Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk is the sequel to Damned. While I’ll be absolutely sure to avoid spoilers about Doomed, I can’t guarantee there won’t be spoilers for Damned in this post. If you are interested in this series and don’t want any spoilers I have a post about Damned that you can find here. Personally, spoilers don’t bother me too much. Sure, it’s nice to be surprised by how a book ends, but I think there should be more to a book than an ending. I think books are like vacations, a lot of the time the getting there is the exciting bit. I do one hundred percent understand the other side of this however, which is why I’ve been rambling on about spoilers for this whole first paragraph instead of actually talking about the book. If you don’t want Damned spoiled and you’re still reading this right now then you’re a total masochist and I don’t think I can help you. Everybody else scroll on down past the pretty picture and I’ll talk about Doomed for a bit.
Doomed picks right up where Damned left off. Madison is stuck on Earth after missing the curfew for the dead to get back to Hell on Halloween. This book surprised me. I’m not sure quite what I was expecting but this wasn’t it. A good chunk of the book is a flashback to a summer that Madison spent with grandparents. This flashback makes me want to go back and reread Damned because it adds a lot of texture to some of Madison’s inner conflict. I appreciate a good flashback any day of the week and this one was done quite masterfully, but between the flashback and the tangled web of motivations and actions that play out in the present, the story got a little convoluted. There were moments when I had to set it down and walk away to give my brain a chance to sort out the story with out the story getting in the way again.
As a reader trying to suss out the story from the tangled webs was a little frustrating but I do appreciate the depth it gave to Madison’s character. Throughout the narrative it’s easy to forget that she is very young. Preteen kind of young. We are seeing the story, for the most part, through her, via her blog posts. She is not only in the dark about whatever ominous plans the various powers in her life, and death, have, but she’s in the dark about a lot things that she simply never learned because she never got to the age that she would learn them. There are certain plot points where this is wildly obvious and there are others where it’s a little more subtle, but I think the confusion within the story is the confusion of a kid trying to figure out the mess of an adult and demon world well before she’s an adult or a demon.
If you’ve read Damned, you understand the world you’re entering upon cracking open this book is a strange and kind of gross one. While there aren’t lakes of fetuses and semen in this book, the grossness is almost worse because it’s not in Hell, somewhere I imagine nobody reading this has been though I can’t speak for whether you’ll go or not (though via the rules in this Damned and in this book, I am totally going to Hell…so, see you there I guess.), it’s on Earth. In Doomed we get a clear picture of the gross intentions behind some pretty upsetting actions and we get to see it all through a little dead girls blog posts.