Ok, So What Had Happened Was: Pandora was named the most unfortunate name ever. Not only is it a giant prelude to what her life is going to be like, but it’s also one of the worst mythological characters to have as a namesake. Poor girl was CONNED the moment she opened her eyes to her crazy booty daddy who bestowed her with the name… and who is also now responsible for a cyber-induced Armageddon, using his detrimentally curious daughter as a scapegoat for ALL THE BAD THINGS. To right her wrongs, and to shake Homeland Security off her backside, she’s out on a mission to stop the world from ending, and her next-door-neighbors are along for the gallop into danger. Will they succeed in conquering the game and stopping the madman responsible for it all?
Pandora may not be mah favorite person, but she’s a likeably flawed person. She indulges in self-blame and pity a lot, but also kind of figures out—once our beloved Theo angers her out of those twisty, annoying emotions enough times—that while it’s okay to stew and brood, she and her newfound friends are the only people who can actually DO anything about what’s going on. Losing the head on your shoulders makes you a dysfunctional hot mess that can’t save the day. And also people are dealing with their poop day too. She finds a way to move past it as quickly as possible, and when she does, she’s refreshingly pragmatic and helpful. She can be a standup girl, just not an overly memorable one in the long line of similar heroines before her.
Besides, girlfriend needs to have her head screwed on right when we’re talking about being sandwiched between stepdudes with issues. Theo and Eli’s relationship is riddled with animosity, challenge, and an almost nonexistent tolerance. Theo is all cool, stoic, and brainy in the face of Eli’s hotheadedness, though the boy—Eli—does have considerable charm. But, being bored of his character and others of the same ilk, I WAS NOT FEELING HIM. Theo just has it all, and he’s a hero at heart, always doing the right thing because that’s what you’re supposed to do. The romantic tension boiling between Pandora and her two bodyguards left me unsympathetic toward her mixed mind on them. For me, THE CHOICE WAS OBVS.
For all it’s predictability, there’s a lot that’s still unique about the book. The involvement of a video game, the goal of the villain… it all reads as intriguing. You just WANT TO SLAY a body even as you feel yourself understanding the point our jacked up villain is attempting to make.
Some of the best scenes come from the action and residual intensity spawning from the beginning of the book. The virus ITSELF and it’s impact on all the world is what makes Doomed by Tracy Deebs utterly pageturnable. The EERINESS of the world as the first phase of it’s demise begins, the brutality and extreme violence against their fellow man, and all the gun-fighting and explosions just totaled the plot up to a high-stakes gripping read. Toss in all the video gaming scenes and you’ve got an easily swept up reader before you (cyberly speaking).
Deebs isn’t one of my favorite authors—never has been—but she can write a solid book, one that’s fairly well-received and well-liked. Doomed by Tracy Deebs gets PRETTY WILD, so I’d say brace yourself for something equally fast-paced and CRAY in its intensity.
I requested this title from Bloomsbury via Netgalley and reviewed it for a blog tour.
I'm kind of excited about playing again--when I left off yesterday, I had just hit level twenty-seven. I want to get through it quickly and find the alternate reality gate that will transport me to the next level, because Jules says twenty-eight is the best so far.
Except instead of dropping me off in the middle of the barren wasteland that was once New York City, a new message flashes across the screen.
Happy seventeenth birthday, Pandora!
I stare at the screen, confused. How is it possible that the game knows my birthday--and my name? My user name is totally unconnected to my real name. And yet, there it is, staring at me in a very distinct yellow font. My name.
I click to get to the new screen and the birthday message slowly fades, only to be replaced by the words: You've reached the point of no return. Welcome to the real Pandora's Box.
Underneath is a giant, flashing number 10 in bright red, just to make sure you don't miss it. I try to click on it but nothing happens. Try to click on the message, but no luck there, either. Then the letters dissolve only to re-form with a new message: Total annihilation in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 days.
The 1 is huge, takes over the entire screen for a brief second before morhing into a graphic of the earth. Seconds later, the world blows up, little pieces streaming across the screen like fireworks. Then everything fades to black. (5%)