Imagine making the decision of choosing a select group of around 100,000 people who could live out of the 8 billion on the Earth. The rest would all die. Now, imagine that that decision was made entirely based on a basketball game that you've been preparing your whole life for. This is essentially the plot of the book Endgame. Thousands of years ago, aliens came to Earth and gave humanity the tools to survive and prosper. They created lines, or families. There were hundreds of them, but after years of war, there were only twelve true lines remaining. However, they made a deal when the aliens came that stated that in the future there would be an event called Endgame. Endgame is a battle to the death between the twelve lines, with each line choosing a person to represent them. This book is telling the story of each member of Endgame, with a main focus on a girl named Sarah Alopay. Personally, I believed this book was great, due to the fact that it had a lot of different viewpoints on the same events, and that it's not a “Good versus Evil” situation. Instead, it's free-for-all, and you never know who could win. As opposed to a standard action-oriented book, you don't know who the bad guys and good guys are; it allows you to choose which characters you like, and which characters you don't like. Most importantly, it's unlike any other book I've read, format-wise and style-wise.

The characters in the book add endless possibilities to the plot. It also allows for more information to be shown the the reader. In a couple of paragraphs, the author can show the entire backstory of a character: where they were born, what language they speak, their family, what line their from, where most people in their line live, how old they are, etcetera. These descriptions allow unique personalities to be displayed to the reader. In addition, their training regimen shows their work ethic, and some of their other values can be shown via their actions. I thought that several characters stood out from the rest, mainly because of their personality traits and/or how much they showed up in the story. Sarah Alopay, the only American, I can relate to because she is from Illinois. She also has a very normal,like able personality as well as another person participating in Endgame, Jago. He is from South America, and is a very rugged, strong, power-oriented person, who also has a charming personality. Lastly, a character I thought was very interesting was An Liu. He was very unlike the other people in . He had a severe tic problem, which involved him to aggressively blink, tap, and shiver every couple seconds or so. However, like many of the other participants, he was a trained assassin, sniper, shooter, fighter, and pretty much everything else. However, the fact that he has such a different skill set than I imagined he would've had surprised me, and throughout the whole story I thought that this was foreshadowing for him to do something completely unexpected.

 

Another key aspect of the book was the was the format of the story. It would describe an event of a certain character in the story, and after a couple pages it would switch to another character's point of view on that same event. Because of this, the reader is able to gather more information on the plot of the story. It’s very similar to reading the same text twice. The first time, you get a general understanding of the text, what it’s saying, and a few details here and there. When the same piece is read a second time, it reinforces your understanding of the text. You pick up more details, more ideas, more thoughts. The more the piece is read, the more it is understood. In addition to giving more information, this form allows for the reader to see alternate viewpoints on the same situation. It gives them every point of view, as opposed to only getting one. This unique structure overall allows for a relatively more in-depth story line compared to a book where the plot is just laid out chronologically.

 

However, there can be a story with these characters and this format and still be a horrible book. One of the most important parts of a book is the lesson that it teaches. In this particular circumstance, the theme is that everyone in the world has importance. If somebody told you that a random 9-year old kid living in Dubai would eventually go on to be the reason that claims 99% of people's lives, you probably would have said no. This just demonstrates how even the most unexpected of people can make such an impact on society. No matter what background you have or what experience you have, you can always become something extraordinary. The characters from this book are so different in so many ways, that it's clear that the purpose of their diversities was to show that anyone can be anything, and that everyone has the potential to be special.

 

To be honest, the average book doesn’t appeal to most people. If you picked the most average book in the history of literature and gave it to the most average people, chances are that they will not read it willingly. It takes the perfect combination of likeable characters, interesting plot, and a unique setting to make it a “good book” to the general public. This book meets those requirements perfectly. In addition, it's nowhere near similar to many of the other books that I and the general public would like: Hunger Games, Divergent, and most of those dystopian books included. Although I liked those books, I enjoyed Endgame much more than all of those books. This book has so much more plot in its pages, and I believe the reason is because of the things that make it so different from other books, like the format, the characters, and the theme.

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