Publication: February 18th 2014 by Abi and Missy Books
Series: Sinners #1
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
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 boasts from a very intriguing and uncommon concept for a dystopia. Instead of the usual fight for starvation, mass riots, zombies — although those elements were present in the novel, minus the zombies unfortunately — Branded is a bit more Biblical in a weird sense.
Society is divided into two major groups: the normal people and the Sinners. Now you probably know we’re all sinners or if you’re a non-believer, we’re all troublemakers for lack of a better term. Though there are no references from the Bible in here, it does certain around the elusive Seven Deadly Sins. I admit I was a bit baffled with the book’s plot at first. Nonetheless, it was still very exciting.
Lexi Hamilton has been branded as a whore. And to quote “now lust wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me”. Lexi is not exactly a strong character. She doesn’t know how to fight or defend herself, but I get that it’s part of her development. So for now, I don’t exactly like or dislike her. I’m waiting for the big change in the next book.
And then we have our love interest, who is also Lexi’s guard, Cole. Much like Lexi, I didn’t have that much feels for him. He and Lexi started off hating each other which eventually lead to a passionate relationship. Multiple times I found their romance interfered with the plot. It became sort of overwhelming. But anyway, I don’t necessarily hate the romance.
There are also some interesting characters that I thought were pushed too many times to the background. We have Sutton. He’s practically the leader of this whole revolution. I would like to know more about his backstory and stories of his time with Lexi’s father. Same goes for Lexi’s brother, Keegan. He’s a very shady character for me. I don’t quite trust him, and I don’t even know why. Let’s hope that cloud clears up soon.
Overall, Branded is a strong dystopian novel. Since this is the first book in a proposed trilogy, I believe, I’m not that invested with the story and its characters yet. They usually click for me in the second book. And I hope the second book will deliver all the goods and feels I somewhat missed out in here. I recommend this to all you dystopian enthusiasts out there.