{Review} Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Flashback Friday

{Review} Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy KalicickiBranded by Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki
Series: Sinners #1
Published by Month9Books on June 27, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 314
Goodreads Buy the Book
3.5 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.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Every day is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

***Check Out the Book Trailer***

The 411:

The story starts off right in the middle of the action. Lexi Hamilton is running, knowing the consequences of what will happen if she gets caught. Citizens accused of crimes are labeled Sinners and imprisoned without trial and without being able to defend themselves at all. Their prison, the Hole, is like a small city/slum, surrounded completely by 20-ft cement walls rife with crime and corruption and squalor. After being caught, Lexi is immediately transported to the Hole, where she is branded with a band of color around her neck according to her sin: Blue for Lust.

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What We Loved:

We don’t even know what we can tell you about this story without giving anything away, so we will just say that it is unlike anything we’ve ever read. It was authentic and had what a good dystopian book should have–consequences that show why the society functions the way it does. Citizens are constantly reminded of what will happen to those who don’t follow the rules, whether it’s a public execution or beating or seeing them dragged off to the Hole.

One of the things that we liked the most about this book was the characters. We really liked Lexi and her spirit. There were times that we thought she was a little unrealistic in her expectations of what was going on around her, but it definitely made sense for her character. She was young and privileged before being imprisoned, so her occasional naivete totally was perfect for her character. We loved Cole, who was the guard assigned to her protection. He’s strong and manly and was pretty swoony, too.

“Tell me this is real. Please tell me you really want me because…”

“Lexi,” he says. “It’s real. I’m real. We’re real. Everything’s real.”

He brings me back down, unties my ponytail, and runs his hands through my hair, rolling me back over and pressing his pelvis into mine. I open my eyes and he’s staring at me with so much passion. A tear runs down my face and he wipes it away with his thumb.

“Babe, let’s take it slow. I don’t want to move too fast… I don’t just want to make love. I want to make our love last.”

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Um...Not So Much:

There were parts of it that were downright gross–maggots and blood and just ewww. There are also some really graphic issues, like attempted rape and child molestation and prostitution, so if those are sensitive topics for you, you might not want to read this story.

There were a few problems for us, like insta-relationships and how the characters didn’t hold true throughout. We think a good editor would have caught these inconsistencies. With that being said, the entire storyline made sense and was exciting, and we can’t wait to read more.

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Bottom Line:

Branded has a fantastic buildup and a great dystopian storyline that left us highly anticipating more from these characters and authors.

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Swoony Boys Podcast Approved

Rating Report
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Overall: 3.5


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