Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
This week BookCrushin is helping celebrate the #BRANDEDVERSARY: Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki! This month marks the 2 year anniversary since the release of Branded! Today I am going to re-share my original review I wrote for Branded! Also, Hunted, book 2 in the series is out and was amazing! Look for my review this week as well! Be sure to follow the hashtag, #BRANDEDVERSARY all over social media all week for more celebrations!
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.
Brutal and savage violence.
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.
This review was originally posted on this blog back in January 2014! We are revisiting it for the #Brandedversary!
I am a huge sci-fi fan especially the of the dystopian genre. Branded did not disappoint! This book is full of action, heartache, strength and love. This story is dark. The world is not pretty, it’s gory and awful. This book will not be for everyone, especially if you are sensitive to certain subject matters I would pass on this book. I say it is upper YA due to the subject matter, but I would put it under New Adult so that’s why I listed both in the category. I don’t want to give too much away so this review will be hard for me to put into words. I was engrossed with the story and I am eagerly awaiting book 2.
The world building is simple yet enthralling. In this new era, the 7 deadly sins, sloth, gluttony, greed, envy, pride, wrath and lust are what you can be accused of and exiled to the Hole. The Hole is so violent most don’t survive long. Each sinner is branded around the neck with the color associated with their sin so they can always be identified.
Lust is what sin Lexi is branded with. Lexi is innocent but once accused you are committed to the Hole, without a chance for trial. Lexi’s life is complicated and now that she’s been accused it’s worse. But she seems to have come into some favor in the Hole, although she does not know why, she has been assigned a 24-7 guard, Cole and his dog Zeus, who have been tasked with keeping her alive & making sure she makes it to her job every day. She was assigned to work in the hospital and it is here that she discovers a lot about herself as well as life in the Hole.
Amongst the non-stop action, twists and emotional rollercoaster ride this book puts you through there are some themes that resonate. People will rebel when oppressed, beauty is found in the least expected places and love conquers all. Hope and Love – those are the real winners always.
This could have been a 5-heart book as the plot was unique, but there were just some things that were a little too much. Possibly too much violence, some plot points were too advantageous, and it kinda drags a little in the middle and I just wanted to move on. I feel like a cleaner plot and some continuity could have done wonders. I still enjoyed the book a lot.
Since I wrote this review, Branded was purchased by a Month9Books, re-edited, expanded, given a new cover image and overall the book was a much tighter & stronger story!
Publication: April 28th, 2015; Month9Books
It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.
Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.
But can anyone really be trusted?
Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.
Lives will be lost.
Dreams will be crushed.
Fears will be realized.
Secrets will be exposed.
When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.
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.