Thursday, 22 August 2013

ARC Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen


Author: Michelle Rowen
Series: -
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher/Source: Harlequin Teen
Release date: 24th September 2013

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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. 


Review: 3 out of 5 stars

Countdown has the most appealing premise so I was super excited to start on it and whilst I thought it was a quick, fun and entertaining read it unfortunately left me a little underwhelmed.

Caught up in an online, deadly underground game where subscribers pay to see participants fight their way through a number of timed brutal levels which could possibly lead to death is petty thief, Kira Jordan and convicted murderer Rogan Ellis. They don’t have a choice about whether they participate; they are thrown into the game unknowingly with the sole purpose to entertain others.

Kira’s family were violently murdered and her life since has been tough to say the least so she was a bit of a snarky, hardened character. Rogan was smexy and likeable, I really came to feel quite sorry for him but I didn’t find the mystery surrounding him all that surprising.   

The plot was fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat, flipping through the pages wanting to learn more; with Kira and Rogan’s every move controlled and monitored it didn’t leave them with much breathing space but I came to enjoy the trust they shared and the bond they eventually formed, even though it was all quite rushed. 

There was a lot about this book I liked – the concept of being forced to participate in a deadly game I found to be fascinating, the action was awesome and the characters interesting but the lack of detail about the world that the characters were now living in I found to be missing. Life in a colony was mentioned on numerous occasions but I am still a tad clueless about this well-populated place and the number of deaths was unbelievable. Also, I felt Kira's PSI skills could have been developed further, I enjoyed the sci-fi element but found the paranormal aspect a little odd. I'm unsure if this will be made into a series, if so I hope it will be explored a bit more.

I enjoyed this book solely for entertainment purposes but I definitely had to suspend my sense of reality. The writing was engaging and I will look out for more books by this author.

Overall, filled with action, danger and romance Countdown is an enjoyable futuristic thriller.

Thank-you kindly to Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review Countdown.

Note: Countdown is a YA reimagining of a previous adult title with the same name written under the pen name of Michelle Maddox.

Michelle RowenAbout the author: National bestselling author MICHELLE ROWEN writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy, both light and dark, sexy and sweet, long and short -- it all depends on the story! She's won a Holt Medallion for Best First Book and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Vampire Romance. For more information, please visit Michelle at her website at


  1. I read one other book by this author and I remember it being entertaining, but I had a hard time with the characters.
    The idea of the underground reality game is quite appealing and I'm very intrigued.
    I wouldn't expect any paranormal elements either so I can see why you thought it was a little odd.
    Anyways, I'm glad that you enjoyed it, Sharon.
    Lovely review! :)

    1. Thanks Nick, I really enjoyed the premise for this one; it was interesting,

  2. Thanks for the informative review. I have been on the fence about requesting this one. I just have so many to read. Maybe I can get to it one day. It doesn't sound bad.

    1. Thanks Ellen, it was an ok read for me; it would be great if it was to be made into a series so we can get to learn more about the world created.


Thank-you so much for stopping by today!

I love to receive your comments, please leave your blog link & I'll be sure to stop by.

I also respond to your comment here on my blog :)