Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Branded book tour', hosted by YA Bound. You can view the rest of the tour spots by clicking on the banner above.
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.
Lexi lives in a world where the 'seven deadly sins' are considered serious crimes, and to be labelled a sinner, you'll be branded for life, forcefully removed from everything you know and thrown into the 'Hole', a place with little food and medical treatment, where if you don't die from starvation or sickness, then you have to fight hard just to survive the ever growing violence that runs riot in the streets. When Lexi is declared a sinner for a crime she hasn't even committed, she has to say goodbye to everything she has ever known and find the strength inside to survive life in the 'Hole'. Thankfully she has Cole, a guard who has been assigned to protect her while she becomes accustomed to her new way of life, the only problem is the feelings she's developing for Cole and is wondering if he's feeling the same way about her, for the one rule in the Hole, punishable by death, is: never fall in love with a sinner. I hate the saying 'never judge a book by its cover', and I'm guilty of doing just that for this book. The gorgeous cover is the first thing that attracted me to the story and I'm definitely not sorry. Branded started out as a thrilling dystopian that's different from the countless others that are out at the moment. Lexi is an intriguing main character with so many different sides to her. Abi Ketner and Missi Kaliciki tackled the issues of abuse and depression wonderfully in the story. The only thing that I really wanted Lexi to do is to be a bit more 'take charge' rather than the 'damsel in distress' that she is for most of the story, but that's only a slight niggle as the rest of her character has been fleshed out with her traumatic past. Cole is a wonderful addition to the story, and I always have a soft spot for characters who need to choose between duty or their heart, especially since the risk was so great. Branded created this world where any sin is considered a crime and it was a roller coaster of ups and downs as well as twists as the story progresses, leading up to the big twist (which I won't say here as I don't want to give anything away). At times it did feel a bit repetitive with the amount of guys chasing after Lexi and some of the middle tended to drag for a while a sudden switch in gears where everything happened to Lexi and Cole. Even with the story's little problems, Branded was an interesting and quick read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian novels, especially Divergent. I look forward to seeing where Lexi's journey continues next.
About the Authors
Abi Ketner & Missy Kaliciki
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.