SKY KEY by James Frey


From the "Endgame" series, volume 2
Age Range: 12 - 16
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Endgame continues as the Players hunt for the Sky Key.

The Earth Key has been discovered (The Calling, 2014), and two more keys are out there waiting to be found. Sarah and Jago have the Earth Key in their possession and have formed an uneasy alliance based on a mix of lust and trust. But Sarah still mourns the death of her Nebraskan boyfriend, Christopher, whom she was forced to kill in the closing chapters of the previous volume, a factor that strongly clouds her judgment. While Jago and Sarah hunt down the Sky Key, other Players hunt them. Meanwhile, the world is becoming aware of Endgame's existence as a giant asteroid approaches Earth and causes widespread panic. The stakes couldn't be higher, but it all feels superficial, resulting in a very long 459 pages. There's globe-trotting and a culturally diverse cast of characters, but the authors do little to explore the scenery or to color the characters. The Players sound very much alike, droning on about destiny and tough choices. The narrative structure is shaky, flipping quickly among players and locales and juggling goals with scant attention to artistry or pacing. It feels all too much like a satire of dystopian teen lit crafted with little understanding of the genre beyond its surface conventions; worst of all, it doesn’t seem to care.

Opportunistic, paint-by-numbers hackwork. (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-06-233261-5
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015


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