Genre: Teen Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
Other Info: Deebs is also the author of the Tempest series, and she writes Romance novels under the pseudonym Tracy Wolff.
Description and link from Goodreads):
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.
Doomed was a book I wanted to like, but couldn’t. The premise is entirely promising–an update of the classic Greek Pandora myth is enough to pique my interest. What is not so successful is the execution. Right from the start, Doomed and I got off on the wrong foot, since immediately it falls into one of my YA Pet Peeves: The Absent, Neglectful Parent Who Leaves the Heroine Home Alone For Long Periods of Time. It’s rare that an author can pull off Absent Parent Syndrome without triggering thoughts of plot contrivance. Doomed was not one of those rare times, and that meant that I began the book giving it a hoary eye.
From there, Doomed did not improve. When Pandora releases the virus that triggers the apocalypse, things start happening fast, and this irritated me for two reasons. One, there were great leaps of logic that had me scratching my head. More than once I found myself wondering how Pandora and her two male companions–Theo and Eli–came up with the theories they did, or had such faith in their veracity. In a time of such chaos, such surety came across as foolhardy.
The second reason was pretty specific. In the book, Pandora and her friends go out for pizza just as the apocalypse is beginning. There’s mass panic because people don’t have cash to pay for their food and the credit card machines don’t work. I’ve worked in retail, and it’s true that computer malfunctions and power outages are major inconveniences, but you know what? The store I worked at never let that stop them. They stayed open and took imprints of credit cards come hell or high water. And I also found it hard to believe that the apocalypse would begin at a pizza joint.
What I’m saying is this: Considering the nature of Doomed apocalypse, the speed at which the society unraveled felt forced. I didn’t buy into the urgency and that made the rest of the book fall flat for me. Add that to my belief that Pandora & Co were making bewildering leaps in logic and and eye-rollingly painful love triangle you get one unhappy reader. I love books that take place during the apocalypse–but not even the genre could save Doomed.
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out Tracy Deebs’ guest post and the Doomed giveaway!
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