Sunday, 7 July 2013

Review by Jem of Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

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.

Jem's review.

Wow this book was an amazing read and I loved every minute of it. I don’t usually read Dystopian but I really couldn't put this book down, I was gripped.

The story is told from Lexi’s point of view and is not for the faint of heart.  Lexi’s life has been turned upside down she has gone from living in High Society to being branded a sinner, and placed in the most horrific place in the world.  She is put in to The Hole for a crime she hasn’t committed and branded a Whore.  The Hole was created by The Commander at the end of World War V.  Under his dictatorship anyone and everyone can be branded a sinner without a trail or conviction.

The Hole isn’t a normal prison where people are locked away in cells; it is a slum or ghetto where violence and death are an everyday occurrence. Everyone is out to either to kill or rape Lexi, even the guards. Her only protection is a guard named Cole who has been given the order to keep her alive.  Through all the pain and suffering a relationship between Lexi and Cole begins to grow.  Slowly he gains her trust and love and a secret love affair develops.    

Lexi is a strong character and will fight to stay alive even in a place where all hope seems lost.  The love she has for her father and the belief that one day she may escape drives her forward.  Her relationship with Cole is forbidden in The Hole and can result in a painfully death for both of them.  They try their hardest to stay away from each other and to stay alive but the urge to be together is too strong.

The supporting characters are wonderfully written and they are what move’s this story on. Dr Sutton becomes the father she lost as a child and is a small amount of good in a mass of bad. Ayless the best friend she never had, the chapters with her are beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, to the point where I was crying so hard I found it difficult to see the words on the pages. Then there is Zeus the most awesome dog in the whole world.

A word of warning, I found some of the subject matter very hard to read, as I said it’s not for the faint of heart.  But this story needs the pain, suffering and heartbreak to make it the amazing story it is so please give it a go I promise it will surprise you.

Rating: Five honey pots out of five. 

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.

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