Several months ago, Michelle Rowen announced that she would be re-releasing her adult novel Countdown, previously published under her pen name Michelle Maddox, but this time it would be a YA novel. I decided I should finally get around to reading Countdown so I could compare the original to the new version because I am a dork like that. But my dorky ways allowed me to read an utterly amazing book. Countdown sucked me in from the first sentence and never let me go.
THREE: Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die.
TWO: The man she’s been partnered with–her only ally in this nightmare–is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him?
ONE: No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN
Countdown takes place in the future, where the elite rich people live Offworld and the rest have to struggle on Earth. Kira’s has always dreamed of being able to live on Offworld but as a thief living on the streets, there’s no way she’s ever going to get there. The one day, she wakes up chained inside a strange room. She finds out she’s been abducted and put inside a game called The Countdown. A very secret game of a modern day Colosseum for the entertainment of anyone willing to pay for it.
The pacing of the plot was perfect. There was a ton of action, a very, “GO, GO, GO” rush to it. But then there were down times when Kira and Rogan were able to stop, talk, get to know each other and of course, build up their hot sexual tension. There were a couple of really hot sex scenes, and while I loved them, they’re either going to have to be seriously edited or cut completely for the YA version. But that’s all the more reason for you to go read this version of Countdown.
Kira was everything I love in a heroine: smart, strong and stubborn. When she was young, her family was murdered. She ran away to live on the streets, which caused her to become tough as nails and do whatever it takes to survive on the streets. Yet, she had a vulnerable side that made it easy for me to relate with her. Like the fact that she has an abnormal and persistent fear of the dark.
Countdown had all the right amounts of kick-ass heroine, sexy bad boy hero, hot sexual tension, a nonstop plot with several twists and action that only got more intense with each level. Honestly, I think it may have been Michelle Rowen’s best book ever. I’m almost scared to read the new YA verison because she says it’s even more amazing, and I just don’t see how that’s possible.