Frey, James – Endgame: Sky Key/The Rules of the Game

I recently started seeing that I have several books I want to buy and I also realised that I have so many trilogies, duologies and chronicles I’ve started on I decided to finish them. Sky Key and Rules of the Game are two books I decided to smack in one review because I can. I read the Swedish translation of the trilogy and there it only says James Frey as the author so honestly, I was shocked to realise there were two, James Frey and Nils Johnston-Shelton but yea yea, let’s start this!

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Okay, I just have to talk about this plot. I am, holy shit! There are so many different things going on and none of them goes the way I think. Like the character deaths by the end of Rules of the Game, like what? And the end-end, like, the last chapter, was so weird, and I don’t know if I liked it or not. Well, well, it had an amazing plot.


When I first started on this book I thought it sounded a bit like The Hunger Games, there it was 12 Districts with 24 participants, here it was 12 original lines of humanity with 12 Players. So naturally, I judged it a lot, especially since it’s a YA book I was like ”it sounds alright, the romance probably not” I just wanted this book to have no romance, but of course, this flower didn’t bloom. I can’t say I was a big fan of it but at the same time it was alright, it was a bit like a side-story that wasn’t super important. Well, speaking of two characters that are, not the third one. You might know who I’m talking about.

However, I was so shocked at how it was written. The three major quests are about finding these three ”keys”, and I really liked that concept, that each book had one quest to find one key. That way it avoided the so called ”book 2 syndrome” (which means that basically, you can just skip the second book) and made it all more interesting. What I was a bit troubled by was all the strange facts randomly put in the book. I found them mostly in the second book, Sky Key and it was boring, one was about ”Frontiers of Science, May 1981” and even though I read it I had no idea what it was supposed to mean, I was like an igloo in Jamaica. Then I realised that at the back of the book it also says that the reader can compete in Endgame and win money and perhaps those weird facts were for that ”quest” or something and I’m too dumb to understand the clues.

In the second book, Sky Key, there were also things being “rewritten”, about religion. For example, in the book, they said that Moses – he used a special device made by Them which he used to communicate with Wayland Vyctory’s cousins, and the same device he used to communicate with his god during the forty nights. I know that’s not what my history books say but I thought it was a nice idea that he ”re-wrote”/made up something new about something that already existed. I’d like to quote this so you all might understand better but I read the book in Swedish so half of you will probably understand nothing. “Int ett dyft,” as I would say.

In the third and final book, Rules of the Game there aren’t much to point out which I already have but what I noticed on the first page was that it began where the second book ended. Usually, the next book has jumped some time but here not much time at all had gone and it really surprised me. And the ending in this book? It reminded me of the Death Cure’s ending and I did not like that, it just felt weird. But at the same time I wouldn’t know how to end it either so maybe I shouldn’t complain. The ending this book had was the kind of ending like “this is what we are going to do for a couple of decades” and sure I wanted to know what they were going to do but it just felt so… quick. Perhaps I would like a longer chapter haha. Well, well, what I can do, right?

In my opinion, these books were like reading a Jason Bourne or Mission Impossible movie, there was so much action going on and it was describing I adored it. And the brutality, I mean, wow. I had created some prejudices for myself about this book, that is was going to be some half-assed action and fights and I was so surprised when it was so bloody and brutal and torturous and I just really liked how James Frey didn’t skip the details in the book. 


These characters are basically all assassins, probably better than assassins and in one moment they all (almost) had so much empathy and was all so kind but in another moment they could be cold-blooded murderers. There are other characters as well that all played a big roll in this trilogy but I just don’t have the energy to write about them all because it’s so many but here are the ones who peaked my interest so to speak.

There was this girl, Sarah, if she didn’t have any empathy or kindness in her, she could have killed them all. She, together with Jago were the characters I liked the least, it felt like not much was going on, or what was going on weren’t so interesting, especially during the second book. And it didn’t help that Sarah was depressed for half the book, no kidding, during the entire 500 pages of Sky Key she was depressed and sure, I liked that she had some humanity and at least felt something for what she’d done but it felt almost too much and she didn’t do any progress at all with it during Sky Key, not even during RotG (like, half of it anyway).

Then we have the Chinese dude, An Liu, and holy bloody shit. What a psycho! I loved it! And his strange obsession/romance like what? How did that happen? But I love the love he had for his loved one, the only one he’d ever loved. For a bit, during The Calling/Sky Key, my heart broke a little cause of what happened but not much.

Another character was Hilal and I just have enormous trouble with his name. I used to have a guy in my old class named Halil, yeah, it’s like so close to being the same name. I can’t count how many times I’ve caught myself saying Halil instead of Hilal. Yeah, it’s been so difficult haha. Anyway, as with Sarah and Jago’s Perspective’s I found Hilal’s a bit dull, sometimes there would land a bomb there with so much information and events that my mind would just:


And other times I just half-read it.

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But I do think I liked him the most, he was just so polite and kind that you had to like him, but still so cool with his machete’s, and he just wanted to save the world instead of ”play” it and well, he was a bit of an anti-hero.

So there are several brutal people in this trilogy, one is An Liu, another is Maccabee. He was this character to me that I didn’t really care about. I didn’t care at all what happened to him or what he was up to. Not. At. All. Then it aaall changed in Rules of the Game. He had been this brutal 16-year-old who liked to inflict pain but when he went searching for the third key I went all “naww” and “aww” because of his protectiveness of a certain someone and I just melted in his chapters. However, for certain characters like Jago, Hilal and An Liu I thought the character development was poor. Jago was the same dude as he was in the beginning and Hilal was perhaps fighting a bit more than in the first book. I thought Sarah was the one who changed most, in the beginning, she was quite sure of what to do, then she turned insecure about her beliefs and then depressed and then determined again, so for her it was like a roller-coaster. An Liu went crazier and crazier the further the book(s) went.

It feels like lately it’s been quite popular with pictures in books, like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Illuminae, and honestly, I am not much for pictures and things. The reason, the pure reason to why I haven’t read Illuminae is because I’ve heard there are so many pictures and I just don’t like that. In MPHfPC I had made my own ”pictures” of how the characters looked and they were usually completely crushed when I saw the pictures in the book. My own ”pictures” were being run over a bus, like poof. And usually I couldn’t understand why the pictures were in the Endgame series, sometimes I made a connection to an event but it didn’t happen in every picture.


Let me say something about the cover of Rules of the Game – it’s lovely. I mean, the grey colour with the stars and objects sparkling here and there – it’s bloody gorgeous. In my opinion, I like the Swedish cover of Rules of the Game over the English. Sure, blue is one of my favourite colours but come on, it’s basically just one colour and some light parts that look like people but yada yada.


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And that was my review for this week if you’d read the book or somethin’ feel free to comment whatever. Or you can just say hello. Yea, yea, have a good day folks.



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