Author: Tracy Deebs
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, YA Fiction, Romance
Premise: This book has a pretty interesting premise. The world is ending because of a video game. Pandora opened an email from her disappearing dad and created this whole worm that started to take over the world. And Pandora has to play the video game Pandora’s Box to try and stop this worm. And she has two uber-hot sidekicks named Theo and Eli.
Plot: Honestly, I don’t like the plot. The first time Pandora finds the clues…it’s interesting. You lean in and go ‘uh-huh.’ What next? Well, she does that over. And over. And over. Like…three or so times. There were interesting moments. Theo and Pandora stepping out to protect that lady during the biker gang part? Amazing. I loved it. I really got to see Pandora in action. And Theo was ‘meh’. I felt my heart race a bit. Were they going to make it? Were they going to get caught? Gasp gasp! Another part I liked was in the very beginning with Emily. I mean…Emily would be a nice add-on for a character. She could have her own adventure with Pandora. But nope! She’s only in that scene. I felt like this was the first time you truly saw how brave and daring Theo and Eli were. Mostly…Theo. Yeah. Mostly Theo.
I felt like this plot was a record on repeat. We got new challenges in the game and in real life, but the structure was the same. Look for coordinates. Match up the photos. Find the code word. Beat the challenge. Level up. Blah blah blah. We get it! It’s a video game. Honestly, the challenges got boring. And it seems like the author got bored too. She just skimmed through them. And if the AUTHOR does that? Pah.
The romance was so random. Let’s throw in a brooding character! Let’s give him a funny stepbrother! Let’s make the girl have these tingling feelings for both! Let’s make a love triangle!
Yawn. I’m sorry, but love triangles are old news. I really don’t think it’s interesting anymore. You lost me at level one of the relationships. This book would have been better without them. The author probably felt like it lacked a relationship, so she tacked two into it.
Pandora. I don’t like Pandora. I can’t picture her character. Honestly. I feel like…there are moments when the tallness isn’t mentioned. At all. I feel like she’s this extremely skinny and extremely tall person. For some reason, this author likes tall people. Six feet? Really? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Pandora is okay. She’s not my favorite type of character. She is whiny. And a bitch really in the beginning. She grows, though. Which is good. She becomes nicer. And more into romance… The latter is something I could care less about!
Theo. There is a term in the roleplay world for a character like this. Godly. He really is. He’s tall. He’s muscular. He’s smart. He has some type of feelings for Miss. I’m-tall-too. He seems perfect. He has the dark and brooding thing going in the beginning. I gasped when he almost strangled Pandora. He could have been dark and scary, but Tracy Deebs dropped that. It’s like…she forgot he was dark and brooding. There are moments when you feel it, but it’s mostly…not there. At all. I mean, Theo starts off as this really cool brooding guy. He turns into this ‘hug it out, bro’ person. I truly hate this character’s change. And he had so much potential too!
Eli. Eli Eli Eli. The third wheel. I don’t mind nice characters, but you have to do it right. And he is just wrong. He’s a side character really. Theo and Pandora are the players. Eli is just third wheeling his way through life. He isn’t really participating. Theo takes the bullets. Theo takes the pain. Eli could have been something more, and Tracy Deebs just didn’t pursue that. I wish she did. I really did. I mean…she could have done so much more!
Problems: This book had obvious potential. It just didn’t go the way I liked it to. The plot was…boring. It was repetition. I will add…it was a bit slow. There are books I wish had gone on longer, and this isn’t one of those.
The romance! Goodness. It’s a terrible love triangle. Eli is third wheeling his way through this book. And he isn’t a romantic partner. I hope Tracy Deebs didn’t mean to put Eli and Pandora scenes. I really hope that is true. But the romance itself is stupid. There is no chemistry. You don’t feel something for Theo. He isn’t giving up his true self. I can tell there is a tortured soul underneath, and Pandora is barely scratching the surface. The romance is out of place. Really. It is. I’ve seen romances that tear the two apart. ‘Legend’s Day and June. ‘Divergent’s Tris and Four. ‘Enclave’s Fade and Deuce. Amazing romances! But…not Theo and Pandora.
The characters all had the potential to be amazing. They just fell short. They weren’t what I expected. I wanted more Emily. More Theo. Why is Pandora such…a terrible character? She had the potential. She grew, but it wasn’t the way I wanted. And Eli could have been so much more! Tracy Deebs was focused on Mr. Perfect and Ms. I’m-Complaining-My-Way-Through.
Good points: There really are only a few points. There was the action. It wasn’t bad action. It just didn’t seem like amazing action. I mean…some scenes were good. There really wasn’t…what I wanted. There seemed like so many things lacking. The romance was crazy and useless. The characters had potential to be more.
The premise was amazing. I feel like Tracy Deebs fell…short on this book. I hope she tries it again. Her writing isn’t bad or anything. I could stomach it. It just didn’t seem like her story. This premise just didn’t work for her.
Recommended: If you like science fiction and dystopian colliding. If you like a race against the clock. If you like a road trip.