of our main character, because to me it made complete sense. I just wish the reveal was later on. I also loved the innocence of "The Game" and how it got turned on its head at the end. It made for a good twist.

Overall I thought the world building was very well done, and I loved the uniqueness of these kind of zombies. I also loved that the twists were a great surprise, but my reading experience was dampened by overdone character and unbelievable situations.

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  1. Yikes over done characters are never a good thing but I have been curious about this book ever since John Green mentioned it in his last video!

  2. Hmm. It sometimes seems to me that most zombie and post-apocalyptic fiction features some military type that is more often than not a caricature. :D

    I'm intrigued by the premise of this book, and I think I'm inured to exaggerated characters, so hopefully that won't detract too much from my enjoyment.

  3. This looks creepy but good. Glad to hear that it had some great relationships too. Thanks for your thoughts!