Title: The End Games
Author: T. Michael Martin
Release Date: Available in hardcover April 2013
There is a world painted by darkness – a world home to the echoing, mindless, shambling cries of the Bellows – a world of shotguns and screams and chain link fences, of destruction and chaos – a world defined by death.
In T. Michael Martin’s upcoming novel The End Games, there are two brothers who call this world home.
In some ways, The End Games bears remarkable similarities to the ever rising numbers of zombie apocalypse novels, movies and television shows – in some ways, it fits the formulaic plot lines and patterns we’ve come to know and love and that define this new culture of gore and violence and the all-consuming desire to feast on human flesh. But The End Games also contains elements and plot lines serving to set it apart from its fellows – one of the most compelling being the relationships between the two brothers, as well as all the characters and their interactions. Martin takes an uncertain 17 year old, driven by his unconditional and fierce love for his fragile, unstable 5 year old brother and throws them into hell, with the result being a series of unpredictable twists and turns and fascinating insights into the depths of human resilience and courage.
However, when every facet of our society is seemingly infected by this new apocalyptic trend – it becomes imperative that anything new – be it a novel, show, or movie – must go above and beyond to distinguish itself from the others, and while Martin does find ways to set The End Games apart, I don’t think he goes quite far enough. Throughout the book, there were more parallels than I would have liked between The End Games and another new cult-like phenomenon, The Walking Dead. The End Games didn’t really start proving itself to be unique until the very end, at which point things seemed to speed up and snowball into what felt like a hasty conclusion.
That being said – The End Games is still a compelling and suspenseful read – and seeing as how I found myself unable to put it down, needing to know what would happen next, then clearly Martin’s The End Games is doing something right.
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