“Thought this was very well written. Full of action/adventure. Beat the Game--Save the World. Very now ~ environmentally conscious as well as very techno.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
“Reading a long, heavy book can really affect the experience. I loved Tracy Deebs’ mermaid books, and was hoping that this dystopia-like thriller would be just as good. It definitely was not what I expected. There was no virtual reality. It was just a computer game. And the game was really all about saving the world from climate change. Pandora is definitely a madman’s daughter.
My favorite thing about this book was the adventurous thrill ride. Theo must have hotwired like 6 different cars along the way. Also I could decide who I liked better, Eli or Theo. Eli I liked at 1st, but Theo really showed how much he cared about helping Pandora. They both went along with this cross-country scavenger hunt that was also connected to beating the Pandora’s Box game. They started out in Austin, Texas, and went to New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. Pandora had to remember the times she spent with her father to find out where to go.
A big part of the Pandora’s Box game was mythology. The creatures and being fought in the game were things like Cyclopes and giants and even gods and titans. The story itself is a retelling of the Pandora’s Box myth. And it was constructed that was by her father.
The issues I had with this book was the over-the-top reactions at the beginning and some of the inaccuracies related to survival and technological stuff. The author may have done her research for the most part, but not everything it correct. (For example: Pandora asks Theo when’s the last time he got a Tetanus shot after he’s bitten by a dog because she’s afraid it may be rabid. Rabies shots are what she should have said. Tetanus is for bacteria found on rust.)
The book was enjoyable for the most part, with some small issues. I recommend it to people who enjoyed Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. This book is pretty unique, so I can’t think of other specific book similar to it.
Cover Art Review: Don’t like this cover other than the colors. I hate the use of a bevel emboss on the title when it’s in really embossed. It looks poorly designed. I liked the original green cover with the girl and 2 guys on it.
“Thought this was very well written. Full of action/adventure. Beat the Game--Save the World. Very now ~ environmentally conscious as well as very techno.”Mrs. Branham, CHS Library Media Specialist wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This looked so good at barnes and noble so I planned to read it.”Sierra wrote this review Monday, March 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The only thing Pandora wants on her seventeenth birthday is for her lawyer mother to call her from Alaska where she’s working. Instead, she receives a cryptic email message from her estranged father. Her mother always told Pandora that her father was a lousy man, and not to be trusted. But when you’re lonely and in need of some parental attention on your big day, what’s the harm in opening the email?
In this case, it’s a huge mistake. The website her father left for her to visit was actually some sort of virus, and by the time Pandora gets home from school, the world has started to shut down. The power is out, telephones down, the internet out. For all Pandora knows, it’s happening across the world — and it’s all her fault. Now she and her friends have ten days to beat a popular online game called “Pandora’s Box”. If they don’t? The world will end.
Pandora is totally relatable. She’s not super-popular, but not a high school nobody. She kind of does her own thing, likes indie music, hanging with friends and playing online MMO’s. I totally “got” her and she is someone I would have been friends with in high school.
The other two characters featured most prominently in the book are Theo and Eli, step-brothers who live next door to Pandora and join her in trying to beat the game and save the world. Both boys are very different, and add an interesting dimension to the story. While the book hints at a possible love triangle, I was a bit nervous, but it wasn’t the main focus of the books, which was a relief.
The book is very action-packed and totally appealed to my inner gamer. While I don’t play a lot of MMO, I do play a lot of video games, and I loved that aspect of the book. There’s a lot going on here, and I loved how Pandora and the brothers had to literally play for their lives. How crazy would that be? While I am a gamer geek, I’m not very good. I’d be in so much trouble if I were in a similar predicament. Y’all better hope I never have to save the world via video game!
My only problem with the book (and it was a minor one) was that it felt kind of long and did drag in spots. This may have just been my perception. It didn’t ruin the story for me at all.
Fresh, unique and filled with action, Doomed is a book I would highly recommend to someone looking for a different type of armageddon story. The gaming aspect and the action will appeal to teen boys who are reluctant or picky readers.”
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Very action packed sci-fi book, but for me it was just an ok read.
Opening Sentence: My alarm goes off at seven, just like always, and I spend a few minutes staring at the ceiling, blinking at the cool early-morning shadows and trying to get my tired brain to work.
It is Pandora’s 17th birthday and she’s not really all that excited about it. Her mom is in Alaska working and generally her mom tends to forget her birthday anyway. She hasn’t talked to her dad in about ten years so pretty much she will be spending the day with her friends or so she thinks. After school while she has some down time she decides to play her favorite game, Pandora’s Box. When she logs in her computer has a weird glitch and a countdown shows up on her computer for 10 days. It turns out the glitch affected the internet, phone lines, and TV in her house. She then goes next door to see if it is affecting her new neighbors as well. Turns out her new neighbors are the two new hot stepbrothers that started her school a few weeks ago, Theo and Eli. They logged into Pandora’s Box and the same glitch affects all of their things as well. They go back to Pandora’s house where there is a present on her computer waiting to be opened. Pandora decides to open and it and she releases a worldwide worm that disables all electricity, satellites, and pretty much puts the world back in the dark ages. A new message appears after Pandora opens the birthday present, Play the game to save the world. Pandora and her two hot neighbors are sent on a whirlwind, action packed adventure where they have to beat the game or die trying.
Pandora is our heroine in this story and I had a hard time with her. At first I liked her. She has spunk and a good voice, but as the story went along she really started to bug me. Of course the world is falling apart so I understand her freaking out a little bit but she overdoes it. She keeps telling the boys that she isn’t a damsel in distress, but she acts like one for most of the book. Both of the boys seem to be interested in her but she is very indecisive when it comes to which one she likes. I felt she was a weak character and I really had a hard time connecting with her.
Now for the boys — first there is Eli. He is a gorgeous blond haired, sporty type of guy. All the girls at school like him and he really is quite a charmer. Pandora is attracted to him, but he just seems like a player. Personally, I didn’t really care for Eli; he is sweet one moment and a jerk the next. I didn’t really feel like there was much chemistry between these two.
Next we have Theo, who is the mysterious Harvard bound boy. He is extremely attractive, but he is very moody. Out of all the characters, Theo was actually my favorite. He is super smart, and he does have some crazy mood swings but deep down he really is a good person. He is the leader of the group and he really is a good strong character. There was good chemistry between him and Pandora, but I thought they could have had a few more moments and it would have made it better.
This book was just an ok read for me. It was pretty fast paced and there was a lot of action, but it still dragged for me. I really enjoyed the beginning, totally lost interest in the middle and the ending was ok. I felt that there was a lot of repetitiveness in the book. Honestly, if this had not been a book I had to do a review for, I don’t think I would have finished the book. It was just one of those books that I just really didn’t connect well to the characters and I lost interest in the plot. Now all that being said, I do think that some people will really enjoy this book. It was written well, it just wasn’t really a book for me, but if you are a big Sci-fi person and you are really into video games and computer stuff you might really enjoy it.
The uneasiness that’s been riding me since this thing began explodes into full- blown panic. If Theo’s right . . . if Theo’s right, then it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s infected. Before the entire Internet goes down. Right now, Pandora’s Box is the most popular game in America, and I’m pretty sure the world, too. How many more people have to log on to play before they manage to bring down the whole net?
“We need to call someone,” I say before I realize how stupid that sounds. Who would we call even if we had that option? And what would we say?
“Trust me, they’ve already figured out there’s a problem,” Theo says without slowing down his brutal pace. “I guarantee you, alarms are sounding somewhere while a bunch of government techies scramble around, trying to ?gure out how hundreds, thousands, of people simply vanished.”
“Maybe it’s just our neighborhood,” Eli ventures. But I can tell he doesn’t believe it. Neither do I.
Whoever did this put a lot of time into it. Like thousands of hours for it to take everything down so smoothly. There’s no way that was just to bring down a neighborhood.
We let ourselves into my house, and I go straight to the kitchen to get my laptop for Theo. I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to get from it, but I’m more than okay with letting him try. When I get back into the family room, he and Eli are parked on the couch, staring at my TV screen. It now has the same message on it that everything else does.
But when Theo opens my laptop, I realize that’s not exactly true. Because scrolling across my screen is a new message, one none of us has seen before:
Beat the game. Save the world.
FTC Advisory: Walker Children’s Books/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Doomed. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“ I am a huge dystopia fan, so when I first read the blurb for Doomed, I was really intrigued and thought it sounded like a fun and interesting book, and I have to say that I absolutely loved it. The opening line in the book description says "Beat the Game. Save the World." Well in Doomed, that term is exactly what the book is about, literally, and takes the term "extreme gaming" to a whole new level.
It is Pandora's 17th birthday. Her mom is a lawyer and workaholic, is off on a business trip in Alaska, and doesn't even remember it is Pandora's birthday. Her dad hasn't been in the picture since she was a kid. She has always been told by her mom to never have anything to do with him, and she hasn't had contact with him since. When she checks her e-mail the morning of her birthday, she finds an e-mail from her dad. At first she is hesitant to open it, but curiosity gets the best of her and she can't resist. The e-mail takes her to a blog her dad has created with letters he has written her over the years that she has never seen. He tells her how much he loves her, and even has 12 photos of them together from her childhood, before he disappeared from her life. Pandora downloads the photos to have developed because she actually wants to be able to hold something tangible from him, closes her computer, then rushes to school because she is already late.
Being late to school that day, she gets thrown into a group in class that she normally isn't in, and the two new super hot brothers that every girl in school is falling over, Eli and Theo, happen to be in that group to. Theo is dark, mysterious, intense, but dresses kind of preppy, and Eli is easy going, charming, and popular. Both guys are tall, Theo being 6 feet 8 inches, both guys are built and ooze with hotness. They are really smart, and what Pandora soon finds out is that Theo is pretty much a boy genius. Pandora really notices the tall thing, because at 6 feet herself, she finds very few guys that she has to look up to. She kind of has the rocker vibe thing going on, has short spiky red hair with purple highlights, a nose piercing, and loves band T-shirts. What starts out as a typical birthday is anything but that, which Pandora and the world soon find out.
As most of you already know, Pandora's Box is an artifact found in Greek mythology. The box was actually a large jar that was given to Pandora, which contained all the evils in the world. Today, the phrase "to open Pandora's box" means to perform an action that may seem innocent or harmless, but in ends up turning out to have severe and far-reaching consequences. That said, in this story, one of the most popular online games happens to be named for the same, Pandora's Box. Only today, on her birthday, when Pandora logs onto the game she sees "Happy Seventeenth Birthday Pandora" written on the screen, then a countdown begins for total annihilation in 10 days. This kind of freaks her out. Shortly after things get really weird with the phone, the television, and the electricity. She ends up going to her new neighbor's house to find out if they are having the same problem, and it just so happens that her new neighbors are none other that the two hotties, Eli and Theo. These three team up together, trying to figure out what is going on, Instead of a box, Pandora opens a present on her computer screen associated with the game, which unleashes utter chaos, and it is up to Pandora, Theo, and Eli to save the world from total annihilation.
I loved the story line for this book. Pandora, Theo, and Eli, have to literally play the game on to save the world, both on the computer and in real life. There is nonstop action from beginning to end of this book as they encounter danger, are on the run from the authorities, and travel across the country to find clues for the game, as the world around them fall apart due to the breakdown of technology, which affects every area of life. People are panicked, food and gas are short, marshal law is instituted, and people have gotten mean and downright crazy. These three find themselves in life-threatening situations time and time again.
I really loved Pandora's character. She rose to the occasion and did what needed to be done, in spite of circumstances. Of course this would have been impossible without the help of her heroes, Theo and Eli. In fact, I read the most interesting thing about these guys at The Reader Lines, who featured a guest post from Tracy Deebs, in which she revealed some really cool and interesting facts about Theo and Eli in Doomed (check out the entire post here).
"Theo and Eli are Titans (straight out of Greek Mythology) In the real Pandora myth, Prometheus (Theo in Doomed) and Epimetheus (Eli in Doomed) were charged with creating all the creatures on earth. Epimetheus, the impetuous one, created things like the platypus and the sloth and the hippopotamus while Prometheus labored and labored over only one creature. The gods gave them a certain number of gifts to give out to these creatures that they created and by the time that Prometheus was done with his creation—humanity—Eli had used all the gifts on the other animals. So Prometheus stole fire from the gods as his gift for humanity and the gods’ answer was to create Pandora to punish him, as I mentioned above. In Doomed, Theo steals symbolic fire from the gods in the form of the game matrix, Pandora opens a link instead of a box, and … there’s a lot more of the myth in the book but I don’t want to ruin all the twists and turns ;)"
Doomed is filled with adventure, non-stop action, danger, mystery, humor, and even some romance. The story captured my attention from beginning to end and I loved every minute of it. I loved both Theo and Eli, but have to say I was and am team Theo all the way. He was just amazing. If you are looking for and heart pounding, action packed, exciting story that will leave you breathless then Doomed is one book you should definitely check out. ”
“Rating: PG-13 due to violence
Wow! That is all that I can say right now. I am at a loss for words. I can’t say that I expected much from this story. If I’m to be honest and since this is my review I am. The synopsis sounds interesting- the end of the world and a video game. It had me interested enough to participate in the blog tour. But I have to say that I didn’t expect it to leave me speechless. Maybe it’s because the Mayan prophecies said the world was supposed to end a week ago. I watched all those shows that talked about it and those shows that talked about people planning what they would do if life as we knew it cease to be. Maybe it’s because Doomed was just a bit too realistic. I mean what would the world become if everything that we have come to depend on –communications, gas and electricity, etc…- shut down? Oh, there is so much I could say about that topic alone, so I will move on to the book.
I enjoyed this adventure a lot. Yes, there were moments when I wanted to smack Pandora. I thought she was too whiny and a bit of a crybaby. But really, if I knew my father was responsible for destroying the world and was using me a pawn is evil scheme, I am not sure if I would do any better. I didn’t like her best friend Jules, though. Jules doesn’t get much page time before everything hits the fan. One moment she’s all mouth, her dad is connected to Homeland Security. The next she’s all quiet so she doesn’t get into trouble. I need you all in if you’re going to try to make it past the bluffing stage with the governmental alphabet soup! In the end, I was glad that Jules gets left behind.
On their scavenger hunt to save the world, you really start to get to know Pandora, Theo and Eli. You know that these are not your average tens. All three have family issues. But, I think Pandora has it worse. Her mom is off –again- working out of town. Her father, who is not in the picture, is not inspiring for good guy of the year. Even at the end of the book you don’t feel as if you know everything. You know enough to know that even before Pandora’s Box they all had a lot going on. These characters are complex creatures, as humans are, and they don’t suddenly open up and let the world in just because the world is ending. That’s probably what I like most, despite the fantastic idea – a game that can save the world from a worm designed to destroy it- there’s a lot of realism in the book. Okay, so maybe I’m hoping that if the world is threatened that there’s more than three random teenagers that can save it. For what it is though – a story- it rings with honesty. The pursuit of the FBI and Homeland Security and how they’re discovered and found again and again. How they escape/dodge custody again and again and again. How they feel about what it is that they have to do to keep moving. It’s not a walk in the park and they never make it sound like it is.
For those curious, there is romance. Two boys and one girl, there is a triangle. I think that this one was done successfully. It didn’t just happen because they were stuck on the run together. There was attraction before, and I dreaded thinking that the attraction would blossom in the middle of a life and death scenes. You know the cheesy (and totally unbelievable) ones where the characters realize they are madly in love with each other just because they came close to dying. No, Pandora realizes how ridiculous it would be to act on anything while they were running for their lives (smart girl!). In the end, when they have breathing room, they finally act on it. Will I tell you who? No, there was some back and forth, and I don’t know if she would have thought this from the beginning. Regardless, I think it works. I am happy to learn that this is the first in a new series.
A copy of this galley was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest review.
4 Stars ****
“ I loved this premise and it was executed wonderfully. The attention to detail and the depth of the plot blew me away.
I really connected with Pandora the main character and I loved being in her head. She was brave at the right times she kept her compassion and empathy towards others even when her own world was crumbling. She did just the right amount of freaking out especially for the circumstances.
The tension between Eli and Theo was also great. They are step brothers and also both interested on Pandora which made for some really tense and at times awkward and at others very swoon worthy moments and def. added just the right things at the right moment. They balanced each other out well and had each others backs at just the perfect times. That doesn't mean that they always saw eye to eye but it did create an awesome dynamic.
Though I could appreciate Eli's charm and his more open and flirty demeanor I always was more drawn to Theo. Whether his darker and broody side or the tension and mystery of their opening scene or his protector nature, I was always rooting for him.
I was always wanting to find out more and wondering what they would face next both in the real world and in the video game.
Speaking of, the writing of those scenes was flawless, it was like both they and I were really a part of the action in the video game and not just behind a screen.
It is so chilling too think about a world like this, plunged into disarray and unplugged from technology, and she did a great job of relating the panic, and the tough choices you would have to make in situations like those.
Bottom line: action packed, detailed story with a great plot and main character to adventure with. ”