Review: Branded (#1, A Sinners Series) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

Review: Branded (#1, A Sinners Series) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

My Thoughts

Dark, intense and suspenseful with a love so forbidden that it will likely get you killed. This unique and enthralling dystopian story had me hooked from the first paragraph to the very last page.
Your heart will be racing the entire time!

5stars

Synopsis

branded coverFifty 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.

My Review

“Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them.”

I LOVED this book! LOVED. Dark and riveting, powerful and emotional, suspenseful and exciting… it made my heart race with panic and warm with some really heartfelt, romantic moments. But I have to say this was the first book where there were so many times that I was almost yelling at the characters, “No! Don’t fall in love! Don’t do it!” I’m talking big-time forbidden romance… the kind that will get you tortured and killed… but the type that is real and true and cannot be ignored. The way this book starts, it grips you instantly, a sense of foreboding intensifying as you try to figure out what’s happening. You are immediately thrust into pulse-pumping action that grips you with panic. Soon, you realize that Lexi is trying to escape The Guards of the Commander, before she’s taken to the Hole.

“They escort all the sinners to the same place — the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules.”

Sinners are ostracized to keep the society pure and uncorrupted… to an atrocious place that is ruled by the Commander’s crushing and cruel fist. Branded a sinner, Lexi is taken to the Hole, her life forever changed and now forced to live in depravity. She’s escorted to this unforgiving and frightful place by a Guard.

“They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole.”

Let me tell you that I was afraid just reading it… I was vividly imagining this atrocious place, where each person was accused and branded of one of the 7 deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride, each indicated by a color collar around their neck.

It’s there, in the Hole, where she’s told by her guard, Cole, that he’s been assigned to protect her and watch her. She is also told that those branded blue, Lust, like her, never last. Surrounded by constant danger, her life become isolated and terrifying. Cole, however, seems to soften and be kind to her and in such a terrible place, a beautiful connection begins to form between them. She has to rely on him constantly and he literally saves her life countless times. We learn that Lexi has had a possibly more terrifying background, her life shattering to pieces after the death of her father. Learning what happened to Lexi is one of the toughest scenes I’ve ever read in a book. She’s been “abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed and abused.” So when Cole, who has been nothing but wonderful and trusting, asks her to open up, Lexi finds that she just can’t share that ugly part of herself. She’s ashamed and scared, while Cole grows frustrated at his attempt to better understand her, and their situation.

“I don’t understand. After all we’ve been through, how many times I risked my life to save yours… you still can’t trust me. Why? What did I do?”

I absolutely and totally fell in love with Cole. He is so brave and kind and thoughtful and comforting… and all the good things you can imagine. The way he protects Lexi, with an unyielding fierceness, well, it just had me all kinds of swooning. And I loved that Lexi was also a strong heroine. After everything she’s been through, she has reason to be weak, but she is anything but that. Her courage grows and her focus sharpens as she becomes determined to make a difference in that awful place. Succumbing to the vulnerability of their feelings is scary when the consequences are considered.

“I hate when you leave, and that scares me…” I face him and our eyes meet. I see the conflict between his duty and his feelings mirrored in his face…
“I hate leaving you,” he says into the darkness. “And that petrifies me.”

But the love they feel is so inspiring and fortifying. I had mixed feelings because I wanted them to be together, but at the same time, I was so afraid at what could happen to them.

“You’re amazing just the way you are. 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.”

In the end, secrets are revealed as they action peaks to heart-stopping levels. I can’t get over how much I really FELT this book, FELT the story, the characters (even the dog – Zeus!). It’s intense and dark, but balanced with moments of love and hope. We don’t have a cliffhanger, but there is so much more to the story and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the next installment coming out next year, Hunted. Highly, highly recommend this book!

branded teaser pic

addtogoodreads

 

 

 

 

Subscribe for Updates:

Share This Post

One Comment:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Facebook

SuperWebTricks Loading...

On Twitter

This week #ontheblog I share a roundup of some of my current beauty faves! It’s been awhile since I shared some of the products I keep reaching for, whether they are new or old. Would… https://t.co/AJb2hj5CGa

THE MISTER by @E_L_James is out today!!! I started the book early this morning and wish I could cancel all responsibility and work today! Who else is reading it???? I'm so excited to fall… https://t.co/xVe9DK3qeY

What kind of coverage do you prefer for a foundation? I like light coverage, especially moving into Spring and Summer, which is why I had to try the new @kosascosmetics Tinted Oil… https://t.co/IxaGMTgidh

Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing! @berkleypub https://t.co/u3RT4qxAl0

Beauty Faves Roundup!!! See which products I'm loving lately! https://t.co/jN7jvb6UpZ

Beauty Review: Kosas Tinted Face Oil - https://t.co/QTLUKNzqfG

{ Chanel pretties } @ Austin, Texas https://t.co/5RSZui1hbN

✨ 𝑮𝑰𝑽𝑬𝑨𝑾𝑨𝒀 ✨
.
So excited to partner with @VintageAnchor on this awesome giveaway to celebrate THE MISTER by @E_L_James—out in just three days!! I’m giving away three #TheMister inspired… https://t.co/cDgUEzbnKc

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙪𝙥𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙤𝙧?! #waitingonwednesday
.

STONE MOTHERS by @mserinkelly is one I can’t wait to dig into. Erin wrote HE SAID/SHE SAID, which I loved, and this one… https://t.co/EsZbFUvyz2

𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒂𝒗𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒚𝒑𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒓𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆?
.
For me, there’s nothing better than a second-chance love story! In authorkyliescott’s new novel, REPEAT, a woman loses her memory after a vicious… https://t.co/B9UoeCxZBf

Beauty Review: @VintnerDaughter Serum -- https://t.co/J77jx7odsg

Get a sneak peek at CIPHER by @larissaione — out this week! @1001darknights https://t.co/eyQYi0iO4e

Review: I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney #thriller @flatironbooks https://t.co/GoXNUNEHOO

Happy Saturday! It looks to be a stormy ⛈ day here in Austin, but hoping to catch up on some reading and get away for an hour or two midday. I’ve been trying some new beauty products out again, and one of my... https://t.co/1eCimA5JUs

Happy Saturday! It looks to be a stormy ⛈ day here in Austin, but hoping to catch up on some reading and get away for an hour or two midday. I’ve been trying some new beauty products out… https://t.co/UaXuyw90z8

Don't miss one of my favorite authors. 5 STAR Review for The Savior by JR Ward @JRWard1 - Vilma Iris @vilmairisblog https://t.co/K8MKV8AfTp

Win a copy of PRETTY REVENGE plus a nail polish set from @kbshimmer! @vilmairisblog @EmilyLiebert https://t.co/dDAHugwoiB

𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑬𝒗𝒊𝒍 𝑸𝒖𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆?
.
#partner Do you love reading retellings? 🙋 Author Jen Calonita retells one of our most beloved stories, in a fresh new way. Snow White embarks on a quest to stop the... https://t.co/vRF3ZuU2yo

𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑬𝒗𝒊𝒍 𝑸𝒖𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆?
.
#partner Do you love reading retellings? 🙋 Author Jen Calonita retells one of our most beloved stories, in a fresh new way. Snow White embarks… https://t.co/NFIglHDlQS

Check out @vilmairisblog's review of #TheSavior by @JRWard1 -- plus hear an excerpt from the audiobook edition read by Ward's longtime narrator Jim Frangione! https://t.co/72WOw11eA9

Load More...