“Doomed” by Tracy Deebs
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
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.
The guts, the basic elements of this story had a lot of potential. A computer virus taking out all the power in the world and our heroine has to solve the puzzle by remembering her childhood? That sounds amazing! Sadly the story didn’t live up at all.
The biggest downfall for me were the characters. Eli and Theo were pretty much cardboard characters. They’re SO different you know. One’s preppy and the other one is punk/goth. Clearly that makes a world of difference. I couldn’t tell the difference between them. Their voices sounded the same and they were both good at a lot of things. Then on top of all that, they had this macho man contest going on to save Pandora/prove he’s the best man for her. Do I even need to tell you how annoying that was?
Pandora herself was a lame heroine. The poor thing has a mom who works as a lawyer for an ‘evil’ corporation so she’s busy all the time. She does nothing but whine about how she’s sorry for all the trouble and that the brothers should just leave her alone. Blah, blah, blah. It was just a lot of whining and oh woe is me.
The idea of the story was interesting but really doesn’t make sense in the time period. Pandemonium and chaos will set in a few hours without power? The world comes crumbling down ~5 days with no power? Humanity has lived without power for quite sometime. I think we could manage for a while without all that chaos so quickly into the situation.
The bottom line? Great idea, poor execution.