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James Frey's new trilogy has a huge mystery at its heart – and you could win a huge prize if you solve it.
James Frey, the American author of I Am Number Four , is offering a huge cash prize of $500,000 (£300,000) to anybody who who can decode the mystery hidden in The Calling , the first volume of his Endgame trilogy. Co-written with New York Times bestselling writer Nils Johnson-Shelton, Frey’s tale focuses on 12 teenagers on a globetrotting mission to save the world from armageddon.
Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a contest that will decide the fate of humankind. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. As well as having the fate of the world in their hands, each of these Players is fighting to save their bloodline. Only one can win.
Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.
But Endgame isn’t just a YA trilogy – it’s much bigger than that. Alongside a simultaneous novel release in 30 countries there’s a series of supporting ebooks, Google’s Niantic Labs (developers of real-world adventure game Ingress ) are expanding the universe online, and Twentieth Century Fox has shelled out for movie rights.
And then there’s the small matter of that prize of a bullet-proof case containing $500,000 worth of gold, a competition inspired by Kit Williams’ famous 1970s treasure hunt Masquerade . “I loved this children’s picture book by Kit Williams,” Frey told SFX . “I became obsessed by the puzzle. All through my career I’ve wanted to do something like it – a book that somehow when you close it you carry on thinking about its hidden prize.”
You’re going to have to work to win your half a million dollars, though – Frey worked with top cryptographers from MIT to create a mystery that would bamboozle the biggest brains on the planet, a collection of puzzles involving real-world locations and YouTube videos. (The solution is sealed in a safe in Frey’s lawyer’s office.)
After that half a million dollars for the first book, the prize will get bigger in parts two and three, rising to $1 million and $1.5 million respectively.
Read the Books. Find the Clues. Solve the Puzzle. Who will Win?
Endgame: The Calling is out now from HarperCollins. You can buy a copy from Amazon. (opens in new tab)