Branded (Sinners #1)Hot
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 and Cole’s story was one of the best forbidden love stories I’ve ever read. The execution and the progression of their relationship were brilliant. I love the way the characters were written, individually with their thoughts and as part of a group where they interact with someone else. And it wasn’t just with Lexi and Cole but as well as others. The authors made me hate Lexi’s stepfather even before meeting him and it’s not just a I-hate-this-man-because-he’s-the-antagonist.
Lexi’s character was refreshing to read. Despite what she went through, there was still fire in her. She might have had some moments of weakness but still had that spark underneath her hopelessness. And her fierceness and hopelessness didn’t contradict and made her like one of those characters that seems to undergo personality change every once in a while. It all felt natural.
The romance in the story didn’t feel overwhelming at all. There are times when characters tend to wrap themselves around each other in order to escape the cruelty of their world and it eventually overpowers the plot. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming and nauseating. But Lexi and Cole’s love story was well blended with the plot.
Branded was very well-paced and managed to keep at the edge of my seat the entire time. The world-building was superb and I was sucked into Lexi’s world a few pages after I started reading it. This is definitely a must read, especially to the dystopian fans.
- Good pacing
- Good characters
Lexi is the heroine in this story and has been unjustly found guilty of the sin "Lust." Punishment is a blue brand around her neck so everyone knows what she's been convicted of. Before the Guards came to take Lexi in the night she had a hard life of torture and betrayal. Due to how she grew up after the death of her father and her brother ran away, Lexi doesn't trust anyone. She has plenty or reasons not. Until she meets Cole. Through out the story you see Lexi grow and get her but kicked at times. That's all part of living and surviving in the place she now has to call home. She experiences fear, heart wrenching sadness, hope and love.
Cole is the Guard that gets assigned to watch Lexi when she arrives at The Hole. Something about her tells him that she isn't like the others and he just wants her to trust him. As he spends more time watching her and protecting her, Cole begins to develop feelings for Lexi and eventually falls in love with her. Which may be fine anywhere else but here in The Hole it's one of the biggest N0-NO'S there is and is punishable by death. Not just his but Lexi's too. A horrific and painful and very public death. Lexi knows it's wrong to love Cole and that if they get caught their dead but without him she's dead on the inside anyways.
Zeus is Cole's dog and I love him to pieces. Once he meets Lexi for the first time he appoints himself her guardian. Whenever he's not out on assignment with Cole and they are in their apartments he's right there with Lexi. He comes to her defense on more than one occasion and prevents her death. Zeus may appear to be a loveable and friendly dog but he can turn dangerous and lethal in a minute. Especially when it comes to defending and protecting Lexi.
The Hole is like a prison but bigger and more dangerous. Every prisoner upon entering gets branded with one of seven colors depending on their sin. This place is horrific and the Authors don't shy away from any details. They make you feel like you are in a place where there's no hope and you just wonder if you will ever make it out alive. Those who have a weak stomach may want to shy away from this book which would be awful because they would really be missing a great read.
This book took me on an emotional ride from the beginning to the end. I was angry and pissed at the treatment of the prisoners. There were times when I cried so hard the tears poured down my face and I had to put the book down just so I could gain some control of my emotions before I continued with the story. I laughed, prayed, and routed for love to win out in the end.
Abi and Missy thank you for such an emotional story. It's been awhile since I've read such an emotionally charged book. I see great things in both of your futures and look forward to the next book in the series. This is a must read for all types of readers. I will definitely recommend it to all my reading friends. If I could I would have given you 10 stars. Go out and get yours now you won't be disappointed I promise.
This book is perfection and deserves so much more praise, so if you want to read a great book that you'll never forget, this is it!
If I could've had the time I would have read this in one sitting, it was that amazing, I never got bored and was always anxious and looking forward to what was going to happen next, which was always something unexpected that made the book get better by the page.
The story is mind boggling and caught my heart from the start, I loved the characters, they felt real, even in the dystopian setting.
It is a fast-paced, action packed, emotional to the top, like nothing you've ever read before book.
I cried, laughed, got angry, threw my kindle(on my bed), I went through a large range of emotions with this book, from disgust to happiness to sadness, from anger to frustration to happiness again.
Some of the things that happened were gut wrenching and gross, though that doesn't make the reading less enjoyable and it doesn't take a great deal of the book either.
The supporting characters: Alyssa, Sutton, Bruno, Zeus, Keegan, Lexi's Dad.
I loved, cared, laughed, cried, etc. for and with them as if they were main characters, they all felt so important to the story and to me.
Both main characters got me from the start, Lexi has had the most difficult life ever, but they both managed to help each other and overcome the odds in this world full of injustice and violence, they find goodness and love in the middle of their living hell, and they fight for them, the people they care about and what they believe in.
I can't wait to know what happens next, but I'm sure it will be epic and mind blowing!
Also looking forward to the authors future work!
*Book provided by authors in exchange for an honest review*
Where should I start? I’m not sure, since there is just so much to say about this 5 STAR Dystopian novel! Hmm...maybe I should start by saying this book caught my attention within the first few words?
“I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams.”
Yes, the first sentence of this book had me...I didn’t have to wait a few chapters or more to start feeling the story. I started feeling “Branded” immediately. I started living it. I kept thinking, “thank goodness this isn’t my life...and I hope the world never gets too screwed up that it really is!” - I love when I get this involved in a story. I know it’s especially good when I am putting myself in the character’s shoes. You almost can’t help it with “Branded.”
I don’t know how they did it, but co-authors Abigail Ketner and Missy Kalickicki created this story together so seamlessly, that you can’t tell when the writing changes hands. Sometimes in books that are co-authored, it’s very obvious that two different people are writing. That’s not the case with “Branded” - if I didn’t know beforehand that two people wrote this book, I would have NEVER guessed. The writing was that good.
There were many action scenes and great adventures throughout the story. Just when you believe it’s not possible for things to get worse...they do. I swear I was holding my breath at certain points, so afraid for our heroine, Lexi Hamilton, and hot guy Cole. As fast as a reader that I am...there were parts of this story that I just could not read as quick as I would’ve liked to.
I definitely recommend this Young Adult/New Adult Dystopian novel. “Branded” by Abigail Ketner and Missy Kalickicki is a book that you’ll want to read, even if you are not into the dystopian genre. It’s just a good story all around, and I love the romance between Lexi and Cole. Even though this book was just released, I am already anxiously awaiting book two in the ‘Sinners’ series.
5 out of 5 STARS!
Brianna Lee Book Reviews
Oh, my favorite line from the book?
"When we get out, I'm not leaving you no matter what you think is best for me. Without you, I'm already dead, and each day I get to be with you is one more day we didn't have yesterday. It's my choice and I choose to be with you - no matter what the consequences. I'll fight for us because nothing else brings me happiness except loving you."
She is taken to The Hole where everyone is branded depending on what sin they have committed, Lexi is branded blue for Lust so not off to a good start when this brings unwanted attention her way. But she is assigned Cole which from the start is just like any other guard but as time goes on she gets to see his caring side when Lexi is taking care of her dying friend, a thirteen year old girl in the hospital where she works as there relationship develops. After they witness the horrific deaths of a guard and a sinner who have fallen in love they do not want this to happen to them so a relationship is strictly off the cards.
I have to admit I was torn between the relationship with Cole and Lexi, as it was forbidden to have a relationship with a guard you feared for their lives and wanted them to end it but aahhh Cole how could she?
I just loved Zeus, Cole's crazy dog who also turns out to be Lexi's protector, he stole the show for me with his whackiness.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and I'm so pleased that I got the chance to read it. I could not put it down and would definitely recommend this book to everyone. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the next book.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. To say that I was on pins and needles to read this book would be a total understatement. I read the first chapter that had been posted and I was hooked! I wanted to read more. When I finally got the chance, I was not disappointed! This story is so good and so well written. It hooks you in and doesn’t let go until the end. I would be reading and I would feel the build up coming and I couldn’t stop reading. It was intense, emotional and completely fantastic. The story was rich, vivid and completely original. I truly loved Lexi and Cole’s relationship and found that it was an exciting, nail biting roller coaster of emotion. And Cole’s dog Zeus is the BEST! I love stories with dogs in them, especially when they are given character and are part of the story.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in this story as I kept reading it and I was getting closer to the end and the big climax hadn’t come. I was nervous that Abi & Missy were going to leave me with a cliffhanger, but they didn’t. They were able to complete the story and leave the ending open for the next book. I love that! I prefer that kind of writing to the cliffhanger. I understand why authors do it, but I am not a patient person so it usually just pisses me off! But, Abi & Missy, THANK YOU for finishing the story and for NOT making me wait to find out what happens. However, I still have to wait because I have to wait for the next book. Oh well. Dammit.
To summarize, there are only 3 words for you to remember – READ THIS BOOK! I will definitely be reading this book again. That’s not something to be taken lightly either because those of you that know me, know I don’t read very many books a second time. I can count on 1 hand the number of books that I have read more than once. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if this story became the next big thing, aka Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. I really am very excited about this book and will be waiting (im)patiently for the next one. I have just added 2 more authors to my “Stalking” list. :)
+Keeps you on the edge of your seat