(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Beat the game. Save the world.
Pandora’s an average teen, glued to her cell phone and laptop, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring photos of her as a child. Curious, Pandora enters the site, unwittingly unleashing a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there’s no Internet. No cell phones. No traffic lights, hospitals or law enforcement. Only Pandora’s Box, a virtual-reality game created by Pandora’s father, remains up and running. Together with her neighbors, gorgeous stepbrothers Eli and Theo, Pandora must follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father—and rescue the world. Part The Matrix, part retelling of the Pandora myth, Doomed has something for gaming fans, dystopian fans, and romance fans alike.
[Full disclosure: I received this book from an unknown person that is not the author or the publisher. There was no expectation to review it as far as I know so of course this review is honest. See here for more details about the Mystery of the Randomly Appearing Books.]
Doomed is an okay book as long as you don’t think about it too much.
What I mean by that is on the surface it has an okay premise (technology being destroyed, world going into chaos) but that it’s executed in such an implausible way that you can’t help but think that there’s no way this could happen. First off, I seriously doubt that there would ever be a virus that destroyed everything electrical. Computers, cell phones, the internet, electricity, etc. But hey, it’s science fiction so I’ll buy into that. Then throw in a computer hacker genius early high school graduate who’s going to Harvard and things start to get really annoying. These things happen in movies; rarely in real life.
Pandora is an okay character I suppose. She acts like such a brat, but that’s somewhat believable considering her circumstances. The fact that she never really changes throughout the story from that bratty mold is annoying though. She keeps telling Eli and Theo how she’s not a damsel in distress yet she has panic attacks left, right and centre and rarely does anything for herself. It’s always the boys coming in to save her butt. Nevermind that the boys themselves are so one dimensional that you would expect to see them in some trashy tween flick.
Okay, so the only redeeming feature about Doomed is that although it’s over 400 pages, the writing style is really simplistic. I got through it in about 2 1/2 hours when a book that long should have taken more like 4 hours. It makes for a decent amount of suspense but as I said before that’s only as long as you don’t think too hard about the whole thing. The authorities that chased Pandora and the boys were completely incompetent caricatures that were totally incapacitated by the lack of technology despite the fact that radios still were working! Who uses radios and walkie talkies the most? The police!
If you want a fast-paced science fiction novel, go ahead and read Doomed. But if you actually think about what you read I don’t recommend this book.
I give this book 1.5/5 stars.