Martin, T. Michael. The End Games. Harper Collins: New York. Young adult literature. 2013.
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The End Games.
The End Games is about Michael and his younger brother, Patrick. They try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world of zombies, otherwise called "Bellows" or "Zeds." The story takes place in West Virginia, U.S. It's been about a month since the Bellows started appearing. They follow instructions from a mysterious "Game Master," which helps them survive The Games. They're traveling to a Safe Zone, a place where they could be safe from the Bellows. (They call them Bellows because they always bellow that words they hear you say. It can be compared to an echo, except it's louder.) They defend themselves from hordes of Bellows during the nighttime, since that's when they come out. On the way to the Safe Zone, they encounter a group of survivors, called the Raptures. They're a group that worships Bellows instead of killing them. They claim they are god's Chosen Ones, and they've been sent there for a reason.
Michael and Patrick get in trouble with the Raptures. They enrage them when Michael kills one of their sacred Bellows. They called it "The First One." (It was the first person believed to be infected.) They are chased to a cliff, and are saved by a captain that says he's from a Safe Zone. He brings them to the Safe Zone, and they soon meet other survivors. But, the Safe Zone isn't what Michael and Patrick expected at all. Instead of it being a Paradise, it's quite the opposite. It's been evacuated because Bellows have permeated the defenses, and only six of them are left. The Bellows also begin to mutate, which gives Michael a reason to leave the "Safe Zone." He also doesn't trust the captain that saved them. He continuously puts them in danger, and it concerns Michael. If you want to learn more about the story and the upcoming betrayal and danger, read the book!
The theme of this story is you have to work to make your dreams come true and to never give up. Michael was disappointed when he found the Un-Safe Zone (See what I did there?), but that didn't stop him from trying to find a safe place for him and his brother.
"Everything not saved will be lost."-Nintendo "Quit Screen" message (I got that from the first un-numbered pages of the book. It's pretty clever, right?)
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes zombies, action, romance, twists, thrillers, or all of the above. I thought the plot was captivating, and I finished it the first day I got it.