Michelle Rowen
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Harlequin Teen
Release Date
September 2013
Young Adult Romance

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.


Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Sep 24, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
83 people found the following review helpful
COUNTDOWN delights with high-octane action and edge-of-your-seat suspense, as well as twists and turns that I never saw coming.

Countdown is a televised reality show which use hardened male criminals as contestants. They had go through six levels of challenges, which they had to complete within a certain period of time. Not completing it in time means death.

But for the first time ever, they chose Kira as one of the contestants. Kira, a sixteen-year-old thief, never thought to be fighting for her life after stealing a pair of red shoes. Nor could she imagine that she'd be teamed up with a handsome, eighteen-year-old boy called Rogan, who allegedly murdered nine college girls. What's worse, they were fitted with implants in their head, wherein she couldn't be ninety feet away from Rogan or she'd die.

How will she get out of this alive?

COUNTDOWN is set in a post-apocalyptic future, when a plague wiped away about sixty percent of the world population. In this world, the technology is much advanced, with artificial intelligence and implants in a person's head allowing him to subscribe and watch shows. It's a world more relatable than other dystopian worlds in the genre, as it's a world that we could foresee happening in the future.

The pace of the story is just right, with a mix of action and dialogue (revelations) to keep the reader enthralled and engaged. It was interesting to see how Kira and Rogan would be able to get past all six levels, and what happens next when they did. The plot was realistic enough, with unexpected twists and turns to keep things exciting. I love the chemistry between the two main characters and I enjoyed their sarcastic wit and banter, which earned a laugh or two from me. Toward the end, what Rogan said was enough to make my romantic heart all a-flutter.

"...Now that they're (the implants) out, I still feel like I shouldn't be more than ninety feet away from you or I might die."

Be still, my heart.

However, I thought the things they needed to neutralize the villain were almost too handy. The stuff they needed was there for them to use when they need it, so much so that they seemed a bit contrived. Nothing is that easy in life, as we know it. But other than that, I enjoyed this story a lot.

If you like The Hunger Games and reality TV and post-apocalyptic settings, check out this book. You won't be disappointed.
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