Branded by Abi Ketner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set in a future post World War V, Branded is the story of Lexi, a young girl accused of one of the seven deadly sins. With no trial, no one daring enough to believe her innocence, and no way to defend herself, Lexi is brought to The Hole to live among the other accused sinners.
I love a good strong female lead, and Lexi does not disappoint. She is a fighter – for both her survival and her freedom, and the authors did a great job writing her to seem real. She tough despite past circumstances, or maybe because of them, and she is loyal to those she loves, but she is young and makes mistakes. Cole is a guard charged with watching over the people of The Hole. Assigned to watch over Lexi, Cole brings some humanity to her hellish situation. A great character himself, he is kinder than the other guards and shows compassion in a world where everyone is out for themselves. I loved watching the relationship between Lexi and Cole develop. It was a spot of sweetness in the otherwise rough and tough world, and the fact that it was so utterly forbidden made it all the more appealing.
I have to mention the fact that there are two authors here. I have read a few books with multiple authors, and every once in a while you get a disjointed feel where you can distinguish two distinct writing styles. The authors of Branded write in harmony and complement each others' writing style well. While reading I did not get the feel of two separate authors, but rather one fluent story. Additionally, the world building the authors did was amazing. I think dystopian would be a hard genre to write because you have to take something (our world) and mold it into something completely different yet similar and believable. The world of Branded was unique and complicated, but quite well done. Overall I loved this story and would love to read more from these authors.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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