Published by: Walker Childrens on January 8, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Gaming, Science Fiction, Technology, Virtual Reality
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
One Stuxnet type worm,
One Greek-themed MMO,
One real world scavenger hunt,
Three teenagers on the run,
And a ten-day countdown to total nuclear annihilation.
Pandora's Box isn't just a myth anymore...
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.
I was nervous about starting Doomed. I’m a computer nerd, gaming nerd, web design nerd, and all kinds of internet geeky. I wanted Doomed to rock my universe. I wanted it to knock my pants off. I was afraid that perhaps I had overhyped it for myself and that it would disappoint me…
Who was I kidding?!!
Doomed RIPPED my pants off and left me buck naked, hair blowing in the wind, happy tears streaming down my face. Cards on the freaking table… DOOMED ROCKED MY NERDY GAMER WORLD!! Holy mother of computer hacking sex gods. I was totally unprepared for the epic awesomesauceness of this book. I’m still completely wide-eyed and in shock. We have computer viruses that take over the world, a strong likeable main character named PANDORA (hello, awesome), a sweet smiley guy, a strong sexy silent kickass hacker guy, and one insane Greek mythology apocalypse game to beat. Can you imagine a more amazing book? I cannot.
Every single character in this book is absolutely AWESOME! They’re all so unique and I love them for different reasons. Pandora.. Okay I adore her name. But also, she’s kind of quirky, spunky, but still has her HOLY SHIT meltdown moments. Don’t we all? But she remains super strong and kickass throughout the entire book (..most of the time!). Her best friend Emily is the classic, awesome, sweet, upbeat best friend character. Those are my FAVOURITE! Emily is only in the very beginning of the book, but still—she plays that role perfectly. Then… there are the guys…
I absolutely LOOOVE THEO!!! He’s the insanely smart tech/computer genius. I love tech nerds. I love love LOVE THEM! My boyfriend is an amazing elite programmer/web developer, so in some ways, I felt like I was reading about my boyfriend. Theo is some sort of accepted-early-into-Harvard computer genius. He’s the strong, sexy silent type who hides secrets of a dark, sketchy past behind his conflicting eyes. That, my friends, is sexy.
“This is what I do,” he answers.
“Play video games?”
He lifts an eyebrow. “Hack systems.”
I look at him, standing there in his button-down shirt and khaki pants and can’t imagine him as anything but a rule follower of the highest order. I mean, even his shoes are perfectly polished. But then I make the mistake of meeting his eyes, and they’re not cold anymore. Instead, they’re totally bad ass. Filled with confidence and the thrill of the chase.
In some ways, the story of Doomed reminded me of Ashfall by Mike Mullin, and I totally wasn’t expecting that. But it makes sense. In Doomed we have a complete technological blackout. This causes complete mayhem, chaos, looting, pillaging, murder, and more. Pandora, Theo, and Eli are on the run from the FBI/Homeland Security/etc. but also have to watch out for people stealing their survival supplies, crazy biker gangs, and look five times at every intersection because the traffic lights don’t work. There’s a complete breakdown of humanity. Survival instincts really kick in, to the point where people will so easily leave someone else to die in order to save themselves.
The lines between black and white are blurring more with every second we’re on the road, on the run, until distinguishing the varying shades of grey has become next to impossible for me. Fleeing the authorities, breaking and entering, stealing. And even worse is the knowledge that there’s nowhere to go but down.
And IN ADDITION to all that other craziness, Pandora has to solve a puzzle. She’s driving from state to state, trying to piece together clues that her father left behind for her. It’s an AWESOME combination of a real life adventure and gaming. The two go completely hand in hand and she has to put them together in order to BEAT THE GAME!
My one criticism is with the game itself. It’s written exactly like real life: with characters talking, touching each other, and just acting as they would in the real world. I felt like it wasn’t a very realistic representation of a game, which is limited to keyboard and mouse movements. I mean, surely there isn’t a keyboard command for “Put hand on other character’s lower back and lean in to speak,” but that’s exactly the kind of thing that went on all the time. Even though it wasn’t very realistic at all, it didn’t bother me. I got so immersed in the game that I mostly just pretended that it wasn’t a game and that it was actually happening. Then it stopped bothering me.
This book is just so unique on so many different levels. I was screaming and squealing with complete and utter joy and awe as I was reading it!
The main character—HILARIOUS.
The circumstances —DEVASTATING.
The sexual tension—HOT.
The action scenes—INTENSE.
Doomed called to the total nerd inside of me and did not disappoint me in the slightest… until it ended. I wanted more. I NEEDED more. I am fully prepared to start stalking Tracy Deebs on her Doomed book tour in January. It’s just THAT good!!