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The Countdown Conspiracy

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Ambassador, you are go for launch in T- minus 5…4…3…2….

Miranda Regent can’t believe she was just chosen as one of six kids from around the world to train for the first ever mission to Mars. But as soon as the official announcement is made, she begins receiving anonymous threatening messages…and when the training base is attacked, it looks like Miranda is the intended targ
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by HarperCollins
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Kathy Martin
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this near future science fiction story, six kids from around the world are chosen to train for an up-coming mission to Mars. The kids and the space program to get them to Mars is an effect of a fragile peace that exists. Not everyone is happy with the peace or happy that Miranda has been chosen from the United States. Many people feel that she was chosen as a political gesture rather than for her talents.

When Miranda learns this, it causes her to doubt herself and he constant low ranking amo
A.C. Gaughen
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Miranda is one of six cadets chosen to go to Mars as part of an international peace-keeping initiative, and she joins her charming, intriguing cast of fellow cadets at the training center to start the six-year training to prepare for their journey.

On their way to the training site, robotics expert Miranda--and her fellow cadets--suffer a series of attacks that escalate through the novel, and the cadets have to figure out who is behind them and how to protect not only
Sci-Fi & Scary
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, wow. This was good. Totally sucked me in.

Review to come.
Ms. B
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, science-fiction
A science fiction page turner. Six young headstrong tweens and teens from around the world, Matsuo, Esteban, Najma, Miranda, Rahim and Anna, are selected to be the first to live on the planet Mars. Before they even make it to the training center to prepare for their mission, their lives are being threatened. Not everyone wants to see the mission succeed. Who could possibly want their mission to fail? Miranda and her fellow astronauts will not only need to learn the ins and outs of space travel, ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky was a middle grade book that completely took me off guard. Most of the middle grade books I've read have had some kind of moral for the reader, but this one had a stronger effect on me because of how well it was written. This author played my emotions like an experienced musician. Through character development, twist and turns, sometimes tear-inducing storytelling, and intelligent and wel
Opening Line: "Nearly every single person in this auditorium is wearing a T-shirt with my name emblazoned across the front."

The Countdown Conspiracy reads partially like a mystery and a school story while at the same time there is a political unrest going on in the world. I enjoyed the diversity in the team of kids. There are the dynamics of the classes that the crew take together, while there are also rivalries to get the best position, grades and favor of their instructors. Most of the emphasi
Stephanie Lucianovic
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Welp, I started this last night at 8:00 and when I got to chapter three, I was all like, "Oh, I really like this. I'll be into this for awhile."

And then I finished it after midnight. I didn't WANT to read it all in one go, but then I did and OH MY GOD it is so good.

Being chosen from all over the world, seven kids start years-long training for a mission that will make them the first to go to Mars. During their training, they will be attacked and uncover evidence of a despicable conspiracy that w
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly written. Perfect for the space enthusiast. Easy, enjoyable read. Definitely stayed up late a few nights reading because I couldn’t put it down!
Debbi Florence
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
Miranda, age 13 and a high school graduate, is chosen as one of six kids for a mission to Mars. She is sent off to a base in Antarctica for intensive training where she meets her team, the brightest and best kids from around the world. But things don’t go as smoothly as she’d hoped – she and another girl don’t quite get along and Miranda struggles to keep up with the others in classes. After a series of attacks, Miranda must figure out what’s going on. She’s rebuilds her bot, an adorable compani ...more
Sara-Zoe Patterson
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good scifi - decent characters, interesting plot, close enough to the near future that the world building and tech doesn't have to take up the whole book but cool enough tech to make it fun. Plenty of action, good pacing. ...more
So I'm not entirely unbiased in this review - I obviously love space and science (as I wrote a book about the same kinds of things) but this exceeded my hopes. Not only an amazingly-researched novel about ambitious, smart kids who are into robotics, engineering, and coding, but who want to do amazing things and push the boundaries of human ability. And it has so much heart. It was a non-stop ride from start to finish; kids who might get bored easily will have a hard time putting this one down. E ...more
Alexandra Ott
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book! It's fast-paced and thrilling, with such a great cast of characters. The twists and turns kept me guessing until the end. Highly recommend for anyone who loves science, space missions, robots, and fun adventures! ...more
Ms. Yingling
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Miranda has been chosen as one of six tweens to be trained for a world wide Mars mission. She deserves it-- she's super smart, has made her own robot, and has always wanted to participate in the space program-- but feels that perhaps she shouldn't have been chosen over her friend Sasha, who is Russian. Because there has been a global conflict, Miranda's position on the team comes under scrutiny, and before long she suffers through several attacks that imper
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, youth
A very engaging character-driven sci-fi book. Miranda is a great main character and I loved the supporting cast. There were SO many times I FELT for Miranda and her friends as they worked towards their goal to become Mars astronauts. I loved Weir's The Martian and this felt to be in a very similar vein - not only because of the similar missions but because of the range of characters.

Disclaimer: I did go to high school with the author but have not spoken to her since graduation and was psyched t
Robin King
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the middle grade books I've read in the last year, this was by far my favorite. From the contemporary setting to the geeky science references to the crazy unexpected adventure, I think this book reaches a wide audience (boys and girls) and would be very enjoyable as a read aloud in a classroom setting or parents reading to kids. I have to admit that all the cool stuff I learned about being an astronaut made me want to become one! ...more
Lorie Barber
You. Yes. YOU RIGHT THERE READING THIS. Stop reading this and GO READ The Countdown Conspiracy instead. You will LOVE the action, the characters, the plot twists, and the HEART. I have never typed so much of a review in all-caps IN MY LIFE. Trust me. Buy it. Read it. Love it. Share it.
I'd give it all the stars in all the constellations if I could.
Michele Knott
I did not know anything about this story before I read it, but now that I have, I want to tell everyone I know to read this book. Incredible action, hold your breath suspense, fantastic science fiction. Make sure this book is on your shelf!
Erin Varley
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Constant action, relatable characters, science jargon, what more could you want? Kids will love the six Mars Cadets and will quickly count them as friends. But there is something evil afoot. With a twist you won't see coming, Miranda and her teammates are in for the ride of their lives. ...more
Ruth Lauren
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Totally engaging, high-octane, non stop action and fun from this middle grade sci-fi debut. If you like page turners with high stakes and/or seeing girls in STEM then read this!
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Miranda Regent is 13, and she's going to Mars. I know! That's crazy, right? It's as preposterous as spy kids, a school for wizards, and a family of sparkly vampires, right? Where could this happen except in a world invented by a Young Adult author? Well, once you visit the world invented by this Young Adult author, the possibility starts to seem more like an inevitability. For one thing, peace has finally returned after a decade-long world war over who owns the swag brought home from an internat ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I really, REALLY liked this book. It was a page-turner for me, from start to finish.

Countdown Conspiracy begins with the world still suffering the after-effects of the last World War. They don't tell you why the War started - just that it did, and it's over. Miranda is one of the world's most intelligent children. Graduated high school at 13, can solve complex math problems in her head, and has even created her own mechbot, Ruby, from scratch. She's gathered in her school's gy
Mark Buxton
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
My name is Miranda, and I’m the American cadet training for an international mission to Mars. However, Esteban and I were attacked on our way to the Antarctic training site; why would anyone want to kill us? As time has gone on, it seems apparent that we were not the targets; I am the one the assassins want dead. I'm trying to immerse myself in training, but the classes are really hard. I've never struggled with anything before. We've started practical exams in the spaceplane, and I'm feeling be ...more
Mary Zemina
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been waiting over two years for this book. The wait was worth it.

This was tons of fun. I loved Miranda's geeky inner monologue, especially her habit of doing mental math whenever she's nervous. It's a really unique way of conveying her emotions and it stuck with me throughout the whole book. Miranda felt like a real kid. A child prodigy, for sure, but not in the way that kid geniuses are usually portrayed. She was intelligent, one of the most intelligent people in the world, but she still f
DNF @ 9%

The idea is solid. There is some inclusivity (Miranda has her numbers and order thing). Not sure about other characters, did not get that far. Supposedly it has diversity, what with kids from different countries. Again - not sure how well it's tackled because did not get far.

"Merit for the win" is a good approach in the world full of stories about Very Special Snowflakes. Though one could argue how there are whooping SIX Snowflakes in this story, of which Miranda happens to be one. So th
Michelle Adamo #EmptyNestReader
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
A futuristic, fast-paced, action adventure story featuring 6 diverse young geniuses from around the world each of whom have been selected to train for a mission to Mars. The mission is set to take place several years in the future. Each of these science and engineering prodigies are representing their country in this international peace-keeping endeavor.

Narrated by Miranda, a 13 year old engineer, the story tells of the 6 young astronauts-to-be, their studies, their personalities and their grou
Katie Lawrence
What a unique book! Great diversity, wonderful STEM details and tons of action! Miranda was a believable character who worked through some incredibly difficult situations and emotions. I loved that Katie Slivensky wrote at length about the research she did for this book! How wonderful for young readers to see how much work she put in to making this fictional story as accurate as possible. The concept of 6 teens being selected to train for 9 years, then be sent to Mars, was an exciting one. It wa ...more
This book is definitely going to be my go-to middle grade recommendation from now on. You should probably pick up a copy even if you don't have a middle grade reader in your life - because who doesn't want to read a heartfelt sci-fi adventure story?

I particularly enjoyed Slivenksy's near-future world-building and well-handled ensemble cast. She hits some complex emotional and interpersonal beats in what is primarily a plot-driven story. The book is exciting and well-paced, while still taking it
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The AEM War has ended, and with the peace comes a worldwide effort to send astronauts to Mars. As such, six twelve to fourteen year olds are chosen from around the world to train as the first team of astronauts who will be going. Miranda, representing the United States, is beyond thrilled to be a part of the team. It soon becomes abundantly clear, however, that someone doesn't want her there. At their training base in Antarctica, the six must not only deal with the strenuous astronaut training a ...more
Anna Crowley Redding
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I loved THE MARTIAN. I mourned that book, that it was over, it was read, it was finished, it was time to move on, to let it go (or alternatively-read it again!). And then I pried open THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY . . . and I totally LOVED IT. Steeped in math and science that reads as naturally as the characters pop off the page, this book is unputdownable. The sheer intellectual innovation and futurism that Slivensky infuses into this book is so very amusing and fun. And under deftly applied layers ...more
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Katie Slivensky is the critically acclaimed author of middle grade sci-fi adventures, The Countdown Conspiracy and The Seismic Seven. She is a professional science educator and enthusiast who has worked in zoos and museums since age 11. Her love of learning has resulted in a lifetime of adventures, including helping separate fighting rhinos, falling down a cliff in search of fossils, flying an ast ...more

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