ARR Book Review ~ “Branded” by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Branded Cover

Title ~ “Branded”

Author ~ Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Series~ Sinners

Book # ~1

Format ~ebook via Kindle

Rating ~5 Stars


**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review


Short Recap ~ 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. (courtesy of )





There are times when a book grabs you and you are compelled to NOT put it down. You carry it with you in almost a haze and then you realize, you are half way done and its been several hours since you started reading; ‘Branded’ is one of those novels. From the first lines I was sucked into this world of humiliation, fear, control, rules, Sinners, injustice and yes, even hope despite all that.


I was immediately captivated by Lexi, our heroine; a young woman who is thrust into the ‘Hole’ without every being judged or given a chance to defend herself; you fall in love with her and you struggle right along with her as she works in the hospital and fights not only to stay alive, but her feelings and in her search for hope and justice.


Lust – Blue

Gluttony – Orange

Greed – Yellow

Sloth – Black

Wrath – Red

Envy – Green

Pride – Purple



Those are the 7 ‘Sins’ and the colour brand you wear. Lexi wears her brand in this novel, with as much grace as she can despite her circumstances and the things she must endure. There is a light in her life though, her guard, Cole.


Lexi and Cole have a relationship unlike any other I have read; it’s not the intimacies (or lack thereof), it’s the way that they defy adversity and learn to trust each other that had me cheering for them until the final pages.


A warning though, keep tissues close by. I wish I had received that warning, so I am passing it along, HAVE TISSUES; you will thank me.


I have read few novels in this sorta genre – Dystopian, and I am still unfamiliar with it, yet, this novel compels me to not only want to read more in the series, but to also delve further into the realm of Dystopian Romance stories. You don’t get much more raw and show humanity in such a light as these two ladies merge the plot into an intricate rollercoaster, that had me guessing until the final chapters.


Not so much a happily ever after ending, but definitely a cliff hanger and a wonderful, well developed and compelling ending.  ‘Branded’ will be ‘branded’ in your mind and in your heart for days, it will stick with you and make you look at your world in a whole new light.


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