Friday, 5 July 2013

Review: Branded

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.

Title: Branded (Sinners ~ Book 1)
Author: Abi Ketner | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Author: Missy Kalicicki | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: June 28 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 320 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon 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.

“To the outside, I'm filth now.  I'll never be allowed to return to the life I knew.  No one ever does.”

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.

“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.”

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.

“The last thing I want is for you to be afraid of me.  But I want you to trust me.  I need you to trust me." He sighs and I hear the pain and confusion in his voice.


"I don't know why and it scares the hell out of me”

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.

“I love you... I don't want you to ever question it.  I'd give up my life for yours.  That's how much I love you.  Don't you dare ever doubt that.”

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.

“You can overcome anything...short of death.”

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.



  1. Wooo I'm glad you loved it too! It is such an amazing book!

  2. Awesome review! It makes me want to read this sooner rather than later. =)


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