Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Source: Publisher for Review (Netgalley)
Edition: eArc (304 pages)
Genre: Science Fiction
Cover Review: I personally like this cover a lot. It's really cool and I love the yellow.
Tagline: What would you do to escape the game?
Main Character: Kira Jordan
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 ever more 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.
*Thank you to Harlequin Teen for the review copy in exchange for an honest review!*
The Countdown is a show that some people can see if they pay to have implants in their head. They can then watch it without everyone knowing that they're watching. Countdown is a game with six levels that takes place right under everybody's nose. Each level has a certain task and it must be completed in a certain amount of time. Basically, you must beat the countdown if you want to survive. If you don't beat the countdown, you're killed on the spot. Usually, contestants are males that are coming for prison. To be on Countdown would be an opportunity for escape if you were a prisoner, because death is pretty much already hanging over your head.
Countdown was truly a fascinating book because I've never read anything like it. The whole idea of a game that had to be completed in real life in a certain amount of time really piqued my interest. The characters in Countdown were utterly awesome. Kira, the main character, is the first female contestant on Countdown. She is an orphan, since her family was murdered one night while she was in her house. The only reason why Kira survived was because the murderer fled the scene after hearing the sirens and the police coming. Since she's an orphan, Kira survives by thievery. She doesn't have any other way to live. Kira is really strong and witty. She definitely made a very unique heroine.
Rogan, Kira's teammate in the Countdown, is a murderer. In the past, he murdered many girls and ended up going to juvie for it. Rogan made the choice of coming on the show because he practically already had a death sentence over his head. Therefore he chose to go on the show while Kira didn't, which is one of the few differences between them. Rogan was a very mysterious character in the beginning, which of course I fell in love with. I just wanted to know everything about him, especially his story. Kira and Rogan worked really well together; I was quite surprised by how they clicked.
Countdown was a really fast-paced novel. You're literally thrown directly into the story on the first page. There's no dilly-dallying around in this story, which I adored. I'm not one for a slow story, trust me. I was never bored in this novel because I always wanted to know what the next level entailed. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire ride. I just found this novel in general so fascinating.
I've never read anything by Michelle Rowen before, though after reading this novel, I'm definitely going to have to check out her other works. Michelle Rowen is such a marvelous writer. Though I read this as an e-copy, I may have to buy this as a physical copy because it's definitely worth many rereads, as it's currently one of my favorites of this year.
Recommended for fans of:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse