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Endgame: The Calling by James Frey - Audiobook Review

Endgame: The Calling - James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton

“The Calling” is the first book of James Frey’s Endgame Trilogy. I had heard of this book briefly before I saw it in a book store. What I liked about the hardcover version was the codes and pictures in the book. It looked interesting and the synopsis sounded quite interesting, too.


Unfortunately, I did not remember that Frey also wrote “I am Number Four”, a book I read a few years ago and did not like too much. There is a lot of controversy about Frey which I remembered when I listened to the audiobook. I am not going into any details but one of the things Frey gets accused of is, that he writes his books in a way that they would make a great movie and get movie deals. And that is something I noticed in “I am Number Four” (even before I heard anything about Frey) and in “The Calling”.


The basic idea for the book is great but the execution is poorly done. The story makes no sense so many times. Basically, the story is about 12 players from 12 different bloodlines who have to play this Endgame. In the end only one player will survive and only people from his bloodline will survive with him. Unfortunately the story sounds more interesting than it is. Especially since things did not add up. Players die in this book but the people from their bloodlines do not get extinct like it was told (or does that only happen at the very end of the trilogy?).


I also did not understand the inconsistency of the players: one moment the players are trying to kill each other for no reason and in the next they are madly in love or best friends. Just, WHAT?! It seemed like many fighting scenes were just there because they would look awesome in a movie. And of course there had to be a love triangle. Every YA book has a love triangle at the moment, so Frey’s book needed a love triangle as well. But that made no sense at all since two people involved hardly knew each other and were supposed to kill each other.


And let us not even talk about the characters. I could not connect to a single character in this book and this book has many to choose from. In “The Calling” we have main characters from all over the world but Frey could not leave his comfort zone behind and so it is the American girl that is oh so perfect. She does not even want to participate but naturally accomplishes everything.


All in all, this book did not impress me much. I am not even sure I would have finished it if I had read it as a book. Uve Teschner tried his best reading this book but at times his enthusiasm for the action scenes made it even worse. I cannot recommend this book and I am pretty sure that I will not pick up the sequel. I think James Frey is officially an author I will not read in the future.