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.
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.
Branded is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated debut dystopian’s of 2013. It is a fearless page turner, and very enthusiastic with the darkness and brutality of a dystopian world.
Branded captured my attention within the first 10 pages, I knew I was in for a fast paced dystopian rollercoaster ride. You will feel a circle of ever changing emotions and genuine fear for some characters....and your heart will break.
I will admit I had a girlie cry.
These two debut authors know how to bring a dystopian filled with energy, grit, violence and heartache. They are fearless and relentless with what they put their characters through.
Seriously, the brutal scenes are written ...well, BRUTAL. Visually I was right there in the front row with my popcorn and M & M’s stuffing them in my mouth out of sheer fear.
I could not look away.
The Hole has a very apt title, it is a filthy place that devours people, no one escapes. The branded Sinners live day to day, death and disease around every corner, coming also in the form of gangs, for sport or for lust or greed.
Dog eat dog.
The Commander is in the background while his terrifying minion Wilson, and the guards of the Hole shoot first, ask questions later.
He struts in like a king, looking immaculate in his fresh-pressed, stiff uniform. His knee-high boots shine with a new coat of polish. He scans the room, resting his callous eyes on me.
I blink away the smell of his heavy cologne and stand. “Wilson, what a pleasure.”
The Hole is very unforgiving.The inmates are brutal, violent and fresh meat is fought over.
Lexi Hamilton is fresh meat.
Nowhere is she safe.
Lexi Hamilton is guilty as charged, branded, all dignity taken from her. No such thing as innocent until proven guilty.
No judge. No jury.
When they come for you, you run and hope you can escape. The chances are... you won’t. You will be sentenced to a life that could be short lived.
He thinks I’m so easily broken.
The commander doesn’t know anything about me, what I grew up with, what I endured—the father I lost, the mother I hate, the brother who walked out of my life, and the stepfather I was forced to accept. He thinks since I was rich, making me poor will cause me to give up. What he doesn’t understand is that, after my father passed away, I grew up behind walls of hatred. I had nothing, but had everything at the same time. I owned expensive clothes, enjoyed good schooling, and lived in a nice home. But my body was just a shell protecting an empty, desperate heart. My life was a colorful facade.
But...Lexi is a fighter.
Cole is a guard in the Hole, assigned Lexi. He is 24/7 on her watch. His orders, to keep her safe.
Easier said than done.
The Hole wants to take her.
Cole is not like the other guards.
You will love Cole.
Cole has a heart underneath the mask.
Is he afraid he’ll hurt me? “You won’t break me if that’s what you’re worried about.”
He walks over, places one arm around my back, and lifts me from under my legs so they dangle. I feel like a baby. I rest my head on his shoulder and smell his fresh cotton shirt.
“After this, I’m not sure anyone could,” he whispers.
The sub characters are intriguing. I found myself pondering and throwing around theories.
Will I be right?
Bruno and Alyssa are faves of mine. Bruno , loyal, trustworthy.... a friend when you need one.
Doc Sutton. He has a heart, but don’t cross him.
Zeus, the Great Dane is both protector and a great licker. He can make you laugh and he can hope you never get on his bad side.
I had many favourite scenes. Some of them were violent. I am not a violent person, but a dystopian world is not a world that smiles easily. A dystopian world will always have an evil , power hungry villain with minions working against good, and death is a daily occurrence .
Some of the scenes were...well, beautiful moments, heart breaking moments and moments where a glimmer of normality peaked through for Lexi.
This is a very well written book, with seeds dropped like bread crumbs for future installments.
I loved the twists and when I thought I was onto something, I was hit with a nice curveball , didn't see that coming.
These two debut authors write seamlessly as though they are one. You can tell how connected they are to each other and the story they want to bring to the reader.
They know what makes a good dystopian rock your face off.
This is a kick ass dystopian with bite. The girls will kick their characters to the ground for them to rise and fight back.
The girls have me rather intrigued about a character we get a glimpse of.
I am excited to read Banished, Sinners # 2. Ooo yeah there's a scoop for ya.
Bring. It. On!
Definite 5 stars!!
20 ebooks of Branded (mobi) Open Internationally
5 signed print copies and picture of Cole (US only)