Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowan


Title: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen 
Publishing Date: October 1st 2013
Pages: 336
Genre:  YA Sci-Fi Thriller/Cyber Punk
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.


This book grabbed me the moment I discovered it. The synopsis sounded very entertaining.and very promising for something fresh and new and it was. Fresh and new and entertaining. The story starts off very quickly and runs from there. A ton of action, full of thrill and of course a bit of romance. 

In the future after the plague, the country is going downhill fast. There is a distinct line between those who have money and those that don't. Kira lost her family and has been an orphan on the streets for years. Rogan is a criminal on his way to prison for the crime of murder, mass murder. They both end up locked up together in the dark and find that it is not coincidence. They have been brought together to partner up for a lethal game on the web, Countdown. They must race against the clock doing whatever task they are told to do and they just might survive to the end. Kira and Rogan are given tasks that include pain, sacrifice, and murder.  During the game secrets unravel, friendships made, romance found, and loyalty tested. 

This book was definitely a thrill ride. It was one of those books that had moments I was literally on the edge of my seat, mouth hanging open, daring not to blink, holding breath, muscles tense, waiting for the next move. Even though I was pretty sure neither main character would die, I still felt it was a possibility at any time. This was the thing I loved the most in this book. I was so wrapped up in the game and the tasks. 

The game wasn't the main of the story. It was the beginning and the introduction. I really thought the entire book would be the game, but nope, there was so much more. The story went from thrill ride to a evil company take down. If you are looking for a good cyber punk story with extreme thrills, this is the book for you.  I loved the story behind the game. The evil, the villain, the theory, it all made sense in my head. 

The characters lacked a bit for me. I think this was the downer in the book that actually caused my rating to fall down one heart. They weren't bad characters, they just had some flaws I couldn't look past. Kira had some real potential for me. She was a street rat and lived on her own, surviving. She was intelligent when it came to making it on her own and figuring things out. When it came to actually using common sense... not so much. I didn't like her hot and cold towards Rogan and his crimes. One moment she felt pulled to him and his crimes didn't matter, she trusted him, she wanted to be around him... then quickly she didn't trust him at all, would be angry at him, and hate that she was stuck with him. Just a bit to wishy washy for me.

I actually liked Rogan a bit more, especially after his full story came out. I felt there was more to him from the very beginning and knew I wanted to like him. It was hard when he was cold and distant, but once he opened up he became a great character. The only issue I had with him was his very fast developing feelings for Kira. I didn't understand them and didn't think it fit well with his character. 

The ending was pretty phenomenal for me. I loved the way the story ended and had a very complete, satisfied, absolute closure for me. I enjoyed have a stand alone among the cascade of series I have been reading. 

It was a pretty good read. I had a lot of fun with it. 

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