Dec 19, 2013

DNF: Countdown, by Michelle Rowen

Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Overall: 1 Monkey
Interest: Dystopia
Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Romance

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. 
My Opinion:

To me, first chapters are everything. They're what define if I'll stick with a book or not. 
Sadly, Countdown's first chapters didn't do it for me. I got no substantial backstory (only a brief mention of some Great Plague, which, by the way, wasn't explained in the following chapters). 
Until chapter five I had no idea how Kira looked like. She did detail her and Rogan's clothes, but it was a long list I soon forgot and didn't feel like going back to check again. 
And Kira's power... it just felt forced. The narrative didn't do it for me either. 

In the second stage of the game, Kira magically finds the bell to get them to the next level. Here there's a passing mention of her life before, trying to give the story some backdrop (why would she be so comfortable going through the Dumpster?). But just as easily as it appears, it vanishes, and we're left with Kira and Rogan meeting a random man who wants to fix Rogan's shoulder. This did not seem plausible to me. Kira wanted to run at the first opportunity, so why would she act so nonchalant in front of a stranger who is clearly working for the people who've put her in this game? 

It all happens too fast and it doesn't get a chance to be properly developed. Five chapters were more than enough for me. 

Sorry, Michelle!
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