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The End Games

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  2,038 ratings  ·  357 reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 369 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by HarperCollins
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May

3 1/2 stars
I am so torn about this book. Even after taking a few days off from goodreads, I'm still no closer to deciding how I actually feel about it and whether, in the end, I think it's worth recommending to others.

Let me just say first: I love the idea. I love the clever twists that took me completely by surprise, I love the creepy setting and I also love the relationship between Michael and Patrick. This is a very eerie novel, one that is filled with zombie-like creatures called Bellows th
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 r
From what I've been incredibly fortunate to read so far, I am able to say that it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be the year of absolutely excellent debut novels, and T. Michael Martin's The End Games is certainly no exception to that high standard of excellence. Filled with chilling creatures, wonderful characters and heartwarming (and at times heartbreaking) relationships, and a surprising sense of poignancy similar to that of Courtney Summer's This is Not a Test, The End Games is a novel th ...more

It used to be I'd pick up any zombie book and be easily entertained. I mean, c'mon -- zombies...s'all good, right? But as I get older, with a gluttonous trail of consumed zombie books left in my wake, I've become a lot more discriminating and hyper-critical. And the simple reason for that is I have proof that zombies can be amazing. And once you know that, there's no going back to the good ol' days when merely okay was good enough.

Which brings us to The End Games: a debut novel riding the tsuna
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*

You can also read this review on Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews.

"I guess, sort of, it's heading 'home.' Viruses do that literally, sometimes: there're some that actually make infected animals migrate to the place on Earth where the virus originated. … But even if it doesn't do that, the goal of every virus is to 'go home' to itself: to make the ultimate, purest form of itself. … As with every virus, this one is evolving to its more powerful-slash-purest form."

Michael asked if that form had a name.

See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

3.5 stars

Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

'The Bellow replied: "NEEEEEWWW-" Three, two..."Good morning," Michael said, and the first shafts of dawn slit bright and pink over the trees, glimmering the snow and windshield dust on their dashboard. The sunshine struck the Bellow's eyes: the creature collapsed on its knees, and it's roar became a roar of pain.'

The hardest reviews to write are
Faye, la Patata
An ARC was provided in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my thoughts in any way.

Almost more than 24 hours later, I'm still a bit stumped and at a loss. No, no, it's not because this book gave me something to ponder on for days on end, rather, I simply found it difficult to gather my thoughts and coherently put them into words. Did this book have zombies? Well, yes, close enough. Was it entertaining? Yes. Did I like it? Yes and no. If that sounds fickle to you, it probably is, but
This review and others are posted at Read, Rinse, Repeat.

I've read through the current reviews on Goodreads, and one common thread is that everyone loved the relationship between brothers Michael, seventeen, and Patrick, five. I'll be the lone wolf who says I did not like it. At all. This child seemed straight out of 80's sitcom land: way too cutesy and overly precocious in a way that made me (and I can't believe I'm writing this about a young child) dislike him. I suppose I can understand why
Beth  (Curling Up With A Good Book)

I was really eager to read this book when I first saw it. The synopsis grabbed me from the beginning. I am all about a post apocalyptic book that involves humans fighting monsters to survive! HECK YEAH!


It started off immediately throwing you into a survival scene with the main character, Michael and his little brother, Patrick. So I was like, Yeah here we go! and then they called the "monsters" by a name...Bellows? Ok I'm not so sure that the name did the monster justice because I just di
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

The beginning of May is riddled with a few zombie novels that have opened up the world of zombies for us beyond the usual shambling and insatiable creatures that haunt our dreams. T. Michael Martin's young adult debut, The End Games, plays perfectly into this genre-changing month with its unique take on the undead, and its very emotionally stimulating and raw internal struggle. Brim
Jenni Arndt
Apr 24, 2013 Jenni Arndt marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arc-ebook
I only made it to chapter 4 in this novel. The third person POV wasn't working for me and I felt like the narrative was jumping all over and I couldn't get a grasp or a picture of anything that was happening. Then this sentence occurred: "They'd been old even when they'd found them in Ron's cabin, and being in the car had not done much in the way of making them less gaaaah." And now I just can't do it anymore.

Review? "REVIEWWWWW" (On that Bellow talk)

From the second I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. So it's no surprise to me that I in fact ended up enjoying it as well!

The End Games combines some pretty "LOL-worthy" moments and zombies? I mean whats not to love? Martin's humor reminded me oh so much of the famous "John Green Prose," which I hear has created quite the fan base.

This one depicts the story of brothers Michael and Patrick. Michael the older brother and the protagonist of
Amber (Books of Amber)
I have absolutely nothing good to say about The End Games, so if you're a fan of this novel then I suggest you turn back now if you think you're going to be offended. I went into this novel expected to adore these two brothers while they helped each other survive the zombie apocalypse. You all know how I love my sibling relationships. But after finishing this book, I just feel underwhelmed and rather empty.

Full review on Books of Amber
Emily LaStrange
Jan 06, 2013 Emily LaStrange marked it as to-read

Dec 30, 2011 Laura marked it as maybe-read
It's about the apocalypse, soooo.... Yeah. I have to look into this.
Stevie Finegan (SableCaught)
To see my video review:

Zombies, Zombies everywhere and not a moment to think!

The End Games by T. Michael Martin

22 days. It’s been 22 days since it all started, since the virus started to spread, since the dead started to rise, since Michael and his little brother Patrick set out alone. And somehow they have managed survive, hiding as best they can whenever the sun sets, looting deserted stores for supplies, killing the Bellows, the terrifying, once-human,
Jessica (Step Into Fiction)
Review originally posted at Step Into Fiction

You know how a main theme for me is romance, right? Well, fear not - there isn't really any in this book and you know what? It's perfectly okay. It's better than okay, actually! I know, you must be wondering if I'm feeling alright or something but I assure you, I am well. This book was brilliant and heartwarming and it made me anxious the whole time. The best aspect of this book, above all the action and adventure is the relationship between our main
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Bear with me, please, because The End Games is one of those novels with a twist fairly early on that makes reviewing the book without spoilers difficult. Still, I shall endeavor to sum up my basic thoughts while not revealing anything not mentioned in the blurb. T. Michael Martin's debut is a very strange book in pretty much every way: the plot, the characters, and, most significantly, stylistically. All of this add up to distinguish the novel from other post-apocalyptics that take on the concep ...more
Just reading the blurb alone was enough to get me all hyped up for this novel, so it came as no surprise that I found myself immersed in Michael and Patrick's post-apocalyptic West Virginia. T. Michael Martin takes the much used genre of zombies and turns it into a heartfelt novel of family, love, and survival in his debut.

On Halloween, the world ended and then came back to life again. Separated from their parents, Michael and his younger brother Patrick follow the instructions of the mysterious
Cait Grace
Second: Zooombies, baby!

I picked up THE END GAMES for six billion reasons: I hadn’t read zombies before, it has “games” in the title, the cover is downright awesome, it stars a brother duo, and it’s a debut. All these made for insta-book-love, but what topped it off? Brilliant writing. Epic plot. Head-knocking ending. And Patrick.

I loveloveloved the brothers: 17-year-old Michael, and 5-year-old Patrick. Michael narrates, and wow, his voice is so fresh with a zing you can’t resi
Jack C.
I just finished an Advanced Reading Copy of The End Games and it rocks from the first page to the very last word. Action, Drama, and Teen Romance set amidst a young man’s will to survive, thrive and protect his younger brother in a zombie apocalypse. It just does not get any better than that. Oh and did I mention there are ZOMBIES.

There are lots of twists and turns along with the way. I could not put the book down. This will make an EXCELLENT movie!
Danielle Chedid
Let me start off by saying that I do not like zombies. Not in books, movies, games or whatever other medium you want to use. They just freak me out. So I probably shouldn't have read a zombie book, even if they are called bellows and 'bellow' out your own words back to you, but with creepy elongated vowels ( e.g. 'paaaaaaaaatriiiiiiiiiiiick' or 'neeeeeeeeeewb'). So that was a bad idea and likely lead to my initial dislike of this book.

Then there was the 'twist'. I actually thought it was neat, e
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
The End Games follows two brother Patrick and Michael as they struggle to find safety in a world overrun by creatures named bellows. The Game needs to be played in order to survive but with obstacles blocking Patrick and Michael at every turn, How will the brothers cope? Especially when the rules are ever changing.

The End Games has such a great premise doesn't it? Unfortunately it wasn't executed all that well. If you're going to write about Zombies the book needs to have an element of danger. I
In short: The End Games by T. Michael Martin was an exciting post-apocalyptic zombie novel with a wonderful sibling relationship at its heart.

The End Games was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013. Everything about it screamed that it was a "me" book - the male protagonist, the focus on a non-romantic relationship, the fighting of zombies. And as I expected, The End Games was a book that I ended up enjoying a lot. 17-year-old Michael and 5-year-old Patrick are brothers and video gamers who a
Well, I finished it. That’s saying something, right?

When I read the synopsis for The End Games, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it: A 17 year-old guy and his 5 year-old brother who survive an apocalypse and try to make their way to the Charleston Safe Zone, battling zombies (called "Bellows" in this book) along the way, so that they can be reunited with their mom. I love “end of the world” books, especially those with zombies. So, why did I have such a problem getting into it?

This was one of
Step Into Fiction
You know how a main theme for me is romance, right? Well, fear not - there isn't really any in this book and you know what? It's perfectly okay. It's better than okay, actually! I know, you must be wondering if I'm feeling alright or something but I assure you, I am well. This book was brilliant and heartwarming and it made me anxious the whole time. The best aspect of this book, above all the action and adventure is the relationship between our main character, Michael Faris and his younger five ...more
Basic Notes. Full review to come.

While the beginning threw me off a bit and was a bit confusing, when the story "clicked" a few chapters in, I was hooked. This was an intense examination of familial ties and the human struggle to hold on when everything seems lost. There were a lot of really creepy descriptions - Mike has a twisted mind for the visual horrors... a bit of that might come from film school, I suppose.

Michael and Patrick were a great example of a loving brotherly bond that can be st
Reading Teen (Andye)
At a Glance:
Zombie books. Despite the fact that zombies have become somewhat of a fashion in YA fiction, I still haven't grown tired of books about dead people eating alive people. However, if you take an interesting zombie apocalypse plot and add a video game scenario, such as that in The End Games? Count me in.

I have admitted many times to judging books by their covers. As much as I hate it, it's just something that I do. And I was immediately interested in The End Games after seeing the
3.5 stars

The End Games has one of the most interesting premises I've read about in quite a while. It is not hard to understand the great anticipation for the release of this book when it promises to be a game-changer in the YA zombie genre. The End Games definitely delivers chills, entertainment and an unquestionable edge of complete originality, along with characters that were easy to care for.

The End Games does not come short on its promise for adventure, blood and gore. Michael and Patrick's
I'm not quite sure what drew me to pick up a copy of The End Games. Zombies, video games, a touch of the macabre, a relationship between brothers: all these central components of T. Michael Martin's debut are interesting and well handled, but none of those really has the potential to make this into a "me" book. Add to those components a frustrating narrative voice that was all over the place and therein lie the majority of the issues I had with this story.

Michael and Patrick have been on the run
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T. Michael Martin is a novelist and screenwriter who holds a B.F.A. in Filmmaking from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He was inspired to write his debut novel, The End Games (Balzer + Bray 2013), by his own younger brother, Patrick, and their shared love of zombie movies. He currently lives with his wife in West Virginia.


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