Author: Tracy Deebs
Publication Date: 8th Jan 2013
Tagline: 'Beat the game. Save the world.'
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US
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, Pandora's Box. 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 Pandora's Box. 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.
Wow. This book was. so. GOOD!!! I mean, I thought it sounded pretty cool - that's why I chose to read it - but I had no idea of how overwhelmingly amazing it would turn out to be! Thrilling, tense, gripping, action-packed...BRILLIANT! I was reading this while we were on holiday in Lapland (which is in Finland, and is 'Santa Claus' hometown') so we were out a lot of the time doing lots of exciting stuff, which was fun...but I was so hooked on this book, all I wanted to do was come back to the hotel asap so I could curl up in a corner and carry on reading! I actually like Doomed so much it made my list of top ten books that I read in the whole of 2012! (You can see that list here.)
Firstly, the plot was just made of awesome. I am not exaggerating when I say I could honestly feel my heart beating faster as I read Doomed. From the very beginning, I could feel the tension level ratcheting up until it was already practically sky-high 100 pages in! At that point, my attention was gripped completely, my pulse was racing and this iron grip that Doomed clasped me with did not let go for a single second until I finally put the book down, having finished it, feeling totally satisfied. Even when the action dropped momentarily in the book, I was still completely gripped because I knew it would pick right back up any second.
I absolutely loved the idea of a kind of scavenger hunt adventure to save the world, and the way the main characters had to solve problems both in real life and in the video game in order to keep moving forwards. These two different dimensions gave more substance to the story, making the task for the characters harder but more interesting for us to read.
We had a trio of protagonists on this quest to save the world, and I loved all three of their characters! First of all, there was Pandora, a kick-ass heroine who I thought was a great main character! One thing I liked about her straight away was that she broke the mould of typical YA female characters somewhat, by being almost six foot and a redhead with violet streaks in her hair! I guess that's quite random but I just liked that Pandora was a bit unusual. I thought she was brave and daring, but not annoyingly so - I mean, she did act rashly sometimes but for me it was never too often or too over the top that I found her irritating.
There is kind of a love triangle in Doomed, with Theo and Eli - stepbrothers who are both gorgeous - both vying for Pandora's attention but somehow it never really felt like a love triangle...I'm not quite sure why that is or what I actually mean...I mean it in a good way, though!
Several times whilst reading Doomed, I felt myself wondering at the great effort the author must have put into research for this book, as it all felt extremely plausible to me. It really helps when you really believe the story you are reading - when it feels real, you are drawn into the story so much more. It is actually really scary to think that the world could so easily go into a meltdown - just imagine if we were put into the situation that the Pandora's world gets thrown into - when electricity and communications are all just suddenly cut off. This book really made me stop and think for a moment about how much we rely on electricity and technology in our daily lives and it really is quite alarming to contemplate how quickly the world could descend into chaos if it was suddenly cut off.
I cannot recommend this book enough - in fact, forget making my list of favourite reads of 2012, Doomed has made my list of favourite books...EVER!
If you would love to win one of two finished copies of Doomed by Tracy Deebs...here's your chance! I would totally recommend entering because this is such a great book! Sadly, the giveaway is only open to US residents :( And hurry, the giveaway ends on 7th January! Good luck!
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A Bit About the Author...
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.