Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Walker Childrens (1.8.2013)
eARC, 480 pages
Source: For Tour
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 loved the story line! I think this was what really sold me on this book. Part scavenger hunt, part doomsday countdown, with a pinch of mythology and a dash of mystery. It was cool to see how the puzzle pieces fit together as each clue was revealed, and the journey they took in doing so. It started pretty much right off, and there was plenty of action to keep me entertained (because we all know how short my attentions span is. Ooohh, look, a peanut!).
The summary wasn’t quite right, though. I was expecting them to be in the game (Tron, anyone?), so I was a bit disappointed that they were just playing it. Not to mention at first I was confused as to whether or not they were indeed in there, because a few times Pandora mentioned feeling something: She screams as she goes down on top of me. My breath whooshes out, and I try to stay conscious as I shove at the thing, and I practically feel my lung puncture under the speed of the shot, and no matter how hard I try to stay on my feet, I can’t do it. The lines were a little blurred sometimes, resulting in some confusion about what was game and what was reality.
Pandora was alright. I didn’t dislike her, but I didn’t necessarily like her, either. She did annoy me at times, particularly because she continually insisted she could take care of herself, then would go and do something stupid to put herself in danger. Or she’d get angry at the boys for treating her with kid gloves, then freak out excessively. I mean, some of the things were legitimately things to freak about. But a few times I just wanted to slap her.
There were some things that kinda bothered me, but most of the time I had trouble pinpointing exactly what it was. Some of it I can’t put into words. But I suppose sometimes it was because I didn’t care much for the delivery. Other times it was because the reactions of the characters weren’t quite right, or they way they acted wasn’t convincing.
One example, Pandora’s reaction to the police bothered me. She acts like they’re out to get her, even though they gave her no reason to think so. If what they wanted is in plain sight, why are they looking everywhere else? The answer hits me as I pick my way through my family room, which has been turned inside out. They’re doing this, ripping my whole world apart, because they can. This wasn’t a dystopian with a overly corrupt government, so I didn’t really understand that logic.
Not to mention she deliberately withholds information from them…and outright lies at times. Then says she wants a lawyer, which just sounds like she’s guilty. If she’d have just told the truth from the beginning, she wouldn’t have turned into a fugitive.
I haven’t eaten anything since the Crunch Berries (WIN ) nearly nine hours ago, and it’s not like those are exactly the fuel of champions. Had I known what the future had in store I would have gobbled down an entire jar of peanut butter instead. Because peanut butter IS the fuel of champions?
Did I mention there was a love triangle? If you know me, you know that 9 times out of 10, I hate them. But this one wasn’t too bad. Pandora didn’t flip flop back and forth; she stayed mostly neutral. I’m not going to tell you who she ended up with (because that would spoil it!), but I will say that I’m team Theo all the way! Eli didn’t really do it for me. First of all, I’m not into blondes. I like them tall, dark, and handsome (and preferably bad boys). Plus Eli irked me sometimes. He was mostly easy-going, but every once in a while he had a total douche moment that just ruined him for me. Theo was more steady and level-headed (even though he had a bit of a temper). He actually reminded me a bit of Derek from The Darkest Powers Trilogy, although he didn’t have quite the effect on me as Derek did (fan girl squee!). But his personality was very similar.
Just a little romance teaser:
He lowers his mouth to mine. And I was right. I’ve never, ever felt anything like it. It’s fireworks after a baseball game, a cool dip in the pool on a sweltering summer day. Front row seats at a kick-ass concert. It’s the sweetest melody I’ve ever heard, playing over and over in my head. I don’t ever want it to end.
You’ll have to read it to figure out which he it is! ;)
All in all, it was a decent read. Not overly memorable, but still worth picking up. It was a major improvement from her debut, Tempest Rising (which I only gave 2.5 starfish).
Not in the game.
Not in our lives.
Not in anything.
We can only push forward into the new reality set forth before us. Push forward and hope like crazy that we’re doing the right thing. Because in this world, there are no guarantees.