Review: Endgame: The Calling by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton


The book description given reminded me of The Hunger Games. Not because everything reminds me of The Hunger Games these days; they don’t. I’ve been reading dystopian fiction long beforeHunger Games, and will continue reading them long after – this isn’t about that. (In fact this book, disappointingly enough, isn’t even dystopian fiction!)

But, see. There are 12 bloodlines, each of which will produce a champion between the ages of 13 and 17, that will fight for the survival of their line. Only one can win. Doesn’t that sound like The Hunger Games to you? Anyway. The story follows the POVs of TWELVE KIDS, so I was confused as to who was who from the get-go. As I read on, I started to be able to tell the difference between them, in a superficial kind of way. The narrative obviously wanted me to sympathise with Sarah, of the Cahokian line (Native American, which makes me wonder, why the hell is a person who is a direct descendent of the Cahokian line WHITE and BLONDE and BLUE-EYED, when there are many, MANY actual Native Americans abound in the States?)

While many of the other Players were raised prepared to do anything to win, Sarah wasn’t meant to be a Player; her brother was supposed to be the Player for their line, but she had to step in when he was injured. Unfortunately, I had zero cares for Sarah and whether or not she will win the Endgame – I was briefly interested in Chiyoko and An Liu, but neither had enough personality to keep my interest for long. The dubious plot and meh characters were combined with an annoying gimmick (the book was littered with clues so that the reader, too, could participate in their own Endgame) and meh writing (it read like a typical adult mystery/thriller book – NOT my cup of tea), so if I could go back in time and tell myself to give this book a pass, I would. (Except that I couldn’t, not just because I couldn’t go back in time, but also because I had to read this book.)

~ originally posted on Weebly


Piercing by Ryu Murakami

This book was immediately familiar from the moment I picked it up. For one, there’s the fact that it’s not that different from In The Miso Soup. And the two-psychos-get-together thing just reminds me of Poppy Z. Brite’s Exquisite Corpse. Actually, like Miso Soup, this book just makes me want to re-read all my Poppy Z. Brites.
I started out reading this together with the original Japanese version, but somewhere towards the middle, I dropped the Japanese version so that I could read faster, only going back to it when a sentence or word usage bothered me. It was entertaining, yes, but I guess the question is – would I have bought it if it wasn’t by Murakami Ryu? Probably not.
While this story is dark and gripping enough for my taste, it just isn’t as powerful – and in fact is nowhere near as powerful – as Murakami Ryu’s Coin Locker Babies.
My copy: purchased from Books Kinokuniya KL
~ originally posted on blogspot