Michelle Maddox
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Buy *Countdown (Shomi)* by Michelle Maddox online

Countdown (Shomi)
Michelle Maddox
Love Spell
293 pages
July 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Countdown is non-stop action and a really great read. As the story begins, we meet Kira Jordan, a young woman who's lived as a pickpocket in the years following the brutal murder of her parents. She awakens to find herself in the dark, chained to the wall, with a strange man in the room. That man turns out to be convicted rapist and multiple murderer Rogan Ellis, whose actions might be more significant to her than she initially realizes.

Kira and Rogan are thrust into a series of challenges as part of a giant pay-per-view game where failure means death. The challenges get progressively harder and more bloodthirsty, and there's no escape from the game, called Countdown. But as Kira and Rogan work their way through the challenges they learn more about each other and Kira has to begin to learn to trust, despite appearances. But is Countdown more than just a game? Might it be even darker than it appears, and can Kira and Rogan escape and prevent something even worse happening?

Countdown is gripping from start to finish, and I very much enjoyed the characters and their personalities. The setting is a post-plague future world where people work to try to escape Offworld to a new colony; the bleak and often dangerous surroundings in which our hero and heroine find themselves add to the story. One or two points within the plot are just a little too easy or coincidental, but overall it is a great read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2008

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