Branded [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Branded

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Overview

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.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016481692
  • Publisher: Month9Books
  • Publication date: 6/26/2013
  • Series: A Sinners series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 85,625
  • File size: 399 KB

Meet the Author

Abi Ketner Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 92 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 92 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I had a really hard time writing this review because I had to ke

    I had a really hard time writing this review because I had to keep containing myself from telling you too much!! I loved so much about it that I literally have pages of summary strewn about my room as I type this, but I don't want to spoil all the awesome for you so I'm going to keep this spoiler-free, I SWEAR!

    In a world taken over by The Commander, under a false pretense of morality, that has lead to a world where the are only the accused....not the guilty. Those who are accused are thrown in The Hole. The prison that hoses the men, women and children that are branded on their throats with bands of color that designate what crime they have committed. With their deadly sin on full display, the people of The Hole live a hell everyday not only from within but from the guards who are suppose to keep order.

    We meet Lexi Hamilton in a situation that actually may be a first for me reading anything, she is trying to kill herself. However, before she is able to complete the task, the guards chase her down and she is taken away to The Hole as a sinner. After being tattooed with a blue band for the sin of Lust, she is given a guard and thrown into The Hole where she will spend the rest of her life.....or so it seems!

    What I loved the most about Lexi was that she seemed real. She went through hell growing up after her father died, and now she is in another form of hell in The Hole but she never loses some light inside her, which touched me. In all the horrible things that have happened to her, she could literally be dead inside and I wouldn't have blamed her, but she isn't. Lexi is a good person with a heart bigger than anyone I have read about in a very long time. She's tough and strong but she is able to love and feel and that's what drove this story home for me. Lexi was a center of light and hope in a world with not a lot of bright things to look at, especially when it came to Cole, her guard.

    First of all, if there was a real life Cole in front of me, I might be at a lost for words. The way he is described in this story made me drool a little bit, but even more than just how he written to look like he's another small bit of sunshine within the sleazy underbelly of the guards station. Cole is actually a decent person who takes his job very seriously without taking advantage of his stature within The Hole. There is no surprise that these two are drawn to each other and I root for them to be together from the second we meet Cole until the very last page. Not for one second did I say to myself, these two shouldn't be together. Does Cole make mistakes? Yes and so does Lexi but in the end it comes down to who they are and how they feel about each other and really loved where the relationship went.

    I'd be a fool if I didn't talk about the world this story is placed in because it is HUGE. I'm not just talking about Earth as a whole but even just within the great big walls of The Hole the world is enormous. Between the physical entity and the relationships between the immense amount of people within them, it could have easily gone in thirty different directions and you could get lost in the buildings that make it up. However, you never do. I never once had to back up and figure out where they were or what was going on. It is complicated, don't get me wrong, but in a good way. It makes for an entertaining story just watching the interactions of prisoner vs. prisoner, guard vs prisoner, guard vs. guard and so on. You get to see everything from the gory and gross to the soft and gentle moments that Lexi has to go through throughout the book and it really is a complete and detailed setting these characters are traipsing around in, and it was great!

    Overall, yes this is another dystopian story with a romance that will bring you to your knees, but don't dismiss it. Branded has been one of the most intriguing books I have read this year and it kept my attention for hours at a time (to the point I had to force myself to stop reading at 3 am!) and it is truly a unique story in a genre that is over run with stale and boring takes on dystopia. Pick up Branded NOW because I loved it and I think you will too!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Read it right now

    Oh my God. This book is beyond words. The two main characters are terrifically composed and built up. They stand strong individually and are mindblowing together.

    Lexi is the heroine of the story and she is portrayed as a strong woman. The struggles she has had to overcome and has to face are something that all readers will find powerful and awe-inspiring.

    Cole is the protective hero of the novel. He is wonderfully developed as a brave guard with a loving side. His adoration towards Lexi is something that readers will be ahhing at and thinking about long after the book is finished.

    All I have to say is read this book if you are even remotely interested in romance, action, thriller, or kick ass books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    An intense, dark, yet deeply romantic dystopian read. Branded wa

    An intense, dark, yet deeply romantic dystopian read. Branded was such a brilliant book! I loved everything about it, from the world building to the characters to the sweet romance. This book was absolutely amazing!

    The world that the authors built in this book is a miserable society, ruled by a psychotic maniac who deems that the seven deadly sins are the reason for society's failures and punishes them on the single basis of accusation. This world is corrupted and on the verge of collapse and rife with cruelty and violence. It was vivid and spine-chilling. And I absolutely love it! The world building in this book was flawless. I really felt like a was transported to a world that was hanging on to a last thread of civilization. I love books that have well built worlds and this was one of them.

    Lexi was a fiercely strong heroine, who was determined to fight to survive. She had been through horrors that would break other people'e sanity. The kind of horrors that you might hear on the news and shiver, thinking "that is worse than a horror movie." Yet, she still survives and moves on. She refuses to let anything keep her from thriving in even the worst of circumstances. I really liked her character. She was the kind of heroine that I could really admire. Definitely on my list of strongest heroines.

    Cole was the love interest in this book and I adored him. He might be a guard in the Hole, but he is one of the few that hate the cruelty and refuse to abuse their power. He joined the guards believing in the grand propaganda that he heard from the government, only to find that the Hole was basically a hell on earth. And, as soon as he found a reason to fight back, he did. I thought he was wonderful. Very sweet, adorably devoted to Lexi, and determined to do what was right. He was a perfect hero.

    The romance in this book was so sweet. I loved it. Lexi and Cole were perfect together. I hope that this couple gets to have an happily ever after, despite all the odds.

    The other characters in this book were very dynamic. A lot of times, secondary characters are made into caricatures of a person, but not in this case. All of the characters were complex and brilliantly done.

    The plot was fast paced. I was hooked the entire way through. This book managed to be unpredictable, a huge feat. I never knew what was coming and there were tons of surprises that had my jaw dropping. The ending was perfectly bittersweet and I can't wait to read the next book in this series. 

    Branded was a brilliant, fantastic, magnificent YA dystopian. Dark and intense, yet sweet and romantic, this book was perfection! Anyone who loves YA, dystopia, romance, or a book that keeps you guessing, you definitely have to read this.

    *I received a free copy via Netgalley for an honest review

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Overdramatic

    Every moment the love interests are kissing. No good dialogue. Characters are as flat as a plain, either good or evil. There is a sympathy character too. (Existing only to make the main character seem noble) Not worth even 1 cent.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    This book was so over the top, I don't know where to begin. The

    This book was so over the top, I don't know where to begin. The writing resembled something an adolescent might attempt. Not much of the plot made sense and the characters where one dimensional. I pretty much started hating this when Lexi  describes the torture she suffered from her step father. Unbelievable. I had to stop, re-read, and make sure the author wasn't trying to make a joke. I so wanted to like this book, but in the end I was left disappointed and sorry I read it in the first place.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    I was left SPEECHLESS after reading Branded! This book was unlik

    I was left SPEECHLESS after reading Branded! This book was unlike anything I have EVER read!! It was soooo amazing in soooo many different ways!

    *SIGH*

    This book was intense. I was on the edge of my seat the entire book! I think I bit off all my nails while reading this book! It was just that GOOD!!! I was reading so fast, I had to re-read it at times to understand what I just read! I just couldn't get it read fast enough!

    I was SHOCKED that this was the authors first book! The writing was spectacular! The world-building was fresh and original, and romance swept me off my feet, and had me craving more! This was so much better then I've seen from a lot of first time writers. With this being the first book that both these wonderful authors have written, I can only imagined what's in store for their upcoming books!


    Branded is the Sickening truth of what our world could come to be if the wrong people come into power! It was Scary, Disgusting, and Appalling, Yet Captivating, Addicting, and Fascinating. Truly Unlike anything I have ever read! AMAZING, TRULY AMAZING!!!!

    THE PLOT:

    The Commander came into power about 50 years ago and destroyed the world that these people once knew! He brainwashed and convinced citizens that the Seven Deadly Sins was the downfall of the world that failed them! He then created the Hole where all Sinners would go to pay for their Sins. Theirs No Judge, No Jury, No One to plead your case to if your accused! If you get accused by ANYONE, you go to the Hole, to DIE...

    The Hole is set-up like little neighborhoods with different sectors. Guards patrol these sectors and are even worse then the Sinners! Their power hungry, and live only to make the Sinners life miserable! They'll shoot you on sight if you even look at them the wrong way! Most Sinners are starving, living in filth, walking over dead bodies, with hardly any medical care. Depending on the Brand around your neck, determines how your treated! Your Sin determines what color your Brand is. Blue represents the Sin of Lust, and the worst you could possibly be Branded with! It defies you as a slut, a whore worth nothing more then a quickie! It Brands you as a Premarital sex offender, or someone who sleeps around. Either way, your dirt, trash to be used and abused, then thrown away like the garbage in your trashcan! Most Sinners Branded Blue don't make it very long! And it just so happens that Lexi is Branded Blue...

    Lexi is accused of having Premarital sex and taken to the Hole, to die! She is Branded with the color Blue around her neck for all to see! She has no family, no one to depend on, or fight for her. Her father was murdered a couple years ago. Her mother pushed her aside when she remarried. Leaving her into the vicious hands of her Step-father, for him to do as he pleases. Her brother just up an left after their father died. Abandoned her with no clue why! Then she get's accused and things get worse, Or so she thought...

    She is left all but shattered when she is accused of a crime she didn't commit. She's captured and taken to the Hole to wait out the remainder of her years, If she even makes it that long! Lexi is luckily assigned a guard to keep her alive at all cost! She doesn't understand why she is granted a privilege no one else is, but she doesn't question it, for Cole, her guard is keeping her alive, and she is grateful!

    Lexi is given a position as a nurses aid at the only hospital in the entire Hole. Its there that she finds hope. She befriends a dying child, and experiences love she thought was lost! Lexi opens up her heart to one of the only pure innocents left in the Hole. She not only saves this little girl, but this little girl saves her too. She shows Lexi how to unselfishly love again! She is given a new beginning, and a spark of hope begins!


    The Blue Brand around Lexi's neck targets her everywhere she goes. She's not safe anywhere! Even from the guards, especially from the guards! And they all want a piece. Like she's the last piece of steak on a plate! Its not enough that Cole watches her back as much as he can. Its not enough that Lexi tries everything possible to stay away from people and places that are trouble! Its not enough that she has other people watching her back! Eventually they will get to her! And when they do, they will take the only thing she has left! Her Innocents, then her life!

    As Lexi and Cole fight each day for survival, they become even more drawn to each other. A connection begins as Cole realize that Lexi is innocent and was framed for a crime she didn't commit. Its only a matter of time before these feeling come to the surface. And when they do, their in trouble! Guard and Sinner relations is forbidden! If found having any sexual relations with a Sinner, both the Sinner and the Guard are put on stage for all to see, humiliated, then murdered "For Their Sin"! They can't risk it. But what do you do when your heart tells you yes, go for it, but your mind tells you no, stop, it can't be!!!

    There's a rebellion in the midst of the Hole and they want a new beginning. They want back the life that the Commander stole from them and their fellow citizens, or should I say fellow Sinners! All starts to make sense to Lexi, and she understand why she's there and what her purpose is in the Hole! She is given the option to fight for what she believes in, or give up and let all be lost to Sinners! Lexi is tried of death, and cruelty! She's ready to stand up and fight for her beliefs. But the cost are high and will be paid with blood, a lot of blood! But that's the chance their willing to take!!!


    Phewww....That was such a RIDE!!! When I went into this book I was NOT expecting what I got! I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't this! I watched a broken shattered teenage girl, grow into a strong independent women, determined to take down the very thing that took it all away from her. No matter the cost, she was willing to pay it with her life! ! It was an incredible, heart-throbbing, adventure, to fight for what they believed in and to free the innocents and bring justices back to a world that is corrupted by the Seven deadly Sins! It was AMAZING! This book is worth soooo much more the 5 stars!! Branded brings a fresh, new twist to the Dystopia world that will ROCK readers to the very core!!

    I just can't stress how much I love this book! Branded will DEFINITELY go into my TOP FIVE FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIMES!!! If you haven't read Branded, then stop what your doing NOW and READ IT!!!! Trust me you won't be disappointed, I wasn't!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2013

    Branded begins with the main character Lexi, accused of a crime

    Branded begins with the main character Lexi, accused of a crime she didn't commit (one of the seven deadly sins) and is forced into the Hole. Very early on we see the horrors of society, the Hole, and as the story develops, the life that Lexi had and what led to her arrest.

    Branded is filled with emotion and well thought out and developed characters. Not only are the main characters well developed but the secondary characters are as well.

    The world the authors paint is cruel, dark, and oddly delightful to read. It is a quick and yet intense read, leaving you begging for more if you even so much as try to put the book down. Each chapter brilliantly flows into the next. The pacing and plot were well constructed.

    I did have some questions as I was reading the story, about Lexi's work assignment among other things - but even as I felt there might have been small plotholes, I was happy to find that I had my answers by the end of the novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    Originally published at The Rookie Romance Blog. I don't often

    Originally published at The Rookie Romance Blog.

    I don't often read dystopian, even with romance, but the book blurb captured my imagination. It immediately made me think, what if?
    I am so glad I decided to try it, because I really loved it! I stayed up reading until the sun came up, and was finishing it as soon as I woke up.

    The Commander has complete power and control over a dangerous and treacherous society. He psychotically believes that the 7 deadly sins are the root of all evil in society, so he punishes those he believes to have 'sinned'. The justice system is completely gone. Instead, anyone who has sinned is thrown into the Hole, with no hope of ever leaving. The Hole is a brutal place where only the strongest can survive, and even then, the odds aren't good.
    Lexi Hamilton has been accused of the sin of lust, with no trial or defense, she is captured and taken to the Hole.

    Lexi is such a strong female character, not just physically (she gets to be fairly kick-ass) but mentally too. She goes through a lot of really harrowing experiences, but always comes out a fighter. She desperately wants to be someone her beloved father would be proud of, and strives to maintain her compassion and dignity in a place that does it's best to strip it away. When her relationship with Cole changes, she admirably tries to stay away from him, knowing the consequences if they were found out.
    At first we don't see much of Cole as a person. He seems to be better than most of the other guards, who abuse their power and terrorise the inmates of the Hole. He dutifully keeps Lexi safe, but before long his defenses crumble in the face of her quiet strength and determination. When the real Cole emerges, we can see the conflict he feels and how he's torn between duty and love. He was amazing with Lexi, gentle and kind, he also respects her wishes and was always a total gentleman- not many of them in the Hole!
    Their relationship was like a flower growing out of rubble. It starts slowly, and both struggle to fight their feelings before giving in to them. It was a wonderful and pure love, it made me cry on more than one occasion.

    "I never planned on falling for you. You were just an assignment. But it just sort of happened and now... There's not a single thing I would change about you. When you smile, my entire world stops. All I see is you. I need you."

    Apart from the romance, the plot was filled with twists and turns that were so unpredictable. I kept trying to stop reading, and sleep....but I couldn't! It just sucked me in completely. The ending was fast-paced and explosive (again, the tears). Whilst there was a satisfying and bittersweet HFN, I am eagerly awaiting more from this series!

    This story is intense, gritty and passionate, with some funny, light-hearted humour for much needed comic relief. It'll make you gasp in shock and cry in happiness and sadness! Don't miss it, because you will regret it!

    *I received a review copy from NetGalley, as part of the book tour. Thank you!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    A Sinners Series Branded By Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki Br

    A Sinners Series
    Branded
    By Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

    Branded is a fast moving journey into a human spirit that can't be broken. In a world where one man controls the destiny of humanity he decides how to twist religion and curse people into the Hole. A city without hope, where no one escapes and you live to die. Branded a whore a young woman innocent of her crime comes to grips with her own inner strength and her own humanity. It is in the horror of the Hole that Lexi Hamilton discovers strength she never knew existed within her self.

    The writers portray a world with out hope, full of decay and desolation. Lexi brings to this world light. It is a light that never stops burning for freedom and hope. Fighting for what she believes is right Lexi perseveres in a desolate void. Her journey captivated me as a reader and all I could ponder is how does she persevere. Ketner and Kalicicki have created a character that is so human and so real that you have a hard time putting the book down because you want to discover what is going to happen next.

    It is a book that shows the inhumanity man can show to man. It shows the horror of persecution. I hated the man and the world that allowed this horrible system to exist. It made me see that one person with hope can fight and survive even in a place akin to hell.
    This is not a story for the faint of heart. Despite all the horror ,the complications of the existence she is forced to live Lexi manages to find hope and she manages to find love. It is a story that will make you realize that humanity is fragile and hell might not be far away. In the context of history we have had the Hole with innocence persecuted. There were the Dark ages with the Inquisition, the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and in World War II it was the Concentration camps. Yet even in those times there were those who persevered as Lexi does. This is a book you will want to read. It will make you feel horror, anger, and in the end I believe you will find hope.

    Bella Doerres 07/05/2013

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2013

    5 BRILLIANT, HEART RACING,CAPTIVATING DYSTOPIAN STARS This is an

    5 BRILLIANT, HEART RACING,CAPTIVATING DYSTOPIAN STARS
    This is an awesome,fast paced, heart wrenching romance.I was sucked into this imaginary world right from page 1.I was captivated by the environment, the disturbing scenes and the story. I’m sure The Hole is just another word for Hell! It is so creepy,gritty and made my skin crawl.
    Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki did a superb job with this book I cant wait for more! I want to know more about Cole!
    Go buy this book it rocks!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    :)

    4.5 stars!

    What an awesome book. Can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    I have to give it to the authors, they really created a world th

    I have to give it to the authors, they really created a world that pulls you right in. I think it was so dark (in a good way) I never saw sunlight in my mind.




    Lexi has never had it easy but to make things worse she is accused of being a sinner and is thrown into the Hole. A place where sinners, wrongly accused or not, waste away. She may seem weak but she stays strong... as her father's ring would remind her: "You can overcome anything... short of death." She honors his words through and through.




    In the Hole she has her own guard. This guard happens to be Cole. A swoon worthy guy that has heart and compassion even when his job requires him to be brutal and coldhearted. Seeing so much pain everyday did not break him either. They are two very strong characters that not only make you fall in love with them but they also make you feel brave.




    Read their story, you'll love it. Keep in mind this is a dystopian novel and has a lot of darkness, but it fits in this world so seamlessly that you wouldn't even question the horrors. Now... where is book two? Can't wait to read it!
    By S. Katherine

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Amazing!!! Best book I have read in a long time!

    Amazing!!! Best book I have read in a long time!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2013

    This book was AMAZING!! One of the best books i've read all year

    This book was AMAZING!! One of the best books i've read all year. I can't wait to read more about the revolution and Lexi and Cole. I loved them together and how much they overcame. Cole was perfect and i loved that he cared for her even from the beginning. And Lexi is so strong! She lived through so much and still had compassion and love in her heart. Their journey is amazing and i can't wait until the next book. Branded is a MUST READ for everyone. It has action, romance, and survival at it's best. Loved it! ^_^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Branded and insta

    I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Branded and instantly feel in love. The concept was original and exciting.  The story was so well written, you could really connect with the characters and believe that a future like this was really possible.  Can't wait for Cole and Lexi's story to continue and hoping for many more novels by these talented autors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Very good

    Strong beginning.... a little weaker towards the end but the love story is worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Lexi Hamilton is a sinner. She has been branded with her sin aro

    Lexi Hamilton is a sinner. She has been branded with her sin around her neck and has been taken to the Hole. Her sin is visible for all to see and there are many that want her because of it. She's young, she's beautiful and she has been found guilty of Lust. Cole is her guard inside the Hole. He has been assigned to keep her alive and protect her from harm. He does not know why this is his assignment, but he will fulfill it as he has his others. But, there is something different about this one. Something that makes him question what is happening in the Hole and with the world today.

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. To say that I was on pins and needles to read this book would be a total understatement. I read the first chapter that had been posted and I was hooked! I wanted to read more. When I finally got the chance, I was not disappointed! This story is so good and so well written. It hooks you in and doesn't let go until the end. I would be reading and I would feel the build up coming and I couldn't stop reading. It was intense, emotional and completely fantastic. The story was rich, vivid and completely original. I truly loved Lexi and Cole's relationship and found that it was an exciting, nail biting roller coaster of emotion. And Cole's dog Zeus is the BEST! I love stories with dogs in them, especially when they are given character and are part of the story.

    I wasn't sure what was going to happen in this story as I kept reading it and I was getting closer to the end and the big climax hadn't come. I was nervous that Abi & Missy were going to leave me with a cliffhanger, but they didn't. They were able to complete the story and leave the ending open for the next book. I love that! I prefer that kind of writing to the cliffhanger. I understand why authors do it, but I am not a patient person so it usually just pisses me off! But, Abi & Missy, THANK YOU for finishing the story and for NOT making me wait to find out what happens. However, I still have to wait because I have to wait for the next book. Oh well. Dammit.

    To summarize, there are only 3 words for you to remember - READ THIS BOOK! I will definitely be reading this book again. That's not something to be taken lightly either because those of you that know me, know I don't read very many books a second time. I can count on 1 hand the number of books that I have read more than once. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if this story became the next big thing, aka Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. I really am very excited about this book and will be waiting (im)patiently for the next one. I have just added 2 more authors to my "Stalking" list. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    I received this book from the authors, from NetGalley.








    I received this book from the authors, from NetGalley.

    I have only done this on a few books, but my rating is not 5 stars! It is a full 10+!

    I found myself staying up way too late, and getting up super early to read this book. When I got to 91% in this book, I literally kept finding different things to do around the house since I did not want to finish it. I knew as soon as I finished Branded I would be so sad because there was nothing more to read with it.

    The storyline was TERRFIC! It kept me engaged more and more and it was something that I have never read before. Hell I was hooked from the very first words! The characters were written perfectly! I found myself having a heart for Cole and especially his dog Zeus!
    There were times that I literally laughed out loud with Zeus and his tactics. One part being where he scared his self from his gas.

    Branded was fast-paced, full of emotion, and action packed. I know this may be to early to even say this but Branded is my number one favorite for 2013. I do not think there is a book that will even stand with Branded as good as it was.

    Lexi was a strong heroine in the story, even though she was being put through hell! And even then she was able to find love with the one person who said he would die protecting her! Lexi had a big heart and her actions were something that I felt and couldn't help but sympathize with her.

    Cole is a guard who has been ordered to protect Lexi, but yet he falls heed over heels with her even though he is not suppose to. That is a big no no in the Hole! Sinners and Guards DO NOT fall in love. There are grave consequences for those who do. And Lexi and Cole learn this all first hand.

    There is a major twist at the end that I really did not see coming and was totally caught by surprise! Way to go with that authors!

    I am so glad there was not a cliffhanger at the end of this book, but I do know that Lexi and Cole's adventure is far from over! And I can not wait until book 2 is out!

    Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki are two authors you want to keep your eye on! They have a real talent for writing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    I¿ve never been much of a dystopian fan¿I prefer to stick to my

    I’ve never been much of a dystopian fan—I prefer to stick to my romance and fantasy genres. But something about this book brought me in. Maybe it was the gorgeous cover, or maybe it was the intriguing story line.

    Whatever it was, I’m so grateful I gave this book a try. In a sad and gloomy world, Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki have integrated happiness and light. There are moments of despair and moments of hope, and there was just enough hope to keep everyone trying to survive.

    The world that the authors created was really good. We get enough details throughout the book to piece together what happened in the past to make the world what it had become. It’s now post-World War V. You read that correctly, World War five. I liked the detail that they put into making this world what it became and the idea of brands for sinners.

    Lexi is a strong girl. She’s been through a lot. And I mean, a LOT. When I started this book, I didn’t know just how much this poor girl had suffered—but she still has her spirit and she hasn’t let that bring her down. Lexi’s been handed the wrong side of everything, but she still manages to survive. I really respected that about her and it’s the reason that she’s one of my favorite characters in this book.

    Cole is Lexi’s guard, who has strict orders to keep her alive and protect her at all costs. She is confused, naturally, because why would anyone care that much about a sinner?

    I loved Cole and everything he did. I really, truly did. He was brave and was willing to risk everything for love. That, and his loyalty and care, made me like him even more. He was brave and really wanted to change things so that the world could be a better place.

    There were some things that both Lexi and Cole did that were kinda dumb, but it was realistic and I completely understood why they did them.

    One person that I didn’t like that I felt like I was supposed to like was Keegan. Pretty much every time he opened his mouth I felt like yelling “How dare he?!” He just bursts in, after leaving, and thinks he can boss Lexi around? Hell, no. And then Lexi pretty much forgives him. Yes, she admits that she doesn’t agree with everything he does, but come on, girl, he’s being a jerk. He “knows what’s best for her”? Ha! I couldn’t believe that Lexi forgave him that easily—but on the other hand I do understand why she did. I was slightly conflicted when it came to Keegan.

    This story has many twists and turns—some you’ll see coming, and some will leave you with your mouth wide open staring at the screen (or page) while pretty much all that is going around in your head is “Holy crap!” I really enjoyed reading this story and finished it in one sitting. It had romance, action, slight mystery, and good guys trying to fight for justice. I’m very curious to see what will happen next. In other words, I’ll definitely be looking for the next book in this series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Branded is the first book in the Sinners Series by Abi Ketner &a

    Branded is the first book in the Sinners Series by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki. This story brings all the horrible aspects of human nature front and center. From the start, you see the evil in the people around Lexi. As the story progresses, the good starts to filter out from the bad, but it's still hard to know who you can trust. Lexi is an amazing character. I don't know how she has the drive to survive in this world. 

    It seems like everything  that happened had a purpose that lead to something else, like puzzle pieces fitting together to make a larger whole. Branded had violence and hate, but you needed to see it to fully grasp life in the Hole and what Lexi is up against. I enjoyed the romance. It was kind of one of those forbidden romances. I can't get enough of those, and this one gave just enough to keep me wanting more. Branded shows how the goodness of humanity can still surface even in a world as dark and twisted as the Hole. I was completely drawn into this story, and I can't wait for more.

    Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki was kindly provided to me by the Publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

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