Title: Branded (Sinners ~ Book 1)
Author: Abi Ketner | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Author: Missy Kalicicki | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: June 28 2013
Length: 320 Pages
Add it to your TBR Pile: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Love the colors, picture works perfectly with the story.
Point of View: 1st person, following Lexi
My Rating: 5 Stars
Wow. Where do I even begin?
I found Branded to be completely unputdownable. I was gripped from the very first word, to the very last. The world building was in a league of it's own, the action, romance, the pure grit and determination of the characters. Everything made for a perfect story.
I have always admitted that I find it hard to absolutely love a female character. Sadly, so many authors throw in cliché female traits that I want my heroine to rise above. But Lexi? Lexi is 100% kick ass. She makes smart decisions, she stands up for herself, and goes out of her way to learn how to defend herself. So yeah, I don't say this very often but I loved every single thing about Lexi.
And Cole? He has quickly moved up the ranks in my list of book boyfriends. I love his interactions with Lexi. He is protective of her, but at the same time he lets her make her own decisions. Because she is such a strong character she doesn't have to go running to him for confirmation of her actions. And when she makes a decision, even ones that he doesn't agree with, he does what he can to make them a reality for her, because he loves her. Don't get me wrong, I love me a mega alpha man every now and again. But Cole is truly a breath of fresh air. He is just protective enough to keep Lexi safe, but isn't overpowering or aggressive. A perfect blend of so many traits, this is what makes him so amazing.
I am still in awe of the world that Abi and Missy have been able to create. I have seen so many comparisons to The Hunger Games, but I have to say, even after just one book, I am blown away. Of course I loved The Hunger Games, but Branded to me offered just that little bit more. I didn't know what to expect next, and there were plenty of twists and turns along the way. And the romance? This sealed the deal for me. There is nothing more heart wrenching than a good forbidden romance. And Lexi and Cole are the perfect example. I didn't feel that their feelings were rushed or pushed too far. They are both placed in extreme circumstances and their love, I felt, was gradually growing to match the pace of the world they live in.
Now, to ease some of the worries you may have about this being a series. Yes, this is book one of the Sinners series, so there of course has to be an ending, but not THE ending of the story. There are a lot of fears of there being a cliffhanger.
I can assure you that the ending is a natural one. The people you will come to love are safe, for now at least. Is there more to the story? Absolutely. Are there questions left unanswered? Of course. But you will not be upset where it has ended, I promise. The wait for book two will not in fact send you running for the hills. So, with that said there is no reason to wait. Trust me, read Branded now.
Oh, and before I go, I have to give a shout out to Zeus. He is Cole's dog and I absolutely adored him. I am a big animal lover and I always have a bit of a fear when animals are written into stories. Especially one such as Branded, the world is so dirty, dangerous and scary. I was in constant fear that Zeus was going to get hurt, and as I do not handle animal death (even fictional animal death) well, I would have been devastated. I don't like spoilers, but I have to let you all know that Zeus makes it to the end, alive and well. If there are any others out there like me, I know you would want to know this.