Welcome to my stop on the Branded blog tour, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Below you'll find my review and a great giveaway!
A Sinners Series #1
Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
YA Urban Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Romance
Available at Amazon * B&N
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.
My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Branded is an action-packed read that's virtually impossible to put down once started. The characters are amazing, so well-written that I fell in love with them (even the ones I hated). This novel concentrates on the people and how they cope with their hopeless lives. It's the characters that make this novel good,
The plot itself is a tad confusing and never explained in a way that satisfied me. I couldn't determine if this Commander ruled a state, a territory, or a country. The way the story is presented, it seems the Commander is obsessed with The Hole, lives overlooking it, his own personal perversion. But then I didn't understand if he also ruled more. He changed the entire judicial system, so he must have complete control in some way. Perhaps it was just me, but at times I was lost. I loved the premise, the branding of those accused of sins; it's so creepy and downright scary. But I really wanted more info on the world itself and how it ended up this way, as well as how large the Commander's territory is. Is he the only government? Anyway, my questions are endless.
Lexi and Cole are fantastic characters. I fell in love with both of them immediately. Since the novel is told from Lexi's point of view, we know what's in her mind, her thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed the way her story was drawn out. We know from the beginning that she's innocent of her crime, but not her entire backstory. When it's all revealed, it's a doozie. What we don't learn much about is Cole's backstory. He's a guard at The Hole. While most guards are horrible, uncaring people, Cole is a great guy. Why? How did he end up a guard when he so obviously doesn't fit in with them. I have my ideas based on the story, but I'd have loved to hear it from his mouth.
Branded is full of angst, tragedy, horrible acts, and displays some of the worst of humankind. I cried through quite a bit of this novel, and at times it was exhausting. This is not a book to take out in public but to read in the privacy of your room, unless you like answering endless questions about your constant sobbing. As I stated earlier, the characters make this novel worth reading. Whenever I put the book down for a break, they filled my mind. Truth be told, I think Zeus was my favorite character. After the endless human atrocities, this dog was fiercely loyal and loving.
I recommend Branded to ages 18+ due to the violence, gore, physical and psychological torture, and overall angst. The romance between Lexi and Cole was amazing and moving, all the more so since it was forbidden. While the plot seemed to lack enough information at times, I still really enjoyed it.
About the Authors
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.