EndGames is the sequel to Ru Xu’s fantastic comic: NewsPrints. I was very impressed with NewsPrints’ strong story, beautiful art and powerful themes, so I was excited to read the conclusion to Blue’s adventures and see what would become of her, Crow and the rest of the cast. I’m happy to report that EndGames more then lived up to my expectations!
Blue and Hector travel to Goswing’s capital city, Altalus, in order to try and find Crow and secure his freedom. When they arrive in the capital they are shocked by the news that the Queen has died and her young granddaughter, Corazana Lina, has been crowned the new monarch of Goswing. Queen Corazana is eager to follow in her Grandmother’s footsteps and prove herself by crushing the enemy with an overwhelming display of force. Her plans hinge on the deployment of a new fleet of deadly aircrafts, and the key to operating these technological marvels turns out to be none other then Crow himself!
The stakes are raised in EndGames, as the conflict with Grimmaea heats up and Blue struggles to save both her friend and the futures of the two waring countries. NewsPrints focused on issues of equality and personal freedom and EndGames continues to expand on these themes while also addressing prejudice, the impact of war and the dark side of nationalism. The citizens of Altalus are closer to the war and are more on edge then the people of Blue’s hometown and she finds that her light coloured hair, a sign of her half Grimmaean heritage, attracts a lot of unwanted attention. All of the Goswing people who too closely resembled Grimmaeans were rounded up and exported years ago, including Blue’s mother, and people of mixed heritage are constantly under suspicion, as is anyone who dares to be critical of the government’s decisions. But Blue and Hector start to question the propaganda they’ve been fed, as they both encounter people from the other side of the conflict who turn out to be different than they expected.
EndGames introduces several interesting new characters, including the twins Snow and Red, who are participating in Grimmaea’s war effort despite their young age. Snow mistakes Blue for a fellow Grimmaean and accidently abducts her, thinking that she’s helping an ally to escape. After speaking with the twins and learning more about Grimmaea and the underlying cause of the conflict between their two nations, Blue becomes more convinced than ever of the war’s futility and of the fact that it could easily drag on for another 11 years if things continue on as they have been. She resolves to find a way to end the war so that she can save both countries and ensure that Crow no longer has to fight. Meanwhile, Hector is reunited with Captain Leonhardt Tailor of the Grimmaean Junior Forces, whom he had encountered while working as a war journalist on the frontlines. The two of them had been responsible for the Winter’s Feast Truce, where both sides agreed to an unofficial and temporary cease fire during a holiday that’s important to both their cultures, a clear reference to the real world Christmas Truce that occurred during World War I. Hector had written a story about the incident which was never run by any of the Goswing newspapers, as they hadn’t wanted to print anything that focused on the similarities between the Goswing and Grimmaean people. But as they see the impact the war has had on the citizens of both nations, Hector and Blue realize that the truth might just be the best weapon they have in their fight to stop the war.
EndGames serves up a thrilling and fully satisfying conclusion to the story started in NewsPrints. The cast of new characters help to expand the world established in the first book and we’re given further insights into several returning characters that helps to shed light on some of their previous actions. If you enjoyed the first book, then EndGames is a must read!
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
For more information on this comic, visit Scholastic’s website: https://shop.scholastic.com/parent-ecommerce/books/newsprints-2-endgames-9780545803175.html
What did you think of EndGames? Who was your favourite new character? Let me know in the comments! You can also check out my review of the first book in the series: