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. (From Goodreads)
Best Bits: This book was a thriller! The book begins on Pandora's birthday, and the rest of the story spans the country, and two realities (the second being the virtual world of Zero Day). I wasn't sure whether it was going to work to have a portion of the story take place in-game, but it did. Not only did the game emphasize the ultimate message behind the virus, but it also helps her understand exactly who is behind it. Although I knew there would be some tension regarding a love triangle, I was glad that it wasn't too long into the book where the reader is clear on who Pandora will choose (see my nit pick below). As many readers of this blog know, I'm a bit tired with this trope. It was nice to have a simple, non-dramatic conclusion to it. The end of the world does take precedence over dating, after all. Deebs also does a good job showing the severity of the worm. Sure, at first it didn't seem like much was wrong. As chaos and fear begin to take over, so does violence and crime. It put urgency behind Pandora's quest, and that kept me flipping pages.
Nit Picks: My nit pick for Doomed is related to one of the stepbrothers who end up helping Pandora navigate Zero Day (called Pandora's Box in my galley edition). Eli, although very useful throughout the story, also seemed to invade Pandora's personal space. Now, this doesn't happen all the time, and Pandora does struggle at the beginning of the book about whether she's attracted to him...but in one scene at a motel he is supposed to be keeping watch and ends up falling asleep in bed with her.
By Walker Books
Published by Bloomsbury USA
Received for review