22 October, 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen


Goodreads Summary: 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 ever more 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.


Received as an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley.com. 
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This was a book that intrigued me with just it's summary while I was browsing on Netgalley. It was a good story, the idea of it an interesting one. Underground digital feeds for the wealthy in a ruined world. Criminals battling it out to the death. A romance that blooms at the most inopportune time. All things that I think could potentially bring a good book, however there were details in the book that threw me off a bit.

Kira really annoyed me. If she wasn't completely reminiscing over her parents and sister's murder (I know it's a difficult thing to get over and one she'll live with the rest of her life, however I don't need to be reminded of it every single chapter of the book), she was fawning over Rogan and his devilishly good looks. A good twenty percent of this book could be cut out between those two things alone. That said, Kira does have her moments where she does add to the plot trying to get further through the games to survive. 

The book does have it's high moments, the chapters about the different levels of the game were definitely engaging and left me wanting to know more. But there are some things that aren't explained. Such as how they pick contestants now. Some of them are murderers or juvenile delinquents who are looking for a clean record. Rowen fails to explain how people like Kira, low level thieves and the like, are actually chosen. Kira receives the explanation that because she picked the wrong person's pocket, she found herself in the game. However, it's never explained if others like her have been in the game or how they were chosen. 

There were a few inconsistencies in the grammar and spelling of words. Sometimes Rogan's name was spelled with an 'a', but there were times when the name seemed to be spelled with an 'e'. Sometimes words would have strange spaces between letters such as 'f lowers' or 'd ance'. It was a bit disorienting, but nothing that should stop you from at least picking up the book and giving it a chance.

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