Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Countdown by Michelle Rowen
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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.  GAME 0VER.  - Goodreads.com

One word.  Awesome.  Call me crazy, but I absolutely loved this book.  Yes, there have been reality tv-type stories done before, but this one was so unique.  It was like reality television meets The Hunger Games.  The story had quite a few things about it that made it really different than others of its kind.

First of all, there are very few characters in the story.  The majority of the book takes place between just Kira and Rogan.  You'd think this might be boring, but uh, hells no.  There was very little down time for you to get bored in because the story just punches right along with this super fast pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The game of Countdown has different levels, and when the countdown on each level begins, Kira and Rogan have only moments to complete a task before they both die.  Between each level is a very small rest period before the new level begins.  The fact that the author was able to use those miniscule moments to not only reveal things about the story and the purpose behind the game, but also she managed to provide some amazing characterization and a progressive romance between the two characters.  To do such thorough characterization in so few moments was amazing.  And despite the fact that, again, there were only moments here and there, the romance never felt rushed in any way.  It was slow-building at a perfect pace.

These two characters are so brave and strong, and they fight so hard through each level that you just find that you're holding your breath as you root for them, both to win the game and beat the bad guys, and to be together.

This was definitely a fast-paced and action-packed story that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Lastly, I loved that this was a standalone novel.  In a world of series stories, finding a great standalone is refreshing.  The writing in this book was amazing, and I immediately wanted to read the book again.  Get this book!


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