Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Book Review: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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. GAME OVER.
Review: *I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Weird. It's like I read this book before except it was called The Hunger Games and was written by Suzanne Collins... I'm bummed. This synopsis and cover duo made this book sound extremely bombass. It was far from bombass. It was too predictable, the action was slow, the characters were annoying, but there was SO MUCH POTENTIAL.
I felt disconnected from the writing at the get-go. There was a lack of sentence variation and the descriptions were written at a middle school level. I got real bored real fast. You think Kira is a kickass heroine? Wrong. She gets injured (at least) every chapter. You think Rogan is the mysterious bad boy? Wrong. He's the - just kidding I would spoil the one plot twist in the entire book. You think the game is deadly? Yeah, it's basically The Hunger Games. Didn't I say that already?
Okay, so it's not 100% Hunger Games... it's more like 93.76% Hunger Games. I mean, you have the female protagonist living in poverty. Then there's the game with a high chance of death. Then there's the dedicated audience who craves the fighting, blood, and gore. Then there's the gamemaker who's the main antagonist and everyone, including the reader, wants to kill. Get the picture?
Even with all the similarities, I only gave Countdown a 2 because of the brain implant idea. Upon being kidnapped for the game, both Kira and Rogan underwent surgery to have a computer chip surgically implanted in their brains. This was a location device, torture device, and radar to prevent them from leaving each other's side, all at once. The thought of having a computer chip surgically inserted in heads sends shivers down my spine. THIS COULD BE HAPPENING IN THE NEAR FUTURE PEOPLE. I would like to keep my brain the way it is thank you very much. Surgeries for a wired brain seems to go against the odds of evolution and God's will and basically a billion other cultural beliefs, so I'm going to avoid it if at all possible.