Dorchester Shomi (29th July 2008)
Countdown is that very rare kind of book: a thriller that is genuinely thrilling. This is action-packed, non-stop adventure, combining the physiological, psychological and technological in a story that grabbed me immediately and didn’t let go.
The Great Plague twenty-five years ago caused havoc, and Earth hasn’t been the same since. It’s no wonder that everyone who survived is itching to catch a shuttle Offworld. Like Agent Orange, the Great Plague led to birth abnormalities: including Kira Jordan being born with psi abilities. But they’re only low-level…or are they?
Since her family’s murder when she was fifteen, Kira’s been doing whatever she can to survive, including thievery. But never have the consequences of pick-pocketing been so dangerous. Against her will, she’s a contestant in a twisted game where to lose is to die, and even if she passes the first level there’ll still be more danger to come.
Convicted of rape and nine counts of murder, Rogan Ellis is assigned as Kira’s partner. If they go more than ninety feet away from each other, their cranium implants will kill them both. Not so much dog-eat-dog as kill-or-be-killed, Kira and Rogan must team together to fight civilians, other competitors and the head honcho of this horrendous game. The very fate of humanity is at stake, and technology has life itself in a death grip.
Captivating from the get-go, Countdown will lure in much more readers than just the romance audience it’s targeting. The futuristic genre is producing some of the best fiction around, and Michelle Maddox has a big hand in it. For those of you who haven’t connected with alter-ego Michelle Rowen’s humorous paranormals, Countdown will reel you in. I’m desperately hoping there’ll be more Maddox novels in store – set on Earth, Offworld or otherwise. This is fascinating stuff.