Monday, April 21, 2014


By: Michelle Rowen
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Released : Available Now
Details: paperback from publisher for honest review, 


Blurb: 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.


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

I love dystopian reads, the world authors can create for the reader can be outstanding, the book can make it to the big screen.

I have read previous works by Michelle and enjoyed them. 

Countdown was a read that I had some difficulty with.

There were parts I loved. I totally dug the start of this book, even if it gave off a strong SAW, the movie , vibe.

Two people unconscious, chained in a room, one wounded , both have keys to the others lock. Who trusts who?

Let the game begin!

I felt this was a strong start to this book with great potential. I really liked Rogan. I felt for him. I thought his character could have been amazing, but it took a bit of a backseat to the shit his life had turned into. I felt I was missing a character connection with both Kira and Rogan to me.

Now, this is just my personal one opinion and I have checked other reviews out prior to writing mine. Not something I do often.

I desperately wanted to love this book, because it is a genre I LOVE.

I love fast paced reads.

I found from just looking on Goodreads only, that readers either felt like me, or loved this book. It is awesome that other readers got so much more from this read than I did.

So I gather it’s just a case of some will , some won’t.

Hey, we can’t all like the same book. My thoughts are nothing against Michelle, they are just maybe my frustration at the story line.

My personal thoughts.

I felt the game felt too easily resolved in each level. The story had too much convenience in solutions to the drama Kira and Rogan were in.

“How did you know to ring the bell?”

I finally looked at him. “Lucky guess.”

“Yes,” a voice said. “Very lucky indeed.”

I didn’t believe from the start that Rogan was the guy portrayed to the reader. It felt a bit forced.

I think the number of pages turned, gave me indication in areas of how these two would survive. What I mean is, when you aren’t very far into the book and you are already a few levels out of six completed, I could tell they would make it.

Sometimes a book can be too fast paced for it’s own storyline good.

There were some twists to extend the story outside of the game, which I very much enjoyed.

I can’t help thinking that epic fail number 1 for any type of game/hunting situation, is not having a tracking doodah inserted into the players. Maybe the Producer was too confident in his levels and players abilities. I know they had implants, but that is different.

To me this led to convenience for the storyline.

I had questions about the storyline. Why was Kira’s family murdered and not her? I understand that her family got in the way. I know that a certain person was hired to do it, but if she was the target originally, by some mystery villain?? , why not come back for her at a later date. I just have questions about that part. She was obviously important enough that a person was hired to knock her off, two years earlier. This person just gave up after his first attempt didn’t pan out for him. It was a paid job. I understand she flew the coop, but...


Kira’s association with the Producer came from a more random entry. It felt too easy considering what we find later on.

I understand the weaving of characters being connected, but...?

Why would you shut your eyes in front of the person who has to kill you to advance in the game. I know they asked for you to use your PSI on them, but ultimately for them to survive the level, they had to kill you. I found that a bit odd. Then you take the time to search their mind. I know they asked you to, again, WT! I know it was so the reader got this information, but...WT!!

Characters gave up information, kind of easily. I felt myself rolling my eyes a fair bit while reading. Things appeared too easy so the story could move forward even though it was a difficult situation, if that makes sense.

Jonathan knew who instigated the virus, but never did anything about it??


But wanted to, when it was nearly too late?? Considering , again, what we find out in the story.

Sometimes the dialogue annoyed me a little.

“Well that’s rude,” Gareth said, shaking his head. “Honestly, kids. You don’t even want to apologize to me for ruining my plans yet again?”

“There’s one more level beneath this one,” XXXX said. “I was supposed to start working down there soon.” He sighed. “I guess that’s not going to happen anymore.”

Now, if you knew the circumstances, you would understand why it annoyed me, but there were other things about the dialogue too. I think that is up to interpretation, but I found myself rolling my eyes.

“I’m recovering.” I hobbled along quickly on my injured ankle. “Call me crazy, but I don’t think sucking in poisonous gas until you’re almost dead is something you can just shake off.”

You and me sister, yet you did just shake it off. You got that shiz inside you, it is deadly.

I’m trying not to sound rude. I am frustrated. I am annoyed with myself for not loving this book. In saying that , I did enjoy parts of the book.

Some readers totally loved this book, so my opinion is very different to theirs.

Which is magnificent.

Give it a try if you like a dystopian, game read.

You may be a total lover of Countdown and think I am bat-shit crazy and throw a pillow at me.

And, I am ok with that :) 



  1. *Throws pillow* Aggh! I certainly appreciate your opinion--excellent review, as always, but I totally loved Countdown! Thought it was brilliant :) But that's just me..... :D

    1. Hehe!! I saw your review Rach and I wondered if I would get a pillow to the head from you :D

  2. It's funny I'm currently reading a book by the author but a chick-lit/paranormal one. I really enjoyed the series but I didn't know this one. I'm intrigued. And you're right, it's what I love about dystopians books, the world. I'm always curious to see the ideas of the author, to see what she'll add because so many possibilities are opened here. It's just too bad it was to fast...

    1. Melliane this one was originally released under Michelle Maddox in 2008, got a face lift and rereleased by Harlequin 2013. Michelle also is Morgan Rhodes, she has a fantasy series. I have Michelle's Nightwatcher's series to read on my shelf and have read some of her adult stuff - Nightshade series couple books in that.

      Give this one a go you may be throwing a pillow at me too :D

  3. Hmmm I don't think this is for me. Although i agree with your general take on dystopians, the worlds they create are so amazing it would be nice to see it on screen.

    1. I think Miss B, apart from errrr. The King, lol!! We both have very similar tastes and thoughts in books, so maybe this one isn't for you. We look at similar things when reading. Errr...except for The King. HA! * wink*


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