Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

7 Jul

ImageTitle: Branded

Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Published: June 2013

Pages: 252 (ebook)

Goodreads Summary: 

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 Rating: 5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

“I never planned on falling for you. You were just an assignment. But it just sort of happened and now… There’s not a single thing I would change about you. When you smile, my entire world stops. All I see is you. I need you.”

Wow. This book was incredible! I definitely found myself a new favorite dystopian series! The writing, characters, and best of all the forbidden romance were all outstanding.

In this dystopian society, the seven deadly sins are outlawed. If one of the sins is committed then the person is branded and placed in the Hole. It’s hell on earth and Lexi, an innocent girl who was accused of lust, is thrown into it and under constant surveillance by a guard named Cole.

All the guards are menacing and ruthless with the exception of Cole. He actually cares about what happens to Lexi rather than taking advantage of her after seeing her sin is lust. He protects her and they become closer except a relationship that goes beyond anything physical between a sinner and a guard is the worst crime that can be committed. Its punishment is public torture and death.

This story was raw and gruesome at times so that as readers we can understand how filthy, ugly, and cruel of a place the Hole is. I would definitely recommend this for mature young adults or new adults. That being said, it was an amazing read with strong writing and even stronger characters. Lexi had literally been through hell in her life only to be thrown into a whole other kind of hell. Still, she pushed on and overcame even more horrors and tragedies.

Cole has made a place for himself very high up there on my favorites swoon-worthy heroes because man did I fall in love with him. He was always so protective of Lexi, more so than was his necessary duty with him being her guard. He was constantly trying to fight his feelings for her because he knew what the consequences would be, but he would see how kind, innocent, brave, and vulnerable she could be and he just couldn’t help himself. Although the relationship between them was clean, the connection between them was palpable. It was one of the very best of forbidden romances or of really any romance at all!

Another character that made this book for me was Zeus. He is a character of the four-legged tail-wagging variety but he was still awesome! He was Cole’s guard dog and also another of Lexi’s protectors. I am a total dog lover so the fact that the author gave him so much characterization and such a big part of the story was a definite win for me!

I’m glad that this book doesn’t end in a huge cliffhanger or anything but that doesn’t mean I’m not craving the next one! This was a great start to what is going to be a phenomenal series!


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