Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

BrandedFifty 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.

I’m not sure if it was because this book was so dark or not, but I had a hard time getting into it. The writing was beautiful, the characters had depth and the story was unique, but I think it may have all been too much… at least for me.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1To be totally fair, I think that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read Dystopian or Post Apocalyptic  books. For some reason Branded just kind of drug me down.

The world that Lexi lived in was full of violence. That world scared me. I can’t imagine a world where basically one person dictated who was worthy and who wasn’t. When people were found guilty of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, they were segregated from the general population and sent to the Hole. The theory was that those sins were responsible for all the bad in the world and once the sinners were weeded out… forever… everything would be perfect. Of course there were flaws to this view. Mainly, no one is perfect or beyond sin. That’s what made Lexi’s situation hopeless. Especially since she wasn’t even guilty of the sin she was branded with. Every time she found a bright spot in her existence it was ripped away from her. I’m not sure how anyone could survive in this situation or even want to.

Of course there were twists and turns. Startling secrets were revealed and by the end the characters were left with a little bit of hope. Just enough that I will probably pick up the next book in the series when it is released. Things were left hanging for several characters at the end of Branded and even though I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this world that Ketner and Kalicicki have created, I’m curious enough to see how it all turns out.