The Book: Branded (Sinners #1)
The Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
The Publisher: Abi and Missy Books
The Pages: 314
My Rating: 2/5
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.
I was super excited to read this. I mean come on, the blurb does make it sound pretty dramatic right? The storyline was pretty exciting and I thought to myself ‘Im really going to love this Lexi girl.’, plus I may have heard that the main guy was book boyfriend material. So yeah I was hopeful.
It started off okay. The story drew me in and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. But oh my oh my, by about a third of the way in I was still reading but there was a lot of eye rolling going on.
I cant work Lexi out. She’s been through terrible ordeals in her life and gets stuck in this Hole, full of murderes and rapists etc etc. She’s already attempted suicide once right at the beginning of the book, yet here she is still fighting to stay alive. Pretty admirable. Right? She keeps saying how yeah she’s scared but she can overcome anything short of death, (her fathers words). Im like:
YEAH GO GIRL! You’re so tough and brave and smart what a fab heroine! Im going to love this book!
Then I carried on reading…
I think the author tried to develop her as a character but oh god she did not succeed. One second Lexi is all tough and independent, then she’s weak and pathetic, then she’s angry and all I WONT STAND FOR THIS I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE (I’m paraphrasing). Then she’s a damsel in distress from a bad horror movie. For example:
Lexi knows that everyone views her as a target for rape and the only thing stopping that from happening is her protectors. The protectors tell her to stay here where its safe. What does Lexi do? She runs off to some abandoned stairway on her own and gets attacked.
COME ON! Get a grip girl.
I’m going to move on before I have a breakdown.
So then there’s Cole, Lexi’s guard/protector/love-interest. He’s a nice guy (which in this book is defined by ‘he doesn’t try to rape her’). He genuinely seems like a great, interesting character. I want to know more about his story, more about him, but unfortunately we don’t really get it. He protects Lexi, and that’s about all we know.
As for the romance… I wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t quite insta-love but it was pretty close. There was no detail of them falling for eachother, just a lot of staring and eventually kissing. I just didn’t feel it. Which is super sad cause I’m a big fan of the strong emotions in a ‘forbidden love’ storyline. 😦
The world-building was shaky. I have a vague idea of what’s happening but it was if the author just made the world up as they went along to fit in with the plot. I need the world a book is set in to have a little more thought to it.
At points the writing was good, and that’s what kept me going to the end, but at other times it was just poor. It wasn’t drawing me in at all, it wasn’t creating fantastic imagery, connecting me to the character or giving me super FEELS.
I’m going to wrap this up because I’m still a little confused myself about how I feel. There are some major faults with this book which seriously dragged it down when it had so much potential to be fab. But something kept me reading to the end and there’s a part of me that is hoping the next book will be an improvement.
If anyone has read this, Id be super interested to know how you felt about it. Let me know in the comments! x x