Author: Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Walker & Co. – Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: January 2013
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.
For the most part, this books was excellent; definitely exceeding expectations since reading Tempest Unleashed. But, I should have known – the cover was just way too awesome to not be a good book. I really liked Pandora as a character; she had her flaws, some of which annoyed me, but for the most part, she earned my love and respect. My problem with her lies in her love life, and it’s more of a problem with the author than her. For me, the romance in the book was weird, to say the least. I thought that the whole choosing between Theo and Eli was too drawn out and honestly, unrealistic. The “dark” side to both the boys was a bit awkwardly written, starting in the beginning with the strangling bit and then the downright scary mood that Pandora occasionally induces in Eli. But I liked the boy that Pandora ended up with; they made a cute couple. I just wish that they had gone about getting together a little differently.
The concept of the book was definitely creative – the mixing of a Greek legend with modern-day teenagers and technology was genius. I loved how the FBI and other governmental agencies (alphabet soup) got involved, too. The whole book, in fact, reminded me of the TV show Revolution that I watch (yes, I’m a total dork that way) where there is no electric power and a military government had to take over to keep from total anarchy. So in that respect, the book was good. However, it was a little choppy in transitions and sometimes descriptions. I get that it’s not the final copy yet, but there was some smoothing over that needed to be done; it just seemed like there wasn’t a whole lot of down time, at least to me. It was kind of well this happens, and then we drive and run out of gas so we steal a car and drive some more, then we find a clue and run into the government (meanwhile, how did they find us – again?) and then drive hurriedly away some more.
Okay, I know I seem like I’m sort of bashing, and to an extent, there were some things I didn’t like. But on the other hand, I read this book in less than two days. I don’t read long books quickly without a good reason, so the fast-paced action was a positive quality. So were my favorite scenes, like the last time Pandora sees her best friend Emily in this book, or the scene where Theo hacks the game. And honestly, even the bad stuff wasn’t too bad, the ending included. I mean, it kind of just stopped, with no way to tell how their lives would go on, what would happen to the three of them, Emily, their parents, the government, etc. So despite these negative things, if there is going to be a second book, I will be reading it. I will be a bit reserved, but I will definitely want to know what happens to Pandora next. Because if there is one true thing about this book, it is that Pandora definitely experiences some heart-stopping action and adventure.
**Note: Due to language and some violence, I recommend this book for ages 13 & up.