Author: Michelle Rowen
Series: Stand Alone (although I think series)
Published: October 1st 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
I so wanted to like this book, because it seemed to have a lot going for it. Sadly, I felt like it was a little too similar to other books out there for me to really be able to grasp on to it.
I have to admit that I wasn't that intrigued by Kira. She seemed so typical for this genre. Her family was killed two years prior and she's survived by becoming a thief. I honestly felt like every move she made was exactly what the audience (and me as the reader) expected her to do. I would have liked some surprise, something that set her apart. She even feel for Kira despite instance every few pages that she would not and could not do that.
I did like Rogan. While his story did no surprise me at all, I found myself wrapped up in it. I never quite knew how to read him. I never truly thought he was this big bad guy, but he made me uneasy. I also enjoyed the connections he had to Kira and the game itself.
The game felt a little too much like The Hunger Games, with some slight changes. It's not done to exhibit control over the people per say, but to give those who have the power and money a way to enjoy something gruesome anonymously. However, the person controlling the games, is slowly gaining power that he hopes will one day spread far and wide.
I'm not sure that the story is completely finished. I think this society has more to tell. With the game now over, I might be interested enough to see this through to the next one.