March 4, 2013

Doomed by Tracy Deebs {Review}

Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: January 8, 2013
Source: ALA for honest review
Pages: 480
Series: No
Rating: Miss
Beat the game. Save the world.
Pandora's just your average teen, glued to her cell 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 a 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. 
I was sorely disappointed by Doomed. I was expecting more of the video game aspect, more of a bad-ass main girl (I mean, look at the cover!), more stuff getting done, and just more in general.

So let's start with the story.
Maybe I wasn't thinking about the whole “global virus” thing enough, but I really wasn't expecting the government (and running from it) to be such a big aspect of the story. The synopsis lead me to believe the main storyline would be the game and the mystery surrounding it, but it ended up taking a backseat to the survival/on-the-run-from-the-government aspect.
Towards the end things just started to feel a little too convenient. Oh, this is an obstacle? Let's just take it out in a matter of a few paragraphs. I mean, yeah, it's fiction so there's going to be some coincidences, but some of them were just a bit too easy for me.

And then there's the characters.
Pandora was just so...whiny. Okay, okay, it's the end of the world and you unleashed it and your dad created it. I get it. I'd freak out too, but I hope I wouldn't continue to freak out. Over and over and over again. And there was the continuous “what's the point of any of this” when it was made quite obvious from the start. Play the game, save the world. So what does she do? Throw tantrums about how she doesn't want to play the game and how she hates her father. I know, I'm sounding a little heartless, but she really grated on my nerves.
And Theo and Eli were just kind of bleh. They have complete opposite personalities and yet I kept getting them confused. It probably didn't help that Pandora kept giving them the same kind of attention. And gosh, were they pissy about it. Whenever one of them so much as looked at her for too long the other would get all huffy and storm off. Now, you know I'm not a love triangle hater, but I really, really did not like this one. Plus, both boys felt a little shallow. I mean, they have backstories that seem to explain why they act the way they do, but they just didn't do it for me.

It felt like nothing was ever happening. Part of this is probably because I wanted to see more of the game aspect and it just wasn't happening. There was a lot of sitting around and a lot of driving and a lot of running and a lot of charged looks, and yet, I felt bored most of the time. I just couldn't get sucked into the story enough to care about the characters and story in more than a passive way. Even at the end I just thought to myself “oh, well that's nice.”
The Nutshell: Doomed just didn't work for me at all. Part of it is on me since I was expecting something different, but I also couldn't get into the story and characters. If you like stories about being on the run from the government and end of days craziness with a green undertone (or overtone, depending on how you wish to look at it) then you'll probably enjoy Doomed, but if you're in it for the video game aspect you should lower your expectations or skip it altogether.

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