The last time James “A Million Little Pieces” Frey was heard from, he was writing a novel about Christ called The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. There was some chest-thumping about how shocking it was going to be (“Be moved, be enraged, be enthralled by this extraordinary masterpiece” the press material said) but then it came out and promptly dropped from sight, as though he were the anti-Salman Rushdie.
Now, he’s cropped up again, this time with a $2 million deal for a YA novel called Endgame. This is the story, according to Deadline:
In a world similar to Earth, there are 12 bloodlines, or races. Each bloodline has a champion between the ages of 13 and 17 who is trained as a warrior and is always ready to do battle. When they turn 18, the teen warrior behind them gets promoted. This has been the case for hundreds of years, but no one remembers why — they’re always ready for some sort of battle to take place, but it never does. But the tradition continues. And then one day they’re called to fight, and all the bloodlines but the winners will be exterminated. They’re fighting to be the last race.
Besides awesomely resurrecting the old “In a world” movie trailer trope, that description sounds suspiciously like an amalgam of I Am Number Four, the YA novel about alien races battling on Earth which he co-wrote under a pseudonym as part of Frey’s Full Fathom Five fiction chopshop, and a certain series about teenagers fighting to the death. There’s also some mysterious involvement by Google, but that remains under wraps.
It’s a canny move for Frey, who was smart enough to release Pieces just as the addiction-memoir trend was cresting, and can clearly see that while there’s still a hunger for YA science fiction, the dystopia thing may have been played out, so why not resurrect it in space? All one can hope is that Christopher Lambert will somehow be involved once it inevitably hits the screen, since after all, there can be only one.