The End Games
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The End Games

3.52 (2,862 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 rifles 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.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 149.86 x 210.82 x 35.56mm | 703.06g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Balzer and Bray
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062201808
  • 9780062201805
  • 169,415

Review quote

"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." -- Booklist (starred review) "Martin covers familiar territory--zombies, conspiracies, post-apocalyptic romance--but does so with style in this exciting debut novel... 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." -- Publishers Weekly "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." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "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... It packs an emotional wallop, particularly when it comes to Michael's determination to protect his sibling." -- School Library Journal "This is one of the sharpest, most unexpected zombie novels I've read in a long time." -- Mira Grant, bestselling author of the Newflesh trilogy "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." -- S.A. Bodeen, author of The Compound "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." -- R.L. Stine, bestselling author of the Goosebumps series "The End Games is my favorite kind of zombie story: utterly thrilling, deeply moving, beautifully written, and entirely unputdownable. A must read!" -- Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth "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." -- Pittacus Lore, author of I Am Number Four "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." -- Sara Zarr, National Book Award Finalist for Story of a Girl "A stunningly intelligent, thrilling story about family and love that just happens to include some zombies." -- John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Starsshow more

Back cover copy

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.show more

About T. Michael Martin

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.show more

Rating details

2,862 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 23% (645)
4 30% (862)
3 30% (855)
2 12% (355)
1 5% (145)

Our customer reviews

3.5 stars End-of-the-world stories are nothing new, especially not those of the zombie-apocalypse variety. Insert a deadly virus or contagion and we're still talking about roughly several dozen other books. No part of me expected The End Games to be original, or even mind-blowing (and I was right to think so), but this slightly bothersome fascination that I have with apocalyptic situations refused to let me ignore this debut novel entirely. And I'm glad, because while The End Games is not being relocated to the favourites' shelf any time soon, T. Michael Martin's first book is still wonderfully gripping and surprisingly emotional. I was not expecting there to be such a distinct personal edge to the story. The characters here are not forgotten in place of the world-building or plot, and neither are their relationships. Michael Faris and his younger brother Patrick are alone in a Bellow-infested world, separated from their Mother and on a silent journey to what they hope is a 'safe zone'. There are the usual zombie-like creatures we have met countless times before - the Zeds or Bellows, in this case - whose howls and animalistic shrieks keep Michael and his rifle on constant alert. What's interesting about the two brothers' situation here is The Game. The Game means that the Bellows are more than just mindless monsters that echo human words and phrases - they are creatures to be defeated in the interest of winning The Game. They must earn points (and do as the Game Master says) if they ever want to reach The End, where the safe zone and their mother lie. Truth be told, the Bellows and their presence did little for me. I fear I may have finally reached desensitization point where descriptions of rotting skin and hanging limbs are concerned (it was bound to happen sooner or later). Instead, I was far more interested in the religious cult sacrificing survivors, a somewhat frightening Captain Horace Jopek of the United States Army, Michael and Patrick's backstory, and the origins of The Game. Jopek, especially, proved to be an interesting part of the story. His blunt attitude alternates between protective and deceitful, from dependable to threatening. If anything, Jopek is a lot more unnerving than the Bellows are. What really stands out in this book though is Michael's need to protect his younger bother. The relationship between the two siblings here is unexpectedly affecting. With Patrick's belief in The Game sheltering him from the true horrors of his situation, Michael is the weight-bearer of the duo, the brother with all the responsibility. Despite the nail-bitingly intense plot, we find out a great deal about these two and their life before the events of Halloween and the start of the end of the world. We learn that 5-year-old Patrick is susceptible to episodes of 'Freaking', in which moments of distress quickly transcend to self-harm. We learn that Michael is very much a normal teenager, with a less-than-cheery home life, and whose only friends are those on Xbox Live, his mother and his younger brother. There is a great amount of attention and care given to the characters here. My heart broke for Michael over and over. While I hesitate to recommend The End Games to those who are more experienced with this genre, I do think T. Michael Martin has a lot to offer as an author. His debut novel is a solid introduction to his writing and I definitely look forward to seeing what else he has in store for us in the future.show more
by Sam
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