Mini-Reviews // Endgame: The Complete Training Diaries and Six of Crows

Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Endgame: The Complete Training Diaries (#1-3), by James Frey
Publication: June 9, 2015, by HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science-Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

All three thrilling volumes of Endgame: The Training Diaries, the prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Endgame series, together in one paperback bind-up!
Before they were Players . . . Before the Calling . . . They trained to be selected as the one to save their ancient bloodline—and win Endgame.
Follow the Twelve through sacrifices and betrayals, broken hearts and broken bones, as they shed their normal lives and transform into the Players they were meant to be.
They must train, learn, prepare.To Play, survive, and solve.To kill or be killed.Endgame is real.Endgame is coming.And only one can win.

My Thoughts:

Endgame: The Calling stands as one of the best books I've read this year (at least from what has been published in the past) and to this day, I can't stop fidgeting and thinking about the game and mysteries that lie behind the actual story. I'm captivated to download the app (which I'll probably be addicted to) and figure out the puzzle by myself. When I saw that a complete novel of novellas from the characters before they were taken into the game was released, I would've sold my soul to grab a copy. The truth is that they weren't good as the real story itself.

You shouldn't feel obligated to read this book if you even enjoyed the first book. It's something extra that's definitely not needed, but it's here if you want to read it. There aren't that many people who have read it, either, so that kind of kicks a punch into my guts, too. If I had to go back in time, there's a huge chance that I wouldn't have chosen to read it or borrow it from the library. Why do I have to feel that the series has gotten worse when deep down I know that the sequel will surely and completely please me?
"For Marcus, climbing is everything. It's a fusion of mind and matter, the perfect way to channel all that frenetic energy that has him bouncing off the walls most of the time. It takes absolute focus, brute force, and a fearless confidence that comes naturally to Marcus, who feels most alive at 1,000 meters, looking down." (4)

So now that I've been through this and read all twelve stories, I can't even remember which ones pleased me. It was pretty bunched up and quick, and I can't really put everything together. But from what I do remember, I know that I would give it 3.5 stars. There were boring stories, more racing ones like Marcus's, and ones that don't even make sense and aren't needed. Not all of the Twelve had special lives before they were Called and chosen, y'know. The author just can't make up some awesome life for each of them when the Endgame actually saved some. 

It's nice to read about some of the most kick and badass characters that modern-day dystopia fiction has ever held: Chiyoko, Marcus, Jago and Sarah. They're my favourites, at least. Then some secrets were spilled that we never knew of from the first book, leaving me in a state of shock. But the sequel will surely mention those secrets, as the obligation thing comes to mind again.

"This is the Player she chooses to be, one who will do anything for her people and for this most important person, one who will make her own decisions and Play by her own rules, one who will temper ruthlessness with mercy, one who will make mistakes, and do what she can to fix them. One who will never let herself forget what it is to feel love or anger or pain. One who will never forget what it is to feel human." (130)

These training diaries are something that you should read at your own risk. Just don't blame me if they ruin your whole experience or opinion of this series! But at the same time, they still hold that enchanting thing that Frey has called: his writing. And the shockers and heart-racing moments are still included. So in the end, there are pluses and minuses. 

Publication: September 29, 2015, by Henry Holt and Company
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

 My Thoughts:

DNF @ 35 pages

If I was offered the chance to sigh for eternity, I bet that I would've taken that chance. After DNFing Shadow and Bone back in the day, I do admit that I've gotten regrets that I did. Over the past year, I've become a huge fan of high fantasy novels, and some of my most favourite novels lie in that genre. When I heard that Leigh was going to be releasing a new series, I decided that I'd give it a chance since everyone's talking positive things about it. I swear that for now, I'm the only one who has DNFed it. 

Six of Crows could be that perfect, amazing book for you. I am not going to sit here, raging and ranting, trying to get you to not purchase or read this novel. No. It's just not the kind of fantasy fiction novel that interests me, and I'm glad that I've given it a chance or I would've spent my whole life regretting the fact that I never gave it and Leigh's writing a chance again. 

It focuses on too much. There are a huge bunch of characters with so many perspectives, and like Rick Yancey's highly hyped 5th Wave series, it's not for me. It's more of a fantasy that deals with an endless amount of magic, weird language and weird names. I can't picture it being realistic or ever coming true in some kind of parallel universe, which is pretty disgruntling.

After the tenth page, I already knew that this wouldn't be for me. I bet that once it's released, there will be individuals willing to agree with me and this review, but everyone's raving now and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't enjoy it. Having to read more than four hundred pages of this? I don't think it's my kind of thing, I'd just be wasting time on something unenjoyable. 

This greatly reminds me of this other high fantasy read that I didn't enjoy, which took more of a historical-fantasy spin on your average tale, very similar to this, Seraphina. Bardugo may be a fabulous writer, I didn't deny that, but I couldn't care less to even look for that because I was disinterested and bored out of my mind for thirty five pages. I didn't want to give it a bigger chance because I knew it's not me. KAZ MUST BE WONDERFUL THOUGH.

*An e-review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*

What do you think of overly hyped books? What about reviews that are published before the release date?  


  1. Now these were some interesting reviews. I LOVED Endgame: The Calling and want the sequel to come out already. Chiyoko was my favourite character and I was rooting for her, so I am thinking of reading the prequel one to get back into her life a bit more. But it's a shame it's not as spectacular as you wanted them to be. Oh, and I am so sorry Six of Crows wasn't for you :( I am anticipating it, but then again I am very much into high fantasy and the likes of books like those.

    1. Heh, thanks girlie! OMG YES CHIYOKO! I feel like she's suffered through so much through the first book, and now this, leaving me kind of excited to see how life once was for her before the present novels. If you're into high-high fantasy, then Six of Crows is for you! I mean, I am too, it's just that Leigh's writing isn't really captivating to me. Hmmph. I love Throne of Glass and the Falling Kingdoms series, though! *shrugs*


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