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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Doomed by Tracy Deebs (Blog Tour)


by Tracy Deebs

Publisher: Walker Childrens (Jan. 2013)
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook (480 pages)
Source: Netgalley / Publisher Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
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.
At A Glance
I really loved Doomed. It was fast-paced and it kept my attention. I just wish the ending was a bit better.

The Good
Wow. I have never read a book like this before. I am so not a gamer, so I wasn't sure if Doomed would be for me. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. Doomed pretty much had everything I look for in a book: fast, consistent action, great suspense, scary world, and a little romance. I was sucked in from the get-go and I never wanted to be spit back out.

What's funny is that this book didn't go where I thought it was going to go. I really thought it was going to be all gamer and techie, but it wasn't. It had everything. When Pandora unwittingly downloads a computer virus her estranged father sent to her through a popular computer game, everyone is affected. Now the world is left without electricity and power plants are on the verge of exploding and wiping out the human race. It's up to Pandora and the hot step-brothers next door to save the world. They must pass the levels of the game while following Pandora's father's clues across different cities and states. This is all while they are being chased by Homeland Security, the FBI, and gang members.

Pandora was a great character. She was both strong and vulnerable. You couldn't fault her for her occasional freak outs. If my father made me take down the world in a matter of a few mouse clicks, I would be horrified too. But Pandora always found her strength and the will to go on. I think she did pretty well for the situation she was in. Despite the decimation and violent people in the new broken world she lived in, she still held on to her humanity. She tried to save other people when she could, even when it put her in danger.

Eli was the charming guy who you couldn't help but fall for a little. His charisma was off the charts, but his roughness with Eli and his tendency to pout showed us all that he was not the guy for Pandora. It's Theo who captures all our hearts. He is very moody and dark in the beginning. He has had a rough past so you can't blame him for is attitude. But he starts to slowly open up as Pandora breaks through some of his hard shell. And when that happens, HOLY CRAP! He's as hot as all get out. He has that whole computer genius thing going on with that dark, sexy exterior that makes you melt. Got to love the sexy, smart types. Plus, he was so protective over Pandora. To know a man would put his life in danger to save yours is a great feeling.

The action and suspense were the best part. I loved the puzzles they had to solve and the adventures and horrors they experienced during their road trip. I was surprised how violent some scenes got. Like with the gang going after them. My heart pretty much beat right out of my chest. It's scary to think about how violent any of us can get when left with the choice to survive by any means possible or die.

I had so much fun reading Doomed. It's like a thrill ride I will never forget. It kept up my adrenaline while it slapped me in the face with some horrific scenarios I never want to imagine myself in. As far as I know, this is not going to be a series, but I would love to read the second book if there ever was one.

The Bad
I found the lack of separation between the crew playing the game and real life to be odd. The computer avatars did and said things that I just didn't think were possible. Sometimes I didn't know if we were in the game or in reality. It took a while for me to get use to that. There were also other thing that happened that were pretty unbelievable, as in, logically they seemed off. But I didn't mind most of the time because I was all about the story, not so much the technicalities. I just wanted to mention it.

The ending was too fast and easily resolved for my tastes. After everything Theo, Eli, and Pandora went through, I expected something more.

The Snuggly
Though I am so over love triangles, I didn't mind this one. Eli was so charismatic, I didn't begrudge Pandora for liking him. But though it took some time for Pandora to see past Theo's mood swings, I was so happy when they started flirting. Well, it wasn't flirting really, it was a connection that couldn't be severed, and they couldn't help but look into each other's eyes and just know they were meant for each other. OMG, the sexual tension was yummy as well. This book is YAish though, with just some kissing.

Final Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Doomed. It wasn't perfect but it was pretty damn close most of the time. I think gamers will love it, as well as young adult, dystopian lovers. It had something for everyone. Highly recommended.
"This is what I do," he answers.
"Play video games?"
He lifts an eyebrow. "Hack systems."
I look at him, standing there in his button-down shirt and khaki pants and can't imagine him as anything but a rule follower of the highest order. I mean, even his shoes are perfectly polished. But then I make the mistake of meeting his eyes, and they're not cold anymore. Instead, they're totally bad ass. Filled with confidence and the thrill of the chase.


"Leave the door open," Mackaray tells me when we get there.
"What?" I stare at him incredulously.
"You heard me." The face staring back at me is implacable.
“Where am I going to go? There’s no other way out of the bathroom!”
“Take it or leave it.” Something moves in his eyes, and I know he’s waiting for me to leave it. But I won’t give him the satisfaction.
“Does your wife know you get your kicks by listening to teenage girls pee?”
Author Bio
Tracy Deebs collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. From the first page of that first book, she knew she’d found her life-long love. Now a writing instructor at her local community college, Tracy writes YA novels that run the gamut from dark mermaids and witches to kissing clubs and techno-Armageddon stories… and she still has a soft spot for Judy Blume.

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  1. OMG I love your review so much! It's seriously, like, perfect! I agree with everything you said. I adored the action, the book completely surprised me, Pandora was strong but also had her weak moments (but they made sense!), and OMG THEO!!! FREAKING THEO!!! Love him so freaking much. *fans self*

    I do agree that the ending was a bit quick. And I read it before I realized that there would be a sequel and I had kind of a "That's it?" moment. But I think there will be a second book!

    1. Oh, thank god their is a sequel. I was looking around but couldn't find out for sure.

      So happy you agree. I was surprised by the kind of low rating on Goodreads for this book so I tried to really get the point across that this was a really, really, good book.

  2. Love that cover! I'm not a gamer although I do enjoy playing video games with my son and work at an Internet company so I do work with quite a few gamers. This book sounds fantastic. It puts be back in time to old school Hackers and I loved that movie, then you threw in some other nice elements that would keep me on my toes like the avatars and the gang. Those charming guys you have to watch out for! Sure they are all sugar coating and handsome and know exactly what to say, but it ends up being the quiet brooding types in the end! Excellent review :) Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. I loved Hackers. :) I hope you get a chance to read this book. It really was pretty awesome.

  3. Despite confusion with regard to the two worlds, this whole thing sounds intriguing and I am so glad you enjoyed this one Jen. I love the idea of gaming.

    1. I didn't really like the idea of gaming before but now I do. :)

  4. Hmm, too easily solved is a bit annoying! Glad you enjoyed it overall though. I can't remember the last time I played a computer game!

    1. I can't remember either. It's been way too long.

  5. Hmm, another new book to me. :D And it's got a gaming feel to it then. And you loved reading. Huh. That's great! :D

    1. I was very surprised how much I liked it.

  6. This sounds awesome. I read a book where a girl is stuck in a virtual reality game and it was amazing...I am going to check this one out. Thanks for the wonderful review :)

    1. I think I have a new interest in these kinds of books now. Doomed changed me. :)

  7. Sounds like a great book, thanks for the review!


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