Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ARC Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Published: September 24, 2013
Harlequin Teen
336 (Paperback)
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars

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.


It's been awhile since a book kept me glued to my seat with constant action and suspense. Going into this book, I thought it would be too similar to other dystopian books that I've read. Some parts of the book felt very familiar, but for the most part Countdown was fairly unique.

The biggest problem I had with the book were the main characters. Kira was all over the place. One moment she's this tough girl on the streets that trusts no one, and then the next she's a gullible girl that flees more than she fights. Almost all of the characters in the book lied to her, but she still ended up trusting them in the end because deep down she believes they're a good person. She also decides to trust a convicted murderer because she believes he's not all that bad even though he admitted to killing people. Kira's entire family was murdered so you would think she would never trust someone that confessed to being a murderer but no she ended up befriending him. Her reason for trusting Rogan later in the book once his secrets are mostly revealed makes more sense but before that I thought that she needed some serious help.

I also had a love-hate relationship with Rogan. There was no reason for him to tell Kira that he murdered someone but not give her all the details. It was clear from the very beginning that he was hiding something and that Kira wasn't getting the full story.

I really enjoyed the fast paced and action packed game that Kira and Rogan were in, but after awhile, almost dying every level and saving themselves at the last second got old. It wasn't as intense when the countdown was almost over, but for some reason I couldn't stop reading. The levels were very interesting and I really liked the use of technology, like the implants.

Kira and Rogan's relationship seemed rushed and they almost instantly started to like each other. Kira kept saying how handsome he was for a murderer and . Once I got past insta love and Rogan's past I tolerated their relationship. They made a good team and in the end I ended up really liking them as a couple.

The ending was a little out there, but I think it worked. Garet's talk about the future was actually pretty terrifying because it got me thinking about the cybermen from Doctor Who. Countdown was never boring but it almost felt like there was too much going on at once for it to be anything more than a quick, fun read.

*I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  1. I think Countdown sounds really intriguing, but after reading your review I'm not entirely sure I'd like it, mostly because of Kira. Also, I'm not really a fan of insta-love. But I do like a book that can keep me on the edge of my seat, so I might read it anyway. Great review!

    1. Once you get past those things the book is actually pretty fun. Nothing amazing but it isn't horrible.


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