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The End Games

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,175 ratings  ·  499 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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Average rating 3.51  · 
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Emily May
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it

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
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
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 w
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
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
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
Jenni Arndt
Oct 31, 2012 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.

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
C.G. Drews
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
Beth  (YA Books Central)
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc

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
Roberta Jayne
This is the second book I've read because John Green recommended it. And... I think I'm going to ignore John's recommendations from now on. No offense, my dear, I love YOUR books - I just don't like the books that YOU like.

Anyhow, it was the way this book was written that just didn't satisfy me at all. T. Michael Martin's style just is not effective, in my opinion, in achieving any sense of suspense, thrill or intrigue.

I honestly don't know why John raved about this book so much. Maybe there's
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 and gemegames scenario, such as that in The End Games? Count me in.
Stevie Finegan (SableCaught)
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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,
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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)
Nov 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 marked it as to-read

Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)
Well. That was a ride of sorts.

I’m not sure I’m particularly happy with the ending, though. I don’t want to spoil anything, but good endings in zombie books are really hard to do. So imma just leave it at that.

Overall, this story was enjoyable. It took about 50 pages for me to get really into the action, but once things started moving, I started enjoying the story.

Is this book groundbreaking and/or original? Not necessarily. But let’s be honest, it’s really hard to tell a zombie story that has
Jessica (Step Into Fiction)
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 5-stars
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
Reading Teen
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Cait S
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it
So one day I was scrolling through Goodreads, as I do, and I come across this book. This book. A YA, zombie novel for video game nerds. It looked to me as though T. Michael Martin awoke from a very strange and very vivid dream one night and said to himself, "You know what I need to do? Write Caitlyn a book. She's a good person. She deserves this."

You're sweet. You shouldn't have!

I actually put off reading it for a long time, afraid it wouldn't be as good as I was desperately hoping it it would
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
David Wickham
Sep 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
What a mess of a book. I didn't like the plot or the characters.

I didn't buy that the CDC would fly people to Charleston, West Virginia in order to work on a vaccine for whatever they thought caused the zombie outbreak. Why not Pittsburgh which is less than an hour north of Charleston by air? Morgantown would even work since West Virginia University is there and would have more resources that a scientist would need.

The author made a comment about the Kanawha River which I took to mean that the
Just because Pittacus Lore reviewed it I wouldn't criticize some things about the book. But, yes, it's a fantastic read. The angst of the characters, especially Michael who's obviously the one ruling out on his own A-game and I got dumbly bored to death because of the reflective flashbacks that he had about her Mom and Ron. Simply, this book is critically-acclaimed stuff mainly because it outwitted those apocalyptic zombie genres in the different aspect of its natural identity.

Aside from the fac
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Gavin Abdollahi
“Everything not saved will be lost. –Nintendo “Quit Screen” message”

So, this book, huh...
On one hand, I quite liked it, and actually gave it four stars...
But on the other hand, it had quite a few problems, so I toned the rating down...

This was my first zombie novel, though, tbh, it wasn't what I was looking for. I was looking for... you know, Zombies, mindless, non-speaking and creepy, not talking dead things that reminded me of the Freaks (view spoiler)
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I simply Ya-ya.....
this book is a bitter sweet , the brotherhood relationship between Michel and Patrick, is so heart squeezing beautiful. it might be a Zombie themed book, but it is way more than that, I think the last thing that was actually scary throughout the book were the "Bellows"
the character of Michel the older brother, so protective, so bewildered, he is such a complicated chr. that you are cant help but feel sympathy for him, he is been through so much , and things he did and had to d
Heidi Maloney
Ugh! This book. I give it three stars because the story, well, SOME PARTS of the story are so cool and SO GRIPPING. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen. BUT there were some major flaws: TYPOS, which are just unacceptable to me, were scattered throughout the book. IMAGED instead of imagined was used several times. Really? Who proofed this?! Then, there's the main character's voice. WTF is a "yes-yes?" You never find out!! There were several key moments where tension built and then s ...more
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it

Adorable sibling relationship.


Not that much romance.

Not cliche.

Good writing.

Well-developed characters.

UHM, YES PLEASE. *hugs book* Aughh this book. So many feels from this. Sure, it was about zombies, and they were all creepy and stuff. Sure, there were lots of plot twists and at some points it was downright crazy to the point where you can't put it down.

But, in The End (*cackles because I see what I did there*), I personally think that it was really just about Michael
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Actually 4.5 stars, maybe even 4.75 stars to make it complicated :P

This book was actually pretty good. I had my doubts at the start as it sounded a bit weird and strange from what I was used to. I didn't even think that the Bellows were zombies. However, I realised that this book was written in a style unique to the author. As the book continued, it started to unravel and I really began to like it. The ending was epic and frankly, probably one of the most relieving (in a god- damn really good w
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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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