ARC Review: Countdown


Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013

Countdown3 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.

My Thoughts:

I really don’t give YA enough credit sometimes. I went into this, not sure what to expect, and after a few pages, was totally sucked in and couldn’t put it down. This is a fabulous book.

Kira is a strong young woman who after being arrested for a minor crime wakes up to find herself thrust into a very dangerous game, played for high stakes – a chance to leave the hellish world she belongs to and go to the Utopian settlement that only the lucky few end up in (versus the dirty streets filled with the poor who survived the plagues). Unfortunately, to get there she has to get through several levels of a deadly game, with only the convicted killer Rogan Ellis to help her. The game is being run for the benefit of those with too much money, and clearly too few scruples, to watch (think Hunger Games, except there are no annual Hunger Games, simply pay-per-view for the rich).

Rogan isn’t an innocent, but he’s also not the monster Kira thinks he is initially. He’s got some pretty dark secrets and a lot of guilt he’s harboring for his part in the PPV setting of the games.

There are twists and turns a plenty. Romance does begin to blossom as Kira comes to trust Rogan more. There are multiple layers to the villains of this book, and I love the twist on AI (artificial intelligence) that Ms. Rowen puts in. Pretty darned sneaky sometimes.

Absolutely no trouble giving this a 5-star rating and I hope to see more books in this world and by Ms. Rowen. She certainly leaves the door wide open for the possibility in the future!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.



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