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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,645 ratings  ·  335 reviews

A petty thief and a convicted murderer find themselves entangled in a deadly reality TV game and a heart-pounding attraction for each other.

Mass Market Paperback, 293 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Love Spell
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  1,645 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you HarlequinTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

"Time's ticking."
"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

Fun fact:
This book was originally published in 2008 as an adult novel, under the author's pseudonym Michelle Maddox. When she got the rights back, she turned it into a young adult novel.
I'm not sure what the original was like, but this version was a fast-paced thrill ride!
It mixed up quite a few cool ideas, and ended up being totally entertaining to read.

First up is the whole idea that these two kids are trapped in a game of survival, which is being televised for the entertainment
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Low 3 stars, and only because this book was kind of...well, fun. It was completely brainless, eye candy for the mind.

If the blurb leads you to believe this is the Hunger Games remixed, jut go with it and you won't be disappointed. There's a little bit of everything thrown in here: action, dystopia, romance, the plague, scary technology, and the ruins of civilization.

Because Rowen tried to do so much, the whole book feels rushed and thrown together, a jumble of ideas piled one on top of another
This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.

Kira and Rogan are strangers forcibly thrown into a deadly "game" called Countdown. They must complete a series of tasks, each within a pre-determined time limit. Complete the task and move on, or fail it and be killed. Some of the tasks are puzzle-like, and others are designed to test their morality. It sounds like an interesting premise, but everything fell apart quickly.

Kira is informed that Rogan murdered and dismembered nine young
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I could not get into this book. Something about the girl being a Badass one minute and an annoying girly girl the next. Seemed too extreme and thus, too unrealistic. Plus I liked The Running Man too much to have it remade. I'm not rating it since I didn't get far into the book.
Twenty-five years ago, the world was still at it's best. Thriving, successful, peaceful. Then came the Great Plague and in a matter of weeks took almost all of human life. Those who survived carried on, but it was never the same. Illness, starvation and crime inevitably followed. But there was a city that had been built. A Colony paradise filled with opportunity. It was a place of dreams and hope.

Countdown is an underground reality-televised game that is designed as a series of six challenges wi
Ruth Silver
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Countdown is a YA Dystopian novel. Its description reminds me a bit of The Hunger Games. Why? A televised battle to the death. The winner will be bathed in luxury and has no choice but to compete. I don't mind the similarities because let's face it: The Hunger Games is VERY similar to Battle Royale. A lot of books borrow ideas. I'm not even sure the author did borrow the idea from The Hunger Games because this is a new version o
Jacqueline J
Okay I was a little confused when I read this because it was clearly not the book others had reviewed. Turns out as the author explains at the end, she had rewritten an adult book as a YA book. It worked just fine as a YA. I understand that the adult book had a bunch of sex scenes which were not included in this version.

This is dystopian. The plot and action were interesting. The writing was workmanlike. I enjoyed the hero and heroine but I didn't love them. The bad guy's motive was different an
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-books


Kira, a homeless street teen, wakes up chained to a wall in a dark room. She soon finds out she has been kidnapped and is being forced to be one of the newest contestants in a game called countdown. As if it isn't bad enough that her very life depends on beating the timed challenges with heartless subscribers watching, but she is also paired up with a convicted murderer as her partner.
With the odds against them, Kira must do things she never would have considered before to survive in hope
Michelle Wrona
"We'd been thrust together, neither of us had any choice in the matter, and we'd dealt with it the best we could. Now it was over, and the moment we reached our destination I might never see him again. This was the way it was supposed to be. Even though I knew that, it still hurt like hell."

When reading the summary for this novel, I had high expectations. From the moment I did, I knew that this book was going to be something that has never been written before, or even hinted at. There have b
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Countdown immediately caught my attention due to it’s similarities to Hunger Games, where subscribers tune in to watch a cruel reality TV show involving deaths on screen. However, it wasn’t just a direct copy – it took the main idea and changed it into something new and exciting.

Instead of being forced to kill each other in an arena, Countdown is a show where two criminals must compete in a series of trials in order to
I haven't read the sci-fi/post-apocalytic genre very often in adult romances. In fact, I think I've only come across one other book that is comparable to this one, Game Over. Though, stylistically simple, the story-telling was First Class.

We a dropped into story as Kira Jordan, a homeless thief wakes up chained up in a cell with a convicted rapist murderer, Rogan Ellis. This part vaguely reminded me of the Saw films franchise. They have to work together to have any chance of survival. Then it b
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Countdown was just action and excitement all the way through and I loved every minute of it.

Kira awakens in a dark room to find herself chained to a wall, in a room made completely of metal. And she's not alone. There's a boy chained to the wall across the room, Rogan. How did she get here? The last thing she remembers is being at the mall, after stealing herself a new pair of shoes. Now she discovers she's in a deadly game and Rogan is her partner. And the odds of them surviving to the end is
Manda (The Glittery Nerd)
I’m not too sure on rating maybe 3.5ish? Enjoyed it though..
I am so embarrassed I read this years ago and gave it five stars. My GR friend, Luli, tried it based on my original review. She gave it one star. After that, I reread it. I don't know where my head was at. Please forgive me.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Filled with suspense, mystery, killer robots and just a hint of romance. YA Dystopian and gamer fans will really enjoy this action packed adventure book.


The Review:

Twenty-five years ago a virus hit the earth and it took out 60% of the world’s population. Those that survived moved on because they had no other choice but nothing was quite the same afterwards. People started to abandon cities in hopes of g
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Sixteen-year-old Kira Jordan has been living on the desolate streets for two years after her family is brutally murdered one night and she rejected the foster care system. She's become an adept shop-lifter and pick-pocket, a petty thief who survives by her wits and has, like almost everyone else, the unlikely dream of one day making it to the Colony, a domed city where people are safe and comfortable and she could go to school again. Those fanciful dreams are even more unlikely when she wakes up ...more
Raise your hand if you are a fan of well-written YA dystopian fantasy! I am, and although the basic premise isn’t new, trust me, Countdown by Michelle Rowen is one adventure that will have you hanging from your fingernails as a twisted society pits two teen “throwaways” against the evil machinations of artificial intelligence and a society that craves the thrill of an extreme reality show, from the safety of their viewing implants. Sick? YES Twisted? YES Unimaginable? Sadly, not so much, just ta ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristic
I admit I had quite a few expectation going into this book. It might have been my downfall.

Some of my friends loved it, the reviews from bloggers I follow were stellar. I guess I expected to be wowed.

Unfortunately this book fell completely flat for me. The plot is so predictable that I was able to say what was going to happen precisely. All of the game was so clearly clued, but even the second part wasn't any better. There wasn't a hint of novelty or surprise.

The "romance" was a joke. They fell
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"He stared across the room at me, his gaze panicked. When it gets to zero, we die. Do you understand? If you don't throw me that key, in less than fifty seconds we're both going to die."

A thief, and a murderer, an unlikely combination, one an orphan the other abandoned. Thrust into a game that is more than a battle of wits, Kira and Rogan are forced to to fight for their lives.

Reminiscent of "The Hunger Games,"(Please do not misunderstand this is reminiscent of The Hunger Games, it is NOT The H
Elvina Barclay
Kira Jordan is the only survivor after her family is murdered and one of the few people who survive a plague that has devastated the human race. Left at 14 to live on the streets she is forced to survive on her street smarts and her wits.
Suddenly she is taken from the empty city streets and wakes up locked and handcuffed in an empty cell with a handsome stranger. Only this stranger while incredibly handsome is also a mass murderer. They are forced to join together to beat a survivor type game wh
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Hey GUYS, hey HERE! this IS The WritTEn EQUivalenT Of ME juMPING UP anD down TO geT YouR ATtentiON! tHE rEaL ReVIEw Can be fOUNd On mY bloG AND bOOkLikES. Well, I say it's a review but more like, my ramblings on the intake preparation of tea and coffee; very little reviewing here.

Okay- I was gonna review this book on account of my reviewlessness these past weeks but OHMIGOD-NEW SCOOBYDOO MOVIE- AT LEAST NEW TO ME! ON THE NEW TV- AT LEAST NEW TO ME! REVIEW LATER!

What a truly lame-tastic book, gu
Initial Thoughts: Kind of reminded me a little of The Hunger Games with a few twists. This book should appeal to the young adult reader looking for an action packed thrilling read. 3.5 stars. Full review to come...
This book was okay, I don’t think it was too original. It kind of felt a bit like The Maze Runner. But it was an easy read and I did enjoy it.
Oana D. L.
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was a game named Countdown,with six levels.Two people had to complete those levels in order to survive.But what if you are chosen to play without your consent?What if you are a part of that game just to stay away from a place where you might end up having an horrible future?
The big questions are: What if you find out that the one who controls the games isn't exactly who you thought he was?What would you do?Save him or kill him?

When it comes to books like this one i just can't stop myself
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
~ I would just like to thank Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy of Countdown, in exchange for an honest review ~

“He stared across the room at me, his gaze panicked. When it gets to zero, we die. Do you understand? If you don’t throw me that key, in less than fifty seconds we’re both going to die.”

Fast-paced, action packed, fight to the death with a romantic twist. These are the words i’d use to describe Countdown, but even these words don’t give it justice.

This isn’t a series, its a sta
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Reviewed for Confessions From Romaholics
Countdown has an interesting premise and that what had originally caught my attention when I first read it a couple of years ago . It tells the story of two teenagers that gets thrown into a game of the same name as the first teenager combatants in the game history. They have been forced to participate in this reality TV show that thrives on death and its subscribers as they got no other choice. Set in a former city of the USA, the show takes two criminals
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

Since her parents were brutally murdered two years ago, Kira hasn't had things easy as she tries to survive on the streets of a city decimated from the plague. But she's managed even when she's had to resort to some pretty extreme methods. But all that changed when she wakes up chained in a room next to a teenage serial killer and in the middle of a life or death game where she has to depend on him. But one terrible secret threatens to unrav
I’m relieved to know that Countdown is a stand-alone book (hopefully). There’s something about starting a book and knowing when you reach the last page you’ve experienced the entire journey. I don’t need to wait for months—years even to read the next chapter of the story. I think there are books that are meant to be told in one go as opposed to splitting the stories and stretching it unnecessarily.

As for the story, it reminded me a little bit of Battle Royale (and a bit of Hunger Games )
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

I’ve agonized over this review for a couple of weeks now because the book was one of those that it didn’t sing to me, even though it had several good attributes. Even so, the bad sort of outweighed the good in my mind and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I think the best way to approach it is to start off by talking about the things I enjoyed:

The overall concept for the book, and even the first chapter had me convinced this was going to be
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Pseudonym of paranormal romance author Michelle Rowen. ...more

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“I gritted my teeth. “I don’t like you.”

“My heart is breaking.”

“Screw you.”

He shrugged and then grimaced as if the wound on his shoulder caused him massive pain. “We can do that, too, if you like, but I’ll need to be unchained first. Then again, we can bring the chains with us if you’re into that sort of thing.”
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