Branded by 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. 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 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.

“You can overcome anything…short of death.”

In continuation of the one word named dystopian YA books the Boomworm brings you Branded. In the beginning of the story readers are introduced to the main character Lexi trying to kill herself. She doesn’t get to accomplish this task and is instead chased and captured by guards. So right away it starts out with action and something huge going on. When Lexi is put into the Hole and is attacked before she even makes it all the way in, that just added to the excitement of the story. The action was almost non stop and brutal. The authors didn’t hold back in that aspect. They also make sure you never really know who is going to die, get hurt, disappear or what and you don’t really know who to trust until the very end. That’s about all that kept me interested in the story. Everything else was just confusing and the timing was all over the place. For example, Lexi gets attacked (multiple times) and ends up with 26 staples in her head as well as a fragment of her skull removed. Yet a few days later she’s good as new and they take them out. Despite the fact that she had a concussion and never rested like the doctor ordered. Another confusing timeframe was when she started training. In like a week she went from being a weakling to a fighting and shooting machine. Now as with a lot (most) of YA books there is a romance and like a lot of books in the genre it was underdeveloped and had no basis whatsoever. In the beginning of the book Cole has this need to protect Lexi that goes beyond his orders but he doesn’t understand why and Lexi just swoons and falls in love with him just because he’s a little bit nicer than the other guards. Even they admit in the book that they dont know why they are in love with each other but that doesnt stop them from killing people, possibly dying and trying to destroy a whole justice system to be together. As for as the idea for the book I thought it was great and had promise. I think the story just needed to be polished a bit more. It seemed like this is more of a draft instead of a finished version of the story. However, I will be looking out for the next book in the series. I think sometimes as series progress the writing becomes more developed and the characters more interesting so I will stick with it. Overall it was a cool story and I would give it a 2.5/5 only because I feel it needed more work but I still recommend people give this a read.

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