Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Pre-Order: Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble
Author: Michelle Rowen
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication: September 24, 2013
Copy Provided By: Netgalley

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 is about a girl named Kira and a boy named Rogan who have been thrust together to play a twisted game of cat and mouse. The book can best be described as The Contenders meets The Condemned meets The Hunger Games meets... well you get the point it's basically a fight to the death that is televised. Riches and Glory awarded to the winner and of course the main couple are both ridiculously good looking. 

Kira is a character that I'm still trying to figure out whether I liked or hated her. On one hand I understand her behavior. You don't just get over hearing your family being murdered that easily. On the other I think she might've been bi-polar. Kira just flip flopped emotionally so much that it became a bit tiring over the course of the book. Things Kira should've been sad about elicited no reaction while others that seemed silly did.  Also she spent way to much time focused on Rogan's good looks. You can only hear about someones hotness so much before you want to throttle the character. It just made Kira seem shallow.  Speaking of Rogan I really liked his character. He was flawed but also genuine. He knew he made mistakes in his past and owned up to them. Honestly though I really wish he had stayed platonic with Kira. I didn't really get the attraction to her and they had very little chemistry besides your hot and so am I. A relationship that does not make. 

Now based on the description I was expecting Kira and Rogan to participate in an all out no holds barred battle of survival. While they both played a game in which their heads could be blown off at any moment as far as survival games go it was really tame. I kept expecting each level to get progressively worse as the "subscribers" appetites for death and destruction grew but instead it just felt like a watered down reality show.  The action was OK but not nearly as suspenseful or terrifying as I hoped it would be. I definitely felt disappointed that the pair of them didn't suffer more. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe, but then again I don't read books like this for the romance if you get my drift.

Overall, I liked Countdown but I didn't really think it brought anything new to the genre. While the book was predictable it still kept me dialed in and curious how it all would wrap up. I also think that the Science Fiction and Paranormal elements kept Countdown from feeling like I'd read the book before. Would I recommend this title? Yes, like I said it's nothing new but I didn't feel like I wasted my time reading it either. I'm certainly curious if this will be turned into a possible duology as the ending made it seem like maybe the Author had more story left to tell. With that being said I'll be rating Countdown ★★★.

 *Copy provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.  

Want to learn more about this book or Author? Click the links below!
Michelle Rowen:


  1. I expected this book to have a lot of suspense. I mean - Countdown - right? It should be pretty tense. Great review.

    1. It should be but it didn't really come across that way at least to me.

  2. It's hard to bring something new to the table of dystopian novels when there are so many of this kind out there. However, I like this kind of plot, in a sick twisted way, where several characters have to compete against each other for the ultimate prize - their lives.

    Mada Sch @ All Fantasy Worlds

  3. I was kind of looking forward to this one, but I'm not to sure now. I don't like a book to be so predictable! Great review though! You worded it very well!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  4. I've read her adult books but not her YA, I may have to check it out possibly from the library rather than buying it.

  5. I haven't heard of Countdown, but I'm not surprised by your review of it. With Harlequin, you pretty much know there's going to be romance and squishy feelings. (I'm not saying it's a bad thing.) I'll probably steer clear of this one because I like my dystopians dark and gritty, with romance as more of an afterthought. And not forced. (I totally snorted at your, "A relationship that does not make.")


Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by Blood Sweat and Books and taking the time to leave a comment! If you find my posts enjoyable please share, it means so much when you do.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Books To Movies Giveaway hop!!

Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop