Author(s): Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki
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.
To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.
Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.
Brutal and savage violence.
Every day is a fight for survival.
But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
Branded is a fast paced action thriller balanced with a lovable relationship. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the second book in the series. I gave this book 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads.
I recieved this book for review from Netgalley
Warning this review is FULL of spoilers.
So this book starts off with us seeing Lexi about to commit suicide and we learn why later in the book but then she gets taken away by the guards. One thing I didn't like about this book was that the start of the book and quite a while in I was very confused. I later learnt that we as a reader where meant to feel like that because the history that we could have known earlier would be revealed when the main character Lexi is ready to tell it.
So when they get Lexi they take her away and then we get to Cole. The way he talks to her and the way he was addressed by Lexi made me think that they knew each other which again confused me.
I really liked how we knew the backstory of how Lexi got there and it became more and more relevant as the story progressed.
So she starts working for the hospital and I was at the start of this bit a bit cautious of Sutton because I thought he was going to take advantage of Lexi as some of the other guards had but then we find out his connection to Lexi's dad and the commander who just happened to be Lexi's stepdad. I ended up really liking Sutton and was happy when he didn't end up dead at the end of the book.
When Alyssa comes into the book you can really start to see a change in Lexi not only about her strength but also you can see Cole really starting to show his affection for Lexi.
I love the relationship in this book but I do see a little bit of instalove and a bit of unrealistic love. Lexi was seeing all the things that could go wrong in their relationship and looking at it in a realistic way but Cole, who you would expect to find the bad things (as he is a guard), was all over Lexi all of a sudden willing to do anything for her and as awesome it was to see them getting closer, it was just a bit rushed.
One thing that confused me is that in the last few scenes, does Zeus die? I seem to think he did die but I can't really remember...oh well.
I did not like Lexi's brother. Even though his intentions of leaving and his intentions of training Lexi where true, he was way too obsessive over her. He started cutting off all the things that she loved and even though she let him do it, I didn't like his character and when he died I was more sad/concerned for Lexi than I was for him.
So then it comes to the bit where they actually kill Lexi's stepdad/the commander and we find out who he is and how he relates to Sutton. I suspected that he had something to do with sutton because Sutton had all of this information and seemed to know a lot more than anyone else but I did not expect that he was friends with Lexi's dad or that the commander was Lexi's stepdad.
So to finish off it seems like all they need to do is get everyone back out of the hole. I think that with an ending like this, this book could have been a dystopian stand alone but I am excited about the second book!
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think anyone should read it.