Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Published by: Harlequin Teen on September 24, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, YA
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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.
Countdown was another fast-paced Science Fiction read for me. Although I read Countdown on the heels of Pawn, I thoroughly enjoyed this far-fetched cat and mouse, creepy android robot book. I managed to finish both novels in a span of one day – which is saying something. Though the plot twists seemed to be a bit nonsensical, I could NOT get enough of the GAME Kira and Rogan were forced to play.
Our main character Kira is thief. Choosing to live her life on the streets rather than in the foster care system after the brutal murder of her parents two years ago, she learns very fast what a pretty smile and quick hands can earn you in life. Until one day when she wakes up and finds herself in a dark room, handcuffed and sitting across from a mysterious boy – and known murderer—Rogan Ellis. Both are now part of a secret game called Countdown. Where the stakes are high and so is the reward if you make it through six levels without being disqualified or eliminated…aka, not dying. To win, Kira must learn to trust her inner “psy” abilities, and also the boy who may or may not have killed A LOT of people, including her family.
Now, the plot reminded me a lot of the sci-fi movie GAMER. Where people could essential control “Sims” and go out into the world and do whatever they wanted. On the other hand, they could also play a multiplayer game called “Slayers”, which would allow them to control prison inmates in chaotic battles. If the inmate won, they received their freedom. Essentially, this is what the game of Countdown is. Except, they aren’t being controlled by people yet the people are able to watch their every move via the chips in their heads. Maybe I’m stretching it, but I could see many parallels between the two. And since I might be one of the rare people who enjoyed GAMER, you can see why I enjoyed Countdown too.
My only criticism of the novel is the AI. I found this to be…well…a bit ridiculous. I started laughing towards the end because I just couldn’t bring myself to suspend my disbelief any longer. At first, I was on board with the artificial intelligence when I thought it was just droids in the game. However, once the other plot twist happened I was constantly *face palming*. LOL. Yes, it’s still kind of funny for me to even think about. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the overall novel. Though, the last few chapters after the game is over, left me wanting more of just…the game itself.
Overall, Countdown is a solid novel. The first 50-60% of the book is pure awesome. Just remember though that there will be some weird shenanigans towards the last little bit. If you’re looking for an action filled book with great characters and over-the-top science fiction, then I do recommend picking this one up.