Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
“Isn’t it always?”
Countdown promised a lot. However it did not deliver as much. I feel like I’m slowly falling into a reviewing slump (therefore sorry for my lame review) so I think this review will be more effective in point form. And here we go…
1. The world building was narrow. I truly value the amount of world building in dystopian novels; it’s probably one of the most important elements in a dystopian novel. Hence immediately, my view on Countdown began to worsen as I found it awfully hard to visualise Michelle Rowen’s world. I do believe this is a standalone which just strengthens my point in saying that Countdown needed more of a back story, of how the society grew to what it is. The lack of knowledge of the world I was reading about just made me feel detached from the characters and even agitated. Like what other psi abilities were there? How did they come to exist? Why is there the divide of the rich and the poor? And so on and so forth.
2. The characters were typical. Kira, the main character was actually a decent one, not whiny and was quite fierce; she soon learns that she has psi abilities. However the main problem was that I could not connect with her at all. I’m not sure if it’s just me as I don’t seem to be connecting with anything of the late or the actual book. Kira also doesn’t have much consistency in her personality. One minute she’s all sceptical the next minute she doesn’t have a care in the world. Rogan was no better, he was actually worse. Far worse. Rogan: mysterious, humorous, ‘good looking’, badass, ‘romantic. Yeah… no. It’s happened multiple of times and I am utterly fed up with character clichés.
3. The romance was like a switch. On and off. On and off. I believe you, I don’t. Make up your mind Kira! I do like the fact that there is the never ending theme of trust and faith in Countdown however taking it to the extremes in romance was a bad idea. The romance wasn’t necessarily instant but it was just as cheesy and inconsistent as ever.
4. As original as paper. I’d be shocked to ever come across someone who has never read The Hunger Games. Countdown felt like a copy of The Hunger Games, just changing the names and setting and adding some psi ability there. I am not a fan of comparing books but the similarities between these two was literally glaring at me.
All in all, I wouldn’t say that I’d recommend this to anyone. While I loved the concept of The Game, the characters, originality, romance (which was a bit dominating) and world building was poorly executed.
~Thank you HarlequinTeen for sending me this copy!~
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