Friday, January 10, 2014

**Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Branded ~ Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki**

Welcome to my stop on the tour for Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki. I have all the details on the book for y'all, plus my review and a giveaway.

You can check out all the stops on the tour by clicking here.

Branded (Sinners #1)
by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Release Date: 06/28/13
252 pages

Summary from Goodreads
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 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.

Branded is a book I was so excited about. The premise is so intriguing! Justice dealt according to the seven deadly sins? While I did end up liking Branded, it fell short for me in a few ways.

Lexi is a girl who has grown up privileged. That's not to say she hasn't endured tragic things - just that she was above those who were deemed sinners. Now, she's been accused, branded, and sent to The Hole. Her life is now spent trying to live another day. But there are bright spots. And she never would have dreamed she'd find herself in the position she's in.

Cole is a guard in The Hole. His assignment is to protect Lexi from harm. He has a strong sense of duty but a stronger sense of loyalty. He performs his duty of protecting Lexi without question. But somewhere along the way, his feelings become more than duty and he puts his life on the line for Lexi.

Branded tells the story of a society where there is no justice as we know it. If you're accused, you're guilty. The story was engaging and kept me turning the pages with the tension-filled action. There were plot twists that shocked me. But it started out a little uneven. There were things that had me scratching my head. At some point, some of my questions were answered and BOOM, the story took off. 

I liked the characters in Branded. Lexi and Cole were an easy couple to root for. I felt for them both being in a difficult set of circumstances. I admired their courage and determination though. I really liked Sutton as well. His kindness and compassion shown in all his actions. I adored Bruno and his tough love towards Lexi and Cole. And I loved Zeus. That big dog had some great scenes.

The description of life in The Hole - the deplorable conditions the sinners lived in, the public punishments, the gun battles - were all very well drawn. They were gritty and realistic - I could see these images clearly in my mind. 

But there were inconsistencies. There were details that didn't mesh, time passing without any indication, and events juxtaposed that didn't fit considering the dire nature of the story. These things nagged at me throughout the story. 

I did enjoy Branded despite my few issues with it. It was a fascinating story and I will be picking up the next book in the series to see what happens from here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


  1. This is a very intriguing concept! I am always drawn in by stories that incorporate the seven deadly sins. Sorry it fell a bit short for you but glad you enjoyed overall! Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. It really is unique, Teresa and I really liked that aspect of it. Thanks, doll!

  2. Love the sound of Cole, I think I would fall for him so easily.

  3. Sounds like a cold and harsh society to be part of. I recently read a book with no time stamps and I was left confused and totally lost interest in the book. I took those for granted because it didn't feel like a big deal so I get what you're saying. That's important especially if you're imprisoned, that would've provided a good contrast to what the character is going through.

    1. It is a harsh society, Braine. And I liked this element quite a lot. It was just a few nagging details... Thanks for dropping by!

  4. I'm sorry the inconsistency messed with your excitement for Branded. It does have a cool premise.
    Thanks for the review, Brandee!

  5. I started reading this one but DNF it :-(
    Couldn't get into the story and hated Lexi.

    1. I'm sorry you didn't find anything redeeming in it, Lectus. I hope you're on to better reads?!?

  6. I liked the same characters you did although I was worried some of them weren't going to turn out the way they did. I was worried about some major deception. I'll have to message you about the rest, so I don't give anything away for those who want to read it. Terrific review, Brandee!

    1. I've been dying to talk to you about this, Jennifer. I'll message you with my issues so we can discuss... Thanks for dropping by! :)

  7. It's a pity about the inconsistencies, but it's great to hear there where some great points too. I love when the location descriptions are really strong, it makes the story so much more powerful to me when I can picture everything - especially for a dystopian novel. Great review :)


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??