Reviews for Doomed


Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
Pandora Walker really wants to be a normal teen. But that's definitely not happening after she unwittingly releases a technological Armageddon on the world. Raised by a mother who always insisted Pandora's father was a bad person and that she should never respond to any contact from him, Pandora naturally can't resist clicking on a birthday e-mail link from the mysterious man she has never known. She instantly plunges the modern world into a dark age that might be saved only by playing--and winning--her favorite virtual reality game. Assisted by Theo and Eli, handsome stepbrothers who share an uneasy alliance as well as a thoroughly hormonal hold over Pandora's interest, she attempts to save the world, track down her father, and not lose her mind in the process. As the teens run from every government agency possible, the virtual world blends with the real world in an eerie dance. Deebs' fifth novel (Tempest Unleashed, 2012) smartly utilizes the classic love triangle, teen-as-outsider, and universal search for love in this amalgam between the Pandora myth and very contemporary fears about "the grid" going down. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Pandora's long-absent father wreaks worldwide havoc with a worm that shuts down all electronics--except for his video game, Pandora's Box. With hotties Eli and Theo, Pandora follows clues in reality and inside the game to find and stop her father. The fast pace and high stakes make for a suspenseful read, and dynamics among Pandora and the guys add romantic tension.

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #1
"Beat the game. Save the World." An eco-disaster cyberthriller races through a checklist of teen-lit clichés at a nonetheless entertaining clip. Pandora Walker's career-obsessed mother may have forgotten her 17th birthday, but not her long-absent father. Unfortunately, his unexpected email kicks off a countdown to global apocalypse, via an Internet virus that shuts down the power grid and electronic communications. With the authorities hot on her trail and civil society collapsing, Pandora teams up with two bitterly antagonistic but conveniently skilled (and gorgeous!) stepbrothers to track down the clues planted in an online game before time runs out. From tag line to climax, this story is an unapologetic flood of pop-culture allusions and predictable young-adult-novel tropes. The "real-life" narrative mirrors the structure of the virtual game: a road trip with puzzles, monsters, obstacles, miniature lessons and escalating threats leveling up to the final boss fight. This conceit, despite the relentless pace and genuine dangers, results in an oddly detached effect. Similarly, the characters are strangely empty archetypes: the neglectful parents, the sassy best friend, the sinister government agent, the environmental activist–turned-terrorist, the charming, careless jock and the tormented genius bad boy. Pandora herself, although bestowed with a random-feeling array of personality quirks, serves as little more than a place holder for the player--er, reader. Still, the zippy prose and day-after-tomorrow currency make for a quick and enjoyable (if forgettable) read. (Science fiction/thriller. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #3

Deebs (Tempest Rising) offers an action-heavy contemporary retelling of the Pandora myth with a virtual gaming twist, but few ties to the original story. Despite some parental neglect, Pandora is an otherwise typical teenage girl, concerned with school, social media, and particularly the online game Pandora's Box. When she opens a series of emailed pictures from her estranged father, she ends up releasing a computer worm that could potentially destroy the world's infrastructure. Pandora, along with two handsome stepbrothers (one a popular jock, the other a brooding outsider), enters the game as an avatar in an effort to set things right. Deebs's story unfolds at breakneck speed, yet characters are only loosely drawn; even Pandora is defined primarily by her anger at her mother and father and by her romantic conflicts. The exploration of human dependence on technology adds tension (readers will empathize with panicked characters once technological resources become unavailable), but the eventual denouement and revelation of the villain's motivations are unsurprising. Ages 12-up. Agent: Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Deebs (Tempest Rising) offers an action-heavy contemporary retelling of the Pandora myth with a virtual gaming twist, but few ties to the original story. Despite some parental neglect, Pandora is an otherwise typical teenage girl, concerned with school, social media, and particularly the online game Pandora's Box. When she opens a series of emailed pictures from her estranged father, she ends up releasing a computer worm that could potentially destroy the world's infrastructure. Pandora, along with two handsome stepbrothers (one a popular jock, the other a brooding outsider), enters the game as an avatar in an effort to set things right. Deebs's story unfolds at breakneck speed, yet characters are only loosely drawn; even Pandora is defined primarily by her anger at her mother and father and by her romantic conflicts. The exploration of human dependence on technology adds tension (readers will empathize with panicked characters once technological resources become unavailable), but the eventual denouement and revelation of the villain's motivations are unsurprising. Ages 12-up. Agent: Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

Gr 9 Up--Pandora Walker, 17, hasn't heard from her father in 10 years, so she's shocked when she receives an email on her birthday. Despite her mother's warning to never have anything to do with him, she opens the email. Clicking on pictures and links to read sweet, nostalgic letters makes her feel loved in a way that she hasn't in a long time. What the teen doesn't realize is that each click releases a section of code. All combined, they create a computer worm that will annihilate civilization. Pandora's father is a cyberterrorist, and he's using her as a pawn to destroy the world. Or is he? He's left her one ray of hope buried deep in an online multiplayer game. If Pandora and her friends can track down clues in real life and in the game, they just might be able to stop the destruction. This novel combines reality, virtual reality, and a love triangle in a nonstop, action-filled plot. As the three heroes race across the country, readers are pulled into their increasingly frantic, dangerous, and desperate search. Character development is secondary here, but the characters are likable, if not all that believable. The plot itself has a few holes, leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and ultimately tries to wrap everything up too quickly. Overall, however, this is still an enjoyable title for gaming- and adventure-loving teens.--Heather E. Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

[Page 91]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

----------------------
VOYA Reviews 2013 February
When Pandora Walker downloads photos from a surprise birthday e-mail from her estranged father, she unwittingly unleashes an Internet worm that targets communication and utility networks. As the grids begin to shut down worldwide, Pandora flees with neighbors Eli and Theo, with various federal law enforcement agencies in hot pursuit. Pandora and the boys follow clues from her father's photos and codes embedded in a popular online game, Pandora's Box. Pandora's father has created a twisted scavenger hunt with very high stakes: a doomsday clock in the game begins a ten-day countdown to "total annihilation." The three teens race to solve the puzzles and find Pandora's father as the world begins its descent into chaos. Deebs has written a modern retelling of the Pandora myth. There is a lot to like here. The characters are smart and interesting, particularly the independent and capable Pandora. There is mystery, suspense, action, a love triangle, post-apocalyptic chaos, and the threat of Armageddon. Descriptions of violence and the breakdown of law and order are shocking at times, but convey a palpable sense of danger. People get hurt, people die, and desperate people do bad things when they run out of options. Although it is unrealistic to believe that three teens could elude the feds for as long as they do, readers will cheer for them anyway. The ending is both hopeful and poignant. This smart, action-packed thrill ride has something for everyone.--Amy Fiske 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

----------------------