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.**This is the synopsis provided by Goodreads, though I do believe it needs to be updated due to the name of the game being changed to Pandora’s Box instead of Zero Day.
Danger, intrigue and full of action, Doomed captivated me with it’s clever plot and amazing characters! This book is just one giant roller coaster of fun and I did not want to get off the ride!
Doomed begins with a girl named Pandora unknowingly releasing a cyber worm on the world when she opens an email from her long lost father. A world with no Internet, computers, phones, etc… well, you wouldn’t think we would all succumb to chaos so fast, but everything is quickly turned upside down for Pandora and the world. Can you imagine car accidents with no way to call for help and no way for people to pay without cash? It really puts things in perspective with how much the world relies on technology. What would we do if it all fell apart? It’s scary to think how bad it would be. Doomed gives you a taste of what could happen and it is truly terrifying how people can change and will do anything they can for food, batteries, and other necessities. I almost got a Revolution vibe for a bit, if you are familiar with the tv show, which I thought was super cool!
To ‘save the world’ Pandora, with the help of her new neighbors, takes on the video game, Pandora’s Box. She must travel to real life locations to find clues her father has left to help her pass each level in the game. The way the author intertwined the two worlds was really awesome. I was honestly expecting to be more inside the game but was pleasantly surprised that was not the case. It was like one exciting scavenger hunt, and I love me a good scavenger hunt! This was absolutely my favorite part of the novel. I would be on the edge of my seat, full of anticipation for what obstacles the characters would face and what pieces they would need to solve and how it all came together.
Pandora is the main character who has been given this unfortunate task to beat the game and save the world. Knowing her estranged father was responsible was hard on her and left her a bit vulnerable, but she was so incredibly brave and strong. She had these two huge strong guys willing to protect her and she was adamant that she was no damsel in distress and maintained a take charge attitude. She is exactly the type of female character I love to read.
Now the two boys… they are Pandora’s new neighbors that happen to be step-brothers. From the beginning, Pandora seemed to have a thing for Eli. He seemed more her type, charming. Theo came off as the dark, tormented and brooding brother. As the story progresses, we learn that the roles are almost reverse when you look deeper. Theo is so genuine and selfless. Eli is also great, and it’s not that he is unlikable, because he truly is. Eli just lacks the sincerity of his brother. And also can make some really stupid decisions in a crisis.
Just a few things gave me pause as I was reading that I should mention. My main issue was how convenient it was that the boys were so knowledgeable in things like picking locks, knowing coordinates, flying planes, computer hacking, and of course had a ton of money handy. Did it bother me enough to take away from the story? Not really. I also wish the end didn’t feel so rushed. It was excitement and build, build, build… and then everything came to a close so fast and with much less production than I expected. Overall though, a great action-packed read!
If you love excitement and adventure, than I think this would be a great novel for you to pick up!