The End Games

( 7 )

Overview

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 ...

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The End Games

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Martin covers familiar territory—zombies, conspiracies, post-apocalyptic romance—but does so with style in this exciting debut novel. In the West Virginia mountains, 17-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, fight the “Bellows,” light-fearing zombies that mimic the sounds of the living as they attack them. To help Patrick cope, Michael keeps up the pretense that the entire nightmare is a game, something he started when they ran away from their abusive stepfather the night the Bellows first attacked. The challenges they face (beyond the Bellows themselves) range from religious zealots and megalomaniacal soldiers to Patrick’s dwindling supply of anti-anxiety medication. Martin sometimes lets set pieces stand in the way of common sense—such as an early scene in which Michael calmly ignores a Bellow because he’s certain the sun will rise before it gets to him—and some of the threats can be cliché, but the West Virginia setting, tense action, devoted fraternal relationship, and Michael’s lovers-in-dangerous-times romance with a girl named Holly will keep teens hooked. Ages 14–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary + Media. (May)
Bennett Madison
“With more heart (and brains) than any zombie book has a right to and then some,The End Games is a deeply imaginative and soulful book from one of the most exciting new writers I've read in ages.”
Sara Zarr
“It’s full of both jaw-dropping action and heart-twisting beauty. It’s a thrill ride that makes you think and feel: terrifying and joyful, funny and moving.”
Booklist
"Martin’s debut is the best of the undead bunch, meshing relentless action, intelligence, and emotion in a way that recalls Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008)....Very. Exciting. Book."
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
There are rules to the game: that much seventeen-year-old Michael and his little brother know. Bright light scares the Bellows, but only a head wound will kill them. The boys have been on the run for weeks, battling zombies, with only instructions from the Game Master to guide them. If they can make it to the Safe Zone, then it is game over and they will have won. But when they do finally make it, they find it is not a refuge at all. It seems the rules are changing, and the greatest monster of all is not one of the undead, but a megalomaniac who is very much alive. The End Games does exactly what a good book should—it ratchets up the tension on every page, and just when it seems the hero is safe, he runs straight into an even deadlier situation. It is a dynamo of a debut novel, well written with well defined characters and a plot that leaves readers gasping for more. Readers watch as Michael navigates a world that has thrust him into the role of superhero, but only if he can keep it together for his beloved younger brother, whom he has convinced that the zombie apocalypse is just a real-life video game. Watching Michael as he struggles to find a safe haven in a world that has gone to hell is thrilling and utterly engaging. This is not just a monster novel; it is a tale of terror worthy of the early, great Stephen King. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In a new take on the zombie apocalypse,17-year-old Michael and his 5-year-old, autistic brother struggle to find safety in the mountains of West Virginia. Michael keeps Patrick from freaking out by keeping score after each attack and relating his instructions from the Game Master each morning. Maintaining this facade becomes more difficult, however, as they meet other survivors and become involved with the mercurial Captain Jopek. Though the story is told in the third person, Michael's thoughts are in a distinctive, stream-of-consciousness voice that takes some getting used to but effectively brings readers deep inside the character's head. This freewheeling style, combined with Patrick's fondness for butt jokes, might appeal to younger readers, but the story is not all zombie fun and games; it is brutal bordering on horrific, and it packs an emotional wallop, particularly when it comes to Michael's determination to protect his sibling.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Michael tries to shepherd his autistic 5-year-old half brother Patrick through a very real zombie apocalypse by pretending it's just a video game. Twenty-one days ago, Michael decided he'd had enough of his abusive stepfather, Ron. The final straw: Ron was planning to send Patrick to a mental hospital, so Michael packed Patrick a backpack, told him they were about to play a great adventure game controlled by the "Game Master" and ran for the car in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for them and the rest of the world, brain-seeking zombies attacked that very night. Using the "rules" of the game delivered by the Game Master, video-game–loving Michael keeps the two of them safe as they avoid the Bellows (zombies who echo parts of words they hear in bellowing voices) until they encounter the Rapture, a religious cult at zombie-plagued ground zero that worships the living dead. Escaping their insane clutches, the boys find the Charleston, W.V., Safe Zone…but few survivors remain. Can they trust Capt. Jopek, the lone military man? Is there any real safety in the new, awful world? Martin's debut is a lethargic zombie thriller that buries a few interesting ideas in tortured syntax and repetitious narration. It regularly abandons the logic it painstakingly sets up as well as basic reality in service of advancing the plot. Even die-hard zombie fans will be hoping for an end to this game far sooner than it comes. (Horror. 14 & up)
Booklist (starred review)
“Martin’s debut is the best of the undead bunch, meshing relentless action, intelligence, and emotion in a way that recalls Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008)....Very. Exciting. Book.”
Mira Grant
“This is one of the sharpest, most unexpected zombie novels I’ve read in a long time.”
S.A. Bodeen
“The End Games clutches the reader with chilling action, cushioning the gore with the love shared between two brothers, leaving enough cracks in the despair so that the reader is allowed to hope that humanity will trump all.”
R.L. Stine
“The End Games is my kind of book. It’s tense right from the first chapter - and believe me, it stays tense. It plays startling games with your head - lots of twists and surprises. A great read from a great new talent.”
Carrie Ryan
“The End Games is my favorite kind of zombie story: utterly thrilling, deeply moving, beautifully written, and entirely unputdownable. A must read!”
Pittacus Lore
“Provocative, action-packed and unexpectedly stirring, full of twists and turns that you’ll never see coming, T. Michael Martin’s The End Games will shock and move you.”
John Green
“A stunningly intelligent, thrilling story about family and love that just happens to include some zombies.”
Sara Zarr
“It’s full of both jaw-dropping action and heart-twisting beauty. It’s a thrill ride that makes you think and feel: terrifying and joyful, funny and moving.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Watching Michael as he struggles to find a safe haven in a world that has gone to hell is thrilling and utterly engaging. This is not just a monster novel; it is a tale of terror worthy of the early, great Stephen King.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062201805
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 382,326
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

T. Michael Martin is a novelist and vlogger who holds a BFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Indianapolis.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2013

    This book surprised me so much. I love zombie novels. But I also

    This book surprised me so much. I love zombie novels. But I also love dark, literary stories. And I love stories about relationships. And this was all 3!
    Michael and his little brother Patrick are two of the few survivors after the zombie apocalypse hits. They travel the backwoods and small towns of West Virginia, looking for others like them. Looking for rescue.
    But most importantly, Michael is trying to keep 5-yr-old Patrick's innocence intact. And after they do find other survivors, Michael starts to realize that innocence just might not exist anymore.
    Love, love, love, love, love...seriously. READ IT YOU GUYS!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Slightly difficult to get into, but once you get hooked, you REA

    Slightly difficult to get into, but once you get hooked, you REALLY get hooked. An intense read for those looking for the post-apocalyptic zombie book for teens. Try surviving this arena, Katniss!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Outstanding! What a great talent! Can't wait to read more of t

    Outstanding! What a great talent! Can't wait to read more of this author's work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2014

    This was a great book. It was everything I look for in a book.  

    This was a great book. It was everything I look for in a book.  Fun, interesting, and likable characters that you never give up on and villains you love to hate.  I didn't want to put  it down once I started.
    I enjoy zombie stories and this one is so much fun. I recommend this book to everyone who likes a good story. You won't be disappointed.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Great story

    Really enjoyed this story. Great creativity. Never saw the end coming. The story keeps you guessing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2013

    I picked up The End Games at my local Barnes and Noble and once

    I picked up The End Games at my local Barnes and Noble and once I started reading, it was a breeze to finish.  I usually have trouble sticking with a book without a break for a few days in between, but with the End Games I genuinely looked forward to going to bed each night, knowing a chapter or three of gripping zombie adventure was waiting for me.  
    It is truly rare to find a zombie story with such depth of character and polished story.  Unlike most zombie tales, which draw their drama from a large band of survivors, meant to serve mostly as zed food, The End Games hyper focuses on its main character Michael, giving us a vivid picture of his inner workings throughout the course of the book.  And though the band of survivors is smaller than in other zombie stories, each and every character serves a real purpose and none are expendable (though some, of course, are expended).
    I'm tempted to write a short synopsis of the plot, but that's already done for you on the book's jacket, and I recommend that you start the book knowing only what's provided.  The less you know, the more surprises await you, and friend, there are a lot of surprises!  And there is not one, not two, but THREE fantastic villains in this story that push Michael and his brother deeper into dangerous territory.
    Finally, this is a great read for any age, but I most certainly recommend it for young adults.  This is not simply because it's a young adult novel, but because the messages and themes in this book are so important for a young person to consume and understand.  Yes, it is a very cool ass zombie book that makes you grip the cover in suspense and scream at the pages.  But you'll also be reading a survival tale about honesty, loyalty, love for others, and a searching for something greater.  And that is what sets this book apart from most any other book in recent memory and kept me going to bed early each night for another dose of End Games goodness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    The survival of a eight year old and his older brother who is se

    The survival of a eight year old and his older brother who is seventeen.Micheal and Patrick are alone in the beginging and are surrounded by Bellows.Fight for their lives and following the directions of the Game Master they're trying to get to the Safe Zone to be reunited with their mother.They have been seperated since Halloween.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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