The End Games

By T. Michael Martin

John eco-friendly meets Stephen King during this unique tackle the zombie apocalypse by means of writer T. Michael Martin, which ALA Booklist referred to as "the better of the undead bunch" in a starred review.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, were struggling with monsters within the online game for weeks. within the rural mountains of West Virginia—armed with merely their rifle and their love for every other—the brothers keep on with directions from the mysterious video game grasp. They spend their days looking for survivors, their nights struggling with never-ending hordes of "Bellows"—creatures that roam the darkish, roaring for flesh. And at this online game, Michael and Patrick are excellent. however the video game is altering. The Bellows are evolving. the sport grasp is top Michael and Patrick to different survivors—survivors who do not play through the foundations. And the brothers is just not the same.

T. Michael Martin's debut novel is a transcendent mystery choked with electrifying motion, searing emotional perception, and unforeseen romance.

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I’ll simply look ahead to a short while, Michael advised himself. to observe the obstacles, simply to ensure we’re ok. yet by the point he’d introduced a bottled water from the subsequent room for Patrick to take his Atipax with, Bub used to be already deep asleep, with out capsules to aid calm him for the evening. And inside of a minute—for the 1st time in twenty-four days—Michael used to be asleep, with no ready up for the directions, too. bankruptcy 13 first thing that Michael was once conscious of, even earlier than he realized that Captain Jopek was once within the room, was once that he felt solid. He awakened on a cot with sunshine on his chest, no longer freezing, now not ache a whacked-in-the-skull headache, and his nervousness didn’t self-activate. nonetheless ok, he concept. nonetheless alive. And that relative calm was once the single cause he didn’t cry out whilst he regarded over, awaiting Patrick, and in its place observed Captain Jopek sitting within the lieutenant governor’s chair. “Soldier,” the captain acknowledged, “welcome again to the land of the livin’. ” Michael attempted not to glance weirded out by means of the truth that, uh, the captain were staring at him sleep. “Hey, ’morning,” he responded, no longer desirous to consider weirded out, both. yet out of behavior, Michael’s gaze clicked all the way down to the machine the captain sat at the back of. The physique of a tremendous green-black rifle sat headquartered between a range of steel components, it appears in mid-process of being wiped clean and reassembled. a few reflex in Michael attempted to pass judgement on by way of the development of the gun’s meeting how lengthy the captain have been the following. yet even if you hit the X button to reload them in first-person shooters, Michael knew nada approximately such heavy-duty weaponry. “Anybody ever inform you,” the captain acknowledged, “you sleep just like the useless? ” Michael laughed a bit; the captain appeared slyly happy. Michael driven his blanket apart and sat up. Then the captain did whatever extraordinary: nonetheless taking a look at Michael, he went again to reassembling the rifle, complex arms searching out components and snicking them again into their houses. “Me, I’m now not a lot of a sleeper. Sleep constantly appears like wasted time,” the captain stated. “How is it feller like your self can get such rattling strong shut-eye, d’you imagine? ” “How do you suggest? ” “Well, is drowsing so stable simply the present of the younger? Is it solid genes? only a blessin’ from above? ” the captain acknowledged musingly. “Or do you're thinking that it could actually be”—snick-snick—“that you could sleep”—snick—“because you don’t have nothin’ weighin’ in your sense of right and wrong? ” Springs, taut-coiled, getting into gun guts, snick; bullets, 5 small morning flashes of gold, eaten within the clip, clack-click. Michael by surprise idea, He understands i used to be mendacity concerning the infantrymen. “It may possibly simply be that I’m a weakling,” Michael acknowledged, attempting to not sound frightened. The captain didn’t snigger at Michael’s self-deprecation. He merely stared, his eyes oddly unreadable, his expression a clean, and Michael was once reminded of that unease he’d felt in the course of his dialog with the captain within the cafeteria, that obscure sensation that the captain used to be in some way dissecting him.

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