Overview (No Spoilers):
Survival stories almost always quickly capture my imagination as I’m well aware in such situations I likely would not be the persisting party. Usually the individuals that survive often horrifying conditions that are beyond comprehension seem to all share an iron bound willpower. While I tend to think of myself as a problem solver, my will would be my downfall as I can’t even stay on a diet for a week or run for an extended period of time, let alone survive in the cold or extreme heat with minimal supplies. I’ve loved nonfiction accounts of survival from Lost in Shangri-La, and Frozen in Time, to The Lost City of the Monkey God, The River of Doubt, In the Kingdom of Ice, and The Lost City of Z. Needless to say, when reading the synopsis of Endgame, which involves a merging of survival and science fiction, my curiosity was piqued. While I’ve compiled a list of critiques, as a whole I did enjoy the overall premise of Endgame regardless of following criticisms. Upon picking up this novel, it unfortunately started off on the wrong foot as starting on the second page there was a glossary to acclimate the reader to unique terms for this futuristic world. No I do not have a personal vendetta against glossaries! The issue lie in its bold labels predefining who the “Heroes” and “Enemies” were before a single word of the actual novel had even been read. I want to jump blindly into the literary journey, thereby piecing together key pieces of information myself instead of having it spoon fed to me. Moving past this spoiler, I found the actual story, to be a very fast read, with the general concepts and political dynamic of this futuristic world being intriguing. I enjoyed the strong female lead in June, but she was the only character I felt invested in, which was likely a result of the level of depth for both character and world building. As this is the first book in a series I’m positive additional installments will fill in depth and the universe will grow beyond the desolate P-75. Toward the end of this novel, there are some intriguing interactions, although these scenes felt more along the line of being a coincidence, instead of plausible, due in large to the inhospitable terrain. Overall, while I worry I’ve been potentially over critical in this review regarding my favorite talking points of depth and details, I really did enjoy reading Endgame, which held enough unanswered threads that I’m curious what Edison has in store for our brave June in the sequel.
Buy Endgame here.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Throughout this book the ‘Enemies’ were the Mitasterites, who evolved into a mindless, heartless enigma. The enemy who would sacrifice anything to win or in this case obtain the rare fuel. They stayed such a mystery that it was hard to fear them, except as a black box of danger that predictable would pop up throughout the book. What was their driving force to sacrifice so many or cause this war? Were the ‘good guys’ really the good guys?
- What was the story behind the ancient aliens that the group found hidden in the cave?
- The marooned survivor on Preciless 75 was rather unbelievable, especially as the inhospitable terrain was emphasized throughout this novel. I enjoyed his wild, and remarkable tale but I felt like Edison needed someone to die so this minor character was a good sacrifice for that role. While I didn’t necessarily feel attached to any of the main five, this trek was so dangerous that it felt like someone key needed to bite the bullet, not the old man they just had met.
- It left a really bad taste in my mouth that the ‘good guys’ left the other smugglers tied to a rock in the middle of no where, while allowing their leader to live because they needed him. What a terrible way condemn people to die, even though it was horrible they were poaching the peaceful whales.
- Who was Jax and what was his relationship to June? Were they really the only survivors on the planet?
- The sexual tension between Dhani and June came out of left field. I was just really surprised by it popping up by the end.
- What will command think when this ragged group makes it back to headquarters, specially with their prize in tow?
- Did Prubius save the disk with Jagurprops’ history intact? What will the repercussions of this mystery finally being solved.
- What will the next stage of the war be?