Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review: Countdown

Michelle Maddox
Action Romance (on the spine)
Dorchester/August 2008

From the back cover ~

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.


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?


No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the


Jill at Romance Rookie reviewed this not too long ago and really enjoyed it. It just so happened that on my next trip to the UBS they had it so I picked it up and took it with to Disneyland. I started reading it in the car and didn't want to stop. It's a very quick read with lots of action and suspense. Even during the slow parts there is that element of the unknown.

The story starts out with Kira literally in the dark, a place she really hates being. She's had some tough times in her 22 years. Her parents and sister were killed when she was a teen and she's been living on her own ever since. Her world shares a few similarities to ours but is far more bleak and unfriendly than the Earth we're familiar with. It's a good thing Kira is a survivor because she find herself in a game that losing equals death. Kira's self-preservation is in high gear and her past experiences help her but she does make a few stupid mistakes that had me shaking my head.

Rogan is the hero but he's also a convicted mass murderer. Wow. How to get past that? Not easy and he isn't exactly forthcoming about his past. He says he didn't commit the crimes he's been convicted of but isn't that what all criminals say? He wasn't easy to get to know for Kira or the reader. You know he's hiding a whole bunch of stuff and it does slowly come to light but there is that element of uncertainty when it comes to his motives. I never thought he would kill Kira to win but I didn't think he would play fair either. I wouldn't say I liked him since I didn't find his past very appealing but he did keep things interesting.

Countdown is a game consisting of six progressively difficult levels. At each level there is the potential for death. We get to experience the game from Kira's POV, which worked most of the time. There were times when I would have liked to explore Rogan's POV but that would have changed the tone of the story so I do understand why Maddox chose to keep it to just Kira's POV. While I found Kira and Rogan interesting, in the end, it was the game itself that I enjoyed the most. I kept wondering what would happen next and what new secret would be revealed. I liked the twists that the plot and characters take to get to the end of the game.

If you're looking for something a bit different with a ton of action and romance on the run, then I would give Countdown a try.

Rating: B+


  1. I really loved this one too. I keep hoping she writes more in this vein but so far I don't think she has.

  2. Kristie ~ it looks like she's only writing under Michelle Rowen. She has a new vamp series out and a Blaze but nothing like Countdown. I would read more from this world too if she wrote it.

  3. Thi is definitively a fast-paced book and something different. Glad you enjoyed it Leslie :D

  4. Now I see you are reading a Joss Ware book. I hope you enjoy it - and keep in mind that I really enjoyed the second and third book in the series. See I'm getting ahead of myself here *g*

  5. Wow Leslie that sounds like such a neat concept. Looking it up. :)

  6. Kristie ~ a few minor quibbles but over all, love the world and characters.

    Hils ~ you want my copy? Let me know, I'll send it. :)

  7. I've had this one on my TBR for ages! I'm so glad to see you picked it up and enjoyed it.

  8. Hah! I love it when I influence a reader with a review on my blog and then it turns out they liked it, LOL! Great review Leslie!

  9. Christine ~ get it off the tbr pile. LOL It really is a fun, page turner.

    Jill ~ you are such a good influence!