I wanted to give this book one star because it creeped me out, but I realize that it's an excellent book because I will think about it for a long time. The End Games is really unlike any book I've ever read. In this sci fi world, a virus has exploded, creating dangerous, animated corpses. Michael and his five year old brother Patrick are traveling around playing the Game. They must kill the Bellows, these zombie-like monsters, in order to reach the Safe Zone. Michael tells Patrick that the Game Master gives them directions, including an order to kill a Bellow in a church. But the cult of people in the church believe the Bellows are holy creatures. So now they are being chased by the Bellows and the cult members. How will they escape? What will happen if they find the Safe Zone? How real is the Game?
This book is filled with action and gruesome details. I know that sci fi/ fantasy novels about zombies are out there, but this one is more believable (especially the beginning and spread of the virus) and has really good themes about teamwork and honesty. Usually I am not that freaked out about a book, but I might have nightmares about this one. I highly recommend this for thrill seekers. The End Games is definitely appropriate for middle school students. I am really impressed by this first novel by T. Michael Martin.