Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review of Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

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.
Goodreads Rating: 3.91 with over 2,900 ratings.
Genre listing: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult, Romance, New Adult, Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Action, Sociology, Abuse
Get the Book: Amazon, Book Depository


Edited 12/1/2016

I finally took the plunge and invested in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. I've been tossing around the idea for awhile, and finally decided to go with the free trial. I think that the price is going to be worth it. What's been happening with that unread folder is that I'll read two chapters and just delete whatever book it is because I can't get into it. There's a ton of books I want to read that have come out recently, so I'm hoping that they'll be listed on unlimited.

I found Branded on Unlimited. It was my third choice, but I kept having issues with books and stuff. Honestly, I should have kept looking. The premise behind this book sounds awesome. The government's fallen and in an attempt to create a perfect society the crimes are the seven sins and offenders are sent to what is called the hole. The hole is a prison where the sinners work and live. It's disgusting and surrounded by death and war. This prison is where my interest fades.

I love the idea behind this book, but I was left unsatisfied. We follow the story through Lexi Hamilton's eyes. She's falsely accused of lust by her mother and is sent to the hole. However, she's the one sinner who is protected. Her gallant protector is Cole. I hate to ruin the surprise for everyone, but Lexi and Cole fall madly in Luv. I typed it that way on purpose, and yes it hurt to do so. It's no wonder she got branded with Lust.

I found Lexi and Cole to be empty. I felt completely disconnected from them, and I got the impression of them just being placeholders. I found Lexi to be a weak character and female in general. She constantly needs to be saved by Cole, Bruno, Sutton, Zeus, or Keegan. By the time she learns to fight, I was so ready to be done with the book that I didn't care. I thought Lexi was going to be this bad-asses take no crap kind of female lead, and the more the story goes on, the more child-like and weak she becomes. The strongest character in this book is Alyssa, who is barely in the story.

I wanted to see more of the struggles in the hole. The action seemed rushed so that the authors could talk more about how dreamy Cole is. *Gag*. Because of her pedestal position of being protected, I just don't think Lexi gave us that great of an understanding of the hole. Also, I don't trust Cole at all. I just don't get his transition from being an asshole to hanging onto Lexi's every whim.

I ended up putting this book down for a few days. I was disconnected beforehand, but when I picked it back up, I just wanted the book to be over with. It had a lot of promise but falls short in so many ways. There's no character depth, no real reason for us to care about the hole, and is more focused on the relationship between Lexi and Cole that readers don't get a true sense of the Revolt. The Revolt is just thrown in all of the sudden to the point where it seems forced and forgotten. I read it and was like "Oh we're revolting? meh." That's not a good sign. As a reader, I need to care about why characters are revolting, and I didn't believe in this book. It was very obvious to be an afterthought in the story. The two best characters in this book aren't even the main characters. One is barely in the story (Alyssa), and the other is a dog (Zeus).

Two out of Five moons.

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