Author: Tracy Deebs
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 480 Pages
ISBN-10: 080272373X (Bloomsbury)
ISBN-13: 978-0802723734 (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Beat the game. Save the world.
Pandora’s just your average teen, glued to her cell phone and laptop, surfing Facebook and e-mailing with her friends, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father, her one key to saving the world as we know it. Part The Matrix, part retelling of the Pandora myth, Doomed has something for gaming fans, dystopian fans, and romance fans alike.
Quick & Dirty: Very action packed sci-fi book, but for me it was just an ok read.
Opening Sentence: My alarm goes off at seven, just like always, and I spend a few minutes staring at the ceiling, blinking at the cool early-morning shadows and trying to get my tired brain to work.
It is Pandora’s 17th birthday and she’s not really all that excited about it. Her mom is in Alaska working and generally her mom tends to forget her birthday anyway. She hasn’t talked to her dad in about ten years so pretty much she will be spending the day with her friends or so she thinks. After school while she has some down time she decides to play her favorite game, Pandora’s Box. When she logs in her computer has a weird glitch and a countdown shows up on her computer for 10 days. It turns out the glitch affected the internet, phone lines, and TV in her house. She then goes next door to see if it is affecting her new neighbors as well. Turns out her new neighbors are the two new hot stepbrothers that started her school a few weeks ago, Theo and Eli. They logged into Pandora’s Box and the same glitch affects all of their things as well. They go back to Pandora’s house where there is a present on her computer waiting to be opened. Pandora decides to open and it and she releases a worldwide worm that disables all electricity, satellites, and pretty much puts the world back in the dark ages. A new message appears after Pandora opens the birthday present, Play the game to save the world. Pandora and her two hot neighbors are sent on a whirlwind, action packed adventure where they have to beat the game or die trying.
Pandora is our heroine in this story and I had a hard time with her. At first I liked her. She has spunk and a good voice, but as the story went along she really started to bug me. Of course the world is falling apart so I understand her freaking out a little bit but she overdoes it. She keeps telling the boys that she isn’t a damsel in distress, but she acts like one for most of the book. Both of the boys seem to be interested in her but she is very indecisive when it comes to which one she likes. I felt she was a weak character and I really had a hard time connecting with her.
Now for the boys — first there is Eli. He is a gorgeous blond haired, sporty type of guy. All the girls at school like him and he really is quite a charmer. Pandora is attracted to him, but he just seems like a player. Personally, I didn’t really care for Eli; he is sweet one moment and a jerk the next. I didn’t really feel like there was much chemistry between these two.
Next we have Theo, who is the mysterious Harvard bound boy. He is extremely attractive, but he is very moody. Out of all the characters, Theo was actually my favorite. He is super smart, and he does have some crazy mood swings but deep down he really is a good person. He is the leader of the group and he really is a good strong character. There was good chemistry between him and Pandora, but I thought they could have had a few more moments and it would have made it better.
This book was just an ok read for me. It was pretty fast paced and there was a lot of action, but it still dragged for me. I really enjoyed the beginning, totally lost interest in the middle and the ending was ok. I felt that there was a lot of repetitiveness in the book. Honestly, if this had not been a book I had to do a review for, I don’t think I would have finished the book. It was just one of those books that I just really didn’t connect well to the characters and I lost interest in the plot. Now all that being said, I do think that some people will really enjoy this book. It was written well, it just wasn’t really a book for me, but if you are a big Sci-fi person and you are really into video games and computer stuff you might really enjoy it.
The uneasiness that’s been riding me since this thing began explodes into full- blown panic. If Theo’s right . . . if Theo’s right, then it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s infected. Before the entire Internet goes down. Right now, Pandora’s Box is the most popular game in America, and I’m pretty sure the world, too. How many more people have to log on to play before they manage to bring down the whole net?
“We need to call someone,” I say before I realize how stupid that sounds. Who would we call even if we had that option? And what would we say?
“Trust me, they’ve already figured out there’s a problem,” Theo says without slowing down his brutal pace. “I guarantee you, alarms are sounding somewhere while a bunch of government techies scramble around, trying to ?gure out how hundreds, thousands, of people simply vanished.”
“Maybe it’s just our neighborhood,” Eli ventures. But I can tell he doesn’t believe it. Neither do I.
Whoever did this put a lot of time into it. Like thousands of hours for it to take everything down so smoothly. There’s no way that was just to bring down a neighborhood.
We let ourselves into my house, and I go straight to the kitchen to get my laptop for Theo. I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to get from it, but I’m more than okay with letting him try. When I get back into the family room, he and Eli are parked on the couch, staring at my TV screen. It now has the same message on it that everything else does.
But when Theo opens my laptop, I realize that’s not exactly true. Because scrolling across my screen is a new message, one none of us has seen before:
Beat the game. Save the world.
FTC Advisory: Walker Children’s Books/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Doomed. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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