YA Science Fiction
480 pages, hardcover
Available now (January 2013)
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
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.
Would society really crumble and fall without da interwebz? It seems so in DOOMED. When Pandora accidentally releases a computer virus -- a worm -- into the Web, she starts a chain reaction that destroys life as we know it. On the Web (and power and the communication grid and all that jazz). Of course, the police and Homeland Security and the whole alphabet soup of governmental agencies descend upon Pandora and, after a bit of police brutality, abuse of power and ignoring of rights and amendments and such, she's "saved" by her stepbrothers, who whisk her away to solve the worm problem.
While this wasn't a top read for me, it kept me interested and the pace didn't let up as Pandora and her cohorts ran from place to place trying to fix the evil Pandora released into the world (this is why you shouldn't name your child Pandora. She's bound to release bad things into the world, even if she doesn't mean to. It's a prerequisite of the name.).
Still, I questioned whether or not society would really degenerate so quickly. With no Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat, people went nuts. The power was out, generators died within days (despite the fact that there was plenty of gas...um, what?) and they just didn't know what to do. I'm imagining them saying, "Hey, I'm bored. Let's go loot the Seven Eleven!" I know that's something that I'd do. Mostly because I don't know how I'd survive without my Slim Jims (kidding. Those things are gross.).
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