Monday, July 1, 2013

Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki Blog Tour Stop and Review

Title: Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadliest sins were the downfall of our 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.

Author Bio:

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.

My Review:

This book was intense! From the first page, there’s non-stop action in a dystopian setting. Although the pacing was off for me from time to time, overall this was an incredible book with a unique premise.

The beginning of the novel was a little rough for me and I think it was because readers are jolted from scene to scene too quickly. Within the first couple of pages, Lexi tries to commit suicide, runs from authorities, gets branded and is imprisoned within the Hole. I like fast-paced reads, but not to the point where I’m unable to grasp the world-building.

However, I kept with the book and I’m really glad I did. The authors created a terrifying world where “sinners” are separated from the rest of society and forced to survive in a dangerous prison. The book is very violent and I was feeling a little squeamish over a few scenes depicted. The authors definitely have a talent for descriptions.

The story is told from Lexi’s POV and I found her character interesting. She’s falsely accused of a crime and ostracized by her high-society family. She’s truly alone as she tries to survive the dangers of the Hole. Cole is the guard assigned to Lexi and probably the only empathetic guard working in the establishment.

The romance between Lexi and Cole is fast and passionate, which worked for the setting. Guards are forbidden from falling in love with a sinner and the couple must risk their lives in order to be together. Their relationship blossoms in the middle of an uprising that is simultaneously occurring inside of the Hole.

I thought I was over dystopians, but Branded was able to rekindle my enjoyment of the genre. Definitely a series to watch.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this book as part of the tour from CBL Book Tours.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Branded! I'm on this tour too, but I haven't read the book yet and after reading your review I'm pretty excited to get to it.

  2. Sorry to hear the beginning was a bit rough, but glad that you enjoyed overall and it was intense