Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blog Tour: Branded Review

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. 

Branded A Sinners Series novel by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki is set in a dystopian world where those who have been accused of crimes are branded with one of the seven deadly sins and set into what is essentially an internment camp called The Hole. The novel follows main character Lexi, who has been branded with the blue mark of lust and sent to live out the remainder of her days in The Hole. It is there that she meets guard Cole and makes some shocking discovers about the world she has found herself. 

Let me preface this by saying that I read Branded twice. I really, really wanted to like it more than I did. Let me start by focusing on the positives, because I really thought there were many of them. Ketner and Kalicicki have created a really intriguing world. Their setting is unlike any other that I have read before. When I heard dystopian I was expecting something along the lines of Hunger Games or Divergent, but this world is a bit more brutal than those. I enjoyed the reality of it and found that the authors really didn't shy away from depicting the harshness of the world they created. 

What I struggled with was the overall plot. I found myself struggling through a lot of the plot points. It seemed to me that the authors tried to fit too much into the plot. Instead of laying bread crumbs they dumped in all the ingredients at once, and it caused a lot of inconsistencies. I struggled with Lexi's character. I mean I get--sucks to be her--but she was extremely whiny. All the time. Even when she was trying to show strength I found her lacking in backbone. Cole also wasn't the studly hero you usually see in YA novels. His dog Zeus seemed to be the only character with much personality. 

Overall I found Branded to be perfectly fine. It seemed to me to be a manuscript that needs some finishing. I think the authors have some really amazing pieces but some of the connections are a bit off. With a little polish I think they could have something truly extraordinary. 6/10



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