Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from Netgalley. This has not affect my view of the book. Doomed will be available for purchase January 8, 2013.
You can survive without electricity, the internet, cell phones, or generally any modern convenience for a few days. Yes, it’s tough. But it is plausible. After all, the caveman did it. And for that matter so did anyone else who lived before Al Gore invented the internet. So it is feasible that we’d survive, right? Well, not according to Tracy Deebs which might have been the reason I couldn’t stomach finishing this one.
General Summary: So a computer worm is released thanks to Pandora and the world goes into chaos. Because hey, if you can’t Pinterest and Facebook all day you’re going to die. It gets even worse when the power goes out and people start price gouging (which by the way is illegal and prevented by several statutes). And now Pandora and her new friends must find a way to save the internet and the world as well.
You have to be stupid or make yourself think dumb to not get annoyed with this book (note, being drunk helps too).
I will state this one of the side effects of being a law student is that you’re forced to think logical this can making reading really difficult like in the case of this book. But I think anyone who actually thinks things through when reading this book will be shaking their head at the logical fallacies that are committed.
Okay, let’s start with the obvious: the world doesn’t end when the internet and lights go out. That’s pretty simple, right? And for that matter most people do not go bat shit crazy and run to their neighbors when their electronics suddenly don’t work. The simple and logical thing to do is to try to reboot your system and if that doesn’t work contact your provider and or go to the Apple store to get your computer fixed. Furthermore, rolling black outs are more common than you think. I know my house experienced a couple last summer and I live in the same state as Pandora (which by the way the city she claims to live in is closer to Dallas than Austin if we’re talking about Westlake if it’s West Lake Hills that’s a different story, but the book said Westlake). The whole thing was over exaggerated like a bad disaster movie except not as good since their weren’t any aliens.
Oh yeah, this book needed aliens or a reality check.
Here’s the thing I really do like disaster movies. In fact, their one of my guilty pleasures. But even really bad disaster movies like Independence Day don’t have a cast that is this idiotic or lacked common sense. Seriously, if the technology scene wasn’t bad enough there was this whole scene that disregarded the fourth amendment. And it was like obvious disregard. Just watching Law and Order should’ve told you it was illegal.
Besides the fact that this books expects humanity to be stupid, I also had trouble with the characters. I’ll start with our lead, Pandora. Sure, she has a few lines here and there that make her look potentially kick ass, but those are just words her actions she’s’ just the typical sort of YA heroine you want to throttle. The girl complains endlessly about how her mother doesn’t love her. Look, her mother is probably just trying to make ends meet (because I’m betting her psycho deadbeat dad isn’t paying child support and maintenance) and so what if she’s a high powered corporate lawyer? Seriously, it could be a lot worse. And yeah, I get her mother works for the greedy oil companies…but it’s a way to make a living and to be honest with you guys I worked for an energy company last summer and these people aren’t as hard and callous as mainstream media makes them out to be. A lot of environmental policies are passed because of these companies have taken action. Grant it, they might not have the most altruistic motives but they’re not Satan like Pandora made them out to be. And furthermore, there’s no way her mom is as bad as her dad is a total psychopath. Plus, there are her friends. These random guys that just just randomly show up at her school and are commit multiple felonies for her throughout the course of the novel.
Speaking of multiple felonies, they are committed left and right in this book and because the power’s down the police are incompetent. Right. You know, there is a whole genre of movies (Westerns) where the police department worked without electricity. And yes that makes communication a little difficult but not impossible. Alternative forms of communication are available like radio and telegraph, and any other emergency forms of communication that the government has set out. Once again, I want to reiterate people aren’t totally dependent on technology. Or at least not as much as Deebs would make it seem. Honestly, it would’ve made a lot more sense if this book took place in the distant future where some of this dependency could’ve came off more realistic with enough world building.
Best Feature: Easy Peasy Writing: The writing is very easy to get through. Despite some cheesy lines I didn’t struggle to read this because the prose was ridiculous. It was really quite nice. And I liked the premises too.
Worst Feature: It’s Called Google: The stupidity in this book is astounding. There are tons of simple factual mistakes that had me head desking rapidly. I’m not going to list them all out because that would be a little arbitrary, but come on some of these things were common sense. Take for example, the whole interrogation scene it went beyond ridiculous. Anyone who has watched an episode of Law and Order knows that police interrogations and searches are ran on specific guidelines in the states so that they don’t break the 4th Amendment. Well, the 4th amendment is broken here kids. And our MC instead of keeping her mouth shut and insisting that she won’t talk to the cops without her parents or attorney makes an even bigger mess and then we just have to throw in some police brutality in there for fun. Because don’t you know, all FBI agents/Police/Homeland Security officials are evil. It’s poor generalization. And then there’s the way this entire technology crisis was handled too. It was beyond ridiculous. Deebs gets a lot of things wrong like generators. During Hurricane Ike, my family used a generator off and on for about a week. And we still use the thing to light up our Christmas lights (yeah, we have that big of a display). As long as you have gasoline, the machines can work indefinitely. Stating that they’ll only work a couple of days is stupid. Just like assuming everyone is going to have a computer that has internet access or play that stupid game. Seriously, you would think people would’ve learned at thing or two after Y2K.
Appropriateness: There’s some cussing. Police brutality. Violence. No sex. Honestly, it’s very PG-13.
Blockbuster Worthy: I guess just call in Roland Emmerich and you’ll have your movie. I’m not going to cast though. I don’t think I could think of an actress to play Pandora. And I often had trouble distinguishing the two boys, so I’m not even going to attempt casting them.
Overall Rating: Three out of ten panic attacks. This book was riddled with stupid characters and even dumber plot holes. I do enjoy Deebs writing style though and I think if there would’ve been a little bit more fact checking this book would’ve been enjoyable. Quite frankly, I was a little insulted that Deebs thinks the world would fall apart without technology in the span of hours. She’s obviously never had to survive without power for a week or more like my friends and family had to do during Ike and what people on the East Coast are doing now. Humanity might be a lot of things, Ms. Deebs, but they are adaptable(even Independence Day understood that). They have and could survive without the internet and electricity.