Authors: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.
Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story
I first came across Branded on Twitter. I was going through tweets on my feed and I came across one from @abiandmissy asking if there were any bloggers/reviewers who would be interested in reading reviewing their novel, Branded. As our blog is titled A&C Book Junkies of course I jumped at the opportunity to read and review Branded. I quickly found the book on Goodreads, read the synopsis and tweeted Abi and Missy back. Now my journey reading the Branded is over and here is my review:
Branded begins with a rather startling and emotionally jarring scene of Lexi Hamilton getting ready to end her life. Right away you know that the heroine of this story is one who has not had an easy life. You immediately want to save her. The story begins quickly and you find yourself thrown into Lexi's chaos. There is no rest on Lexi's. She is brought to the Hole where she will live the rest of her life as a branded sinner. The Hole is a place of dread which is described by Abi and Missy to give you chills. The gloom that hangs over the "sinners" of society is described in detail by the state of the buildings, hunger, violence and sadness. As a convicted Sinner of Lust, Lexi must now live everyday in fear: Fear for her life, fear for those around her. She never seems to be safe and always finds herself the center of unwanted attention. Around every corner lies a pair of peering eyes waiting for the moment when Lexi is left unguarded.
Speaking of unguarded, that now brings my attention to Cole. He is assigned to Lexi as her guard when she enters the Hole. I found it difficult to want to hate Cole. Even from the beginning when he was stern and unforgiving with Lexi, there was something about his character that made me hold onto a little bit of hope. Cole with his loving sidekick, Zeus bring something very different to a place where dread seeps from the broken foundation and broken souls.
Then there is Alyssa. My goodness this girl just makes your emotions jump all over the place. She was a wonderful addition the story and was very much needed to give light in a time and place of darkness.
Sutton, the caring Doctor, brings stability to the story. He always seems to be rational when needed and is a solid foundation to the little group of good people Lexi finds herself caring about.
Branded was a page turner. It keeps you on your toes the entire time, never faltering in plot, character development and emotion. Your heart breaks for the characters as they try to fight for their lives daily in the Hole and you want nothing more than to see them succeed! The emotional attachment and investment is instantaneous. From the beginning pages, Lexi's story is one you want to be a part of.
Branded deals with the possibility of a government taking away our rights to make mistakes: To live our life, try new things, fall in love. In this controlling regime, even one mistake, one lie, one slip of the tongue will have the Commander's guards swoop down and take you to the Hole. It is here that you are branded for life with the sin you committed. Your punishment for perhaps being in the wrong place at the wrong time, falling in love, trying to feed your starving family...
I highly recommend Branded to all who love Dystopian worlds, those who love a story of survival, a love story or simply an adventure. If you loved Hunger Games, Divergent (books of that nature) Branded is just the book for you! Branded was an emotional roller coaster that I'm glad I was able to be a part of. I can't wait until Abi and Missy release book two in this series.
Thank you Abi and Missy for gifting me with a copy of Branded!
Make sure you check out their Twitter, Goodreads and Website! All links can be found within the post.