ARC Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen


Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page.

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page.

favoriteTitle: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: N/A
Format: eARC
Acquisition: Netgalley

Purchase at: Amazon

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. 


There are a lot of mixed reviews about this book, but I can confidently say that I was one who easily fell in love with it from the beginning.

It all started out with Kira Jordan trying to figure out what shoes to get and what she should eat with her meager funds. And the next thing she knows, she wakes up in a really dark room and chained to the wall. Across the room, she finds someone else also chained up – Rogan Ellis, a notorious convicted murderer. Then a voice in her head tells her that she is in Countdown, a game where you fight for survival or die.

Kira and Rogan must complete all six levels of Countdown where they must complete each activity within the given time frame in order to gain their freedom and lives. But of all the players, only a very small percentage have survived. It certainly doesn’t help Kira to need to do it with Rogan, a person who seems so dangerous and has too many secrets. However, I think I like the relationship that developed between them. Kira was having such a hard time in figuring out what to make of Rogan. She didn’t know what to believe, and it adds to the conflict in the story. I don’t really blame her for it because she’s been through a lot and she doesn’t even really know where she is or who she is with.

Countdown presents a post-apocalyptic future where a new kind of technology has been developed. A chip is implanted into a person and it can perform different functions. For the Subscribers of Countdown, they can view the game show without anyone else knowing about it. But for Kira and Rogan, it means the annoying voice that tells them what they need to do and how much time they have left. It also means that it can ensure their death.

I honestly love that this book is a standalone. It could have been hashed out more if it was turned into a series, but I was definitely satisfied with just this one book. I like how everything was laid out already and how the whole story went. I like the pacing and how mysteries were solved and characters were developed.


OVERALL, Countdown was just an awesome read for me. My love for post-apocalyptic dystopian novels was well-fed in this fast-paced and action-filled story. I like the very complex characters and how they interacted with each other, especially Kira and Rogan with their playful banter. I would definitely recommend this book.



P.S. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for my copy~


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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

  1. Pingback: Netgalley Backlog 2 | A World of Books

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