Review: Branded by Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki
Publishers: Abi and Missy Books
Published: February 18th, 2014
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.
***Note: This book is heavy. Very. Heavy. If sexual violence, rape, death, war, dystopian type settings, gore etc trigger you then I suggest that you pass on this!***
Please read the above note. I admit that my anxiety got a little antsy while reading this. Sometimes the feelings of hopelessness got to me and I had to put this down and walk away, into the sunshine.
This book is very heavy, as I've stated. It's well written although I'm still not sure about Cole's character.
I feel like things were forced on his part and a part of my brain has a feeling that he's going to be involved in...deception, we'll put it, down the line. Things changed between him and Lexi a little too fast.
Let me back track. The cover is awesome. This is a revamped cover and I really, really like how it perfectly portrays what the brands look like. Each color brand is tied to one of the seven deadly sins. If you're alleged with a sin, then you're branded and brought to the Hole in order to do labor. You are basically enslaved because of your brand. Blue is for Lust and that's what Lexi gets because of an allegation that comes from her mother. Yup. Her mother. Still wondering about that, it's never fully explained in this book.
Lexi is brought to the Hole and Cole is assigned to be her guard. Because blue brands are such heavy targets - rape triggers here - she needs the protection. Which confuses me. Why does Lexi get this, but we don't really see anyone else getting this treatment?
Either way because their rooms are connected Lexi and Cole see a lot of each other and lines blur and things progress. We're told that relationships between guards and sinners are forbidden, and are shown this in a graphic, public way.
Throughout the book we're shown that Lexi is a strong woman, and we don't get too much from Cole. We know he's attractive, strong, will protect Lexi, loves her and has a kick ass dog named Zeus. I love Zeus.
We don't learn of his background, his story and right around the middle and towards the end Lexi and Cole are separated and we don't see him for a little while, which sets my suspicions on high alert.
All in all the book was pretty good, it's a very heavy read and it's suitable for older teens. I normally wouldn't read something like this, but the writing was really good and so I finished it before I could even put it down. I'm still debating whether or not I want to read the next in the series, only because it's such a...can you guess the word? heavy story.
Let me know what you guys think!