Friday, October 11, 2013

Countdown by Michelle Rowen

CountDown by Michelle Rowen 4 STARS

CountdownSynopsis3 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.  GAME OVER
*Netgalley ARC provided a copy in exchange for a review. 

Rating: PG-13-
Characters:  Rogan, Kira, Oliver, Jonathan and Gareth 
Page Turner: YES
Series Cont.? No
Book Boyfriend: Rogan
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Sex Scenes: no 
Setting- New York
Recommend if you liked- Hunger Games, Found, Talented,

Overall-I REALLY liked this book. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. I couldnt put it down and had to know everything. I liked that this is a stand alone, and while it could have used a little more development, in both plot and character, overall I felt that it captured my attention and kept me entertained and intrigued throughout. I really liked the ending too! This book reminded me of Saw mixed with Hunger Games mixed with a sci fi element like Found and Talented. I was blown away with the world building and crazy scenarios! This is a great stand alone dystopian novel with a sci fi twist.

Plot-- This was mind-bending roller coaster story set in a not too distant future where a plague decimated most of the population and the rest of world struggled to overcome the aftermath. The rich instead of living on the ground but rather live on the Colony a floating society. Leaving the rest of the people to stick it out on the ground. The Countdown is a death match televised to the select group where the partners are required to finish a deadly task in the allotted time. The beginning reminded me of the movie Saw, where two people are locked in a room chained to the wall and in order to survive they must trust one another and help each other. What was intriguing in this book were the characters background. Unlike most books, this novel developed based on the characters past coming to light and their necessity to trust one another which further the plot.

I loved all the different plot twists and secrets that came out and really enjoyed the dynamic between Rogan and Kira. The relationship and tension that developed and evaporated felt genuine, given the scenario. Even though their connection was developed over a short period of time, that didnt detract from their overall relationship and the development of this. I felt that their relationship moved well with the plot points. I loved that the author really kept me on my toes through everything. I could not have guessed all the different issues and scenarios that these two would face and was pleasantly surprised with this book!

Cassie Steele in Countdown
Kira - Cassie Steele
Kira--I liked Kira, her sarcasm and bite kept me on my toes. Her thought process seemed very raw and genuine. Obviously as the game continues she becomes more knowledgable about the process and what to look for, so I felt that she grew in this way, becoming more understanding of her surroundings. I liked that she was a fighter. She stood up to Rogan, and Gareth. She rationalized and pieced things together before acting as time continued and that felt very normal. I loved her relationship development with Rogan. I think she may have been a little too trusting and paranoid at times, going from hot to cold quite quickly at times, but if she were trusting her instinct, her gut, then perhaps thats possible. Generally speaking though she did lack some character development, she didnt quite overcome any of her fears. But I think she didnt in fact become stronger over the course of the book.

robbie amell - Google Search
Rogan Robbie Amell
Rogan--Oh Rogan! So beautifully and undeniably handsome, and such a fighter. I LOVED learning about Rogan and his background. I was NOT expecting his history, at all. I was pleasantly surprised with this character though overall. I felt like her was rough, yet tender. His development over the course of the books was based on him letting go of his guilt, and learning to forgive himself. To trust his instincts and to be honest. I think love really opened his eyes to this, and in reality just having someone believe in you, can make all the difference. Rogan was a giver and a fighter and all around a good guy underneath a harsh exterior given his unfortunate background and circumstances. I think he could have been developed a little more towards the end of the novel with the antagonist and their battle, but otherwise felt he was strong, and genuine character that Id trust my life with! Doesnt hurt that hes sweet and attractive too....

What I didnt like-
- One thing I didnt like was part of the resolution in the ending. Without giving anything, thats really all I can say.
- It felt a little too short and rushed. A little more development would have led to a longer book and more character development for the main heroine. (That said Im glad its a Stand alone.)

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