17622950Title: Countdown

Author: Michelle Rowan

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: October 2013

Genre: Young Adult/ Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Kira Jordan lost everything the night her parents and sister were murdered. She narrowly escaped with her life. Living on the streets hasn’t been easy, but after one simple mistake, Kira wakes up to find herself locked in a room, handcuffed with a monster.

Rogan Ellis has a past that he won’t admit to. No one believes him anyway so why bother to explain? He also wakes up in a cell, bound, with a beautiful girl. But Rowan knows that there is only one way out of the game- to win at all costs.

My expectations for Countdown were high. I’m a fan of Michelle Rowan. I love her Nightwatchers series. This book was originally published years ago, under one of Michelle’s pen names. It is being re-released this October!

The idea of a game show for the death isn’t new, but Rowan does some great things with it. The announcer, counting down the seconds at each task is a nice touch, putting a dangerous time limit on each level and pushing the reader to the edge of their seat. There were a couple of levels that seemed implausible and most of the time I wanted Kira and Rogan to figure stuff out faster. And while the announcer counting down did increase the danger and anxiety in the book, after the fourth time, it wasn’t working for me anymore. That said, the action is fast and doesn’t let up at all until the end. I was quickly flipping through the book, anxious to find out what happened.

There’s not a whole lot of character development. I can’t say I liked Kira or Rogan that much. They each had interesting back stories, but there was something missing in their interactions. There was little chemistry, and I didn’t really believe that they had gone through the things that they were supposed to go have gone through. Also I didn’t believe for a second that they were attracted to each other. The plot moves so quickly, there’s not a whole lot of time for them to get to know each other, you know, fighting for their lives and all. I would have believed it more if they just acknowledged the fact that they were attracted to each other physically but still not sure emotionally yet. But by the end, I’m supposed to be believe that she would risk her life and salvation for him and I’m sorry, but I didn’t buy it.

Overall, Countdown is a fast moving book that readers who want a quick pulse pounding plot will enjoy.

Rating 6 Good