The End Game, from the wonderful Chess Series by Sean Michael, has a lot of loose ends to wrap up when it starts, and considering it starts with adding on to those lose ends I can honestly say I started to get worried if Sean Michael was going to be able to pull this off. In this last installment of the Chess Series, at least where we meet these four men together, it starts with Knight feeling trapped at their house and needs to get away. He and Bishop rents a cottage, hours from where they live and since Jason is going back to school he and Rook are left behind.
The feeling of Rook and Jason somehow being “less” a part of their four-person household is heightened here again and I get the same feeling each time I read this story that, Knight and Bishop and Knight especially are keeping them outside of himself and what they have. They are never quite let inside. Knight has always been eccentric, the emotional and erratic artist but at times he’s just a selfish asshole. To show love or be in love is on his premises, when he doesn’t want to or need it he’s pretty closed off and quite mean. While Rook and Jason gives and gives but seldom to never get anything back from the other two. It is quite aggravating but I love it at the same time because it just makes what they have so much more fascinating.
As for Bishop, I don’t know what to make of him in this, on one hand is very appreciative with Rook and Jason and make sure they feel a part of their little family. But when Knight demands not just a vacation away for a week but buys the cabin to go live there for months and months at the time without the other two Bishop goes. He doesn’t even make an argument to somehow include Rook and Jason. Once again Knight’s needs go before everything, and yes the man was mauled by a snowplow and almost died, but he was not alone in being devastated or hurt by that experience. Bishop and Rook where distraught, and it was Jason who kept them all sane and together.
The final book, End Game, was a great book with a great wrap up of Jason’s, Bishop’s, Knight’s and Rook’s mutual story. It was great before but after buying and getting the new editions with added scenes all books but especially this book became so much more. The added scene to the end of End Game helped easing my split emotions of the foursome, it made me forgive Knight and Bishop some for being so excluding towards Rook and Jason. What also helped deepened the plot was that in this book Sean Michael gave Rook and Jason some extra depth to their relationship. To say that Sean’s books are based on sex might be a slight exaggeration, but a deep meaningful sexual relationship always play a huge part in most of his books, not all, but most. Therefore, it was odd that only Bishop and Knight shared things that were not necessarily sex per se but intimate and soul-bonding when Rook and Jason who are two so prominent characters in the book were always kept out. In the beginning it made sense because Jason was new to the relationship, new to being into men, new to it all but as the story progressed it more felt like excluding them than anything else.
The new ending chapter to End Game, made this series and these four men and their journey to family and love come to a full circle. So thank you Sean Michael for this awesome series and for adding these lovely scenes that only enhanced the books.
You can find Sean on the following:
Sean Michael Website
Sean Michael Blog
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.