BOOK REVIEW: Branded (#1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Branded Blog Tour

Published on/by: June 11th, 2013, Abi & Missy Books
Source: Review copy graciously given by the authors
Format: eBook
Page Count: 295 pages
Blurb provided by Goodreads: 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. 



Let me start this review by saying how original and intriguing the entire concept is. I’ve never, ever read a book like this–with the ‘criminals’ of this dystopian society being branded according to the seven deadly sins– lust, greed, envy, pride, gluttony, wrath and sloth. This entire arc was so interesting to read, especially to find out how it all worked under the dictator called the Commander. We meet our protagonist in a state of despair, and let me tell you…from page 1 onwards, you will be hooked. Lexi Hamilton is such a strong-willed and empathetic character and in the beginning, her character was contemplating a permanent decision which only urged me to root for her all throughout the book. Along with Cole, her new guard and protector in the vile Hole where ‘sinner’s are banished to, and the menacing-adorable dog, Zeus, we go through a raw and gritting journey where Lexi learns to be stronger and how to love again, after the injustice she’s been through.

I recommend going into this not knowing a lot, because I feel the impact of what Lexi goes through will be greater and you will totally sympathise with what she has endured. At first, I thought Lexi was a likeable character in the beginning of the book and I loved that she wasn’t a weak damsel in distress.Well, she seemed like she wasn’t. However, I began to dislike her as the book progressed because I felt like she was full of contradictions. Soon, I honestly started hating her. Her character so much as enraged me with the things she said and I felt that she wasn’t a memorable heroine so much as a Mary Sue.


Although I had many problems with the book, other than the main character itself, I feel like many would still enjoy it. I also feel that this book is perfect for those who are in a reading slump, because I don’t know about you…but I need a greatly paced book to save me from one and this book had good pacing! There’s no lull whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean the story was rushed at all. I felt like  Ketner and Kalicicki took the right amount of time to provide a space for the world to grow.


The eBook was given to me by the authors in exchange of an honest review! 


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