Friday, 10 January 2014

BLOG TOUR INCL REVIEW - BRANDED - SINNERS SERIES BY ABI KETNER & MISSY KALICICKI

BOOK PROMOTION

ISBN:  978-0989527415
ASIN:  B00DOPHK56  
Series: Sinners Series
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File Size: 320pages/509KB 
Formats Available:  Paperback, E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
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.


Goodreads Book Link


PURCHASE LINKS


EXCERPT
(Excerpt is from Amazon)

I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams. 
The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down on it, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. 
My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back. 
Death and I glare at each other through my tears. 
I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here. 
I’m ready to go. On the count of three. 
I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now. 
A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand, waiting with the rope around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls. 
Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head.
Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home. 
It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me. 
My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name. 
On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder. 
Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder. 
“Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. They all know what happens to sinners. 
Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying. 
Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now. 
My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest. 
Gotta keep going. 
“Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me. 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS


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.


AUTHOR LINKS


 REVIEW
ISBN:  978-0989527415
ASIN:  B00DOPHK56  
Series: Sinners Series
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File Size: 320pages/509KB 
Formats Available:  Paperback, E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads

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.

INITIAL THOUGHTS
As I approach the book I am seriously looking forward to reading it. I missed out once before as a tour was cancelled I applied for . .then its been one of those books that I kept meaning to read so this tour gave me the opportunity to pin myself down to read it.
At 39% I know I am reading a fantastic book set in an an exceptionally great gritty dystopian world. A world in which poor Lexi has been sent to the hole. The hole is quite literally hell on earth. Though life outside the hole doesn't sound so great either.

MY REVIEW
I received this book from the authors via YA Bound Tours in exchange for my honest review and posting it as part of the blog tour.
So the cover shows us the silhouette of a girl/young woman with a blue brand around her neck looking at the high walls topped with barbed wire. The colours of the cover are dark to fit the oppressiveness within the book. I like the title and series and author names fonts and placements on the book too. Would I pick this book up in a book store on the strength of the cover alone? Yes, it does appeal to by book weakness of loving dystopian and post apocalyptic books.
So to the story, Lexi lives in the upper class area, her father recently died and her mother has remarried. Her step father regularly drugs Lexi's mum so she cannot see or help Lexi when he tortures her mentally as well as in a phyiscal kind of fashion too, locking her in a dark room etc. He also likes to lay next to her in her bed and terrorise her. It is during one of these "sessions" that her mother walks in and jumps to the conclusion that Lexi is trying to seduce her new husband so she is reported. Lexi is so down and devastated she is contemplating suicide when the guards take her away from her home and all that she knows into the notorious Hole. The Hole is where everyone who commits a crime or has been accused of a crime and cannot prove their innocence is taken. Upon being sentenced to be taken to the Hole you are known as a "Sinner". "Sinners" are the lowest of the low according to the High Commander, who rules the Hole. His decisions and rules are law in the hole. Once you get to the Hole everyone goes through the same processing. One part of the process is horrific as a collar is put around the offenders next and they are burnt with a "Brand". The "Brand" wraps all the way around the neck. The colour of your Brand is dependant on your crime.
Here is a list of the Brands and colours and what they mean. Lust - Blue, Gluttony - Orange, Greed - Yellow, Sloth - Black, Wrath - Red, Envy - Green and Pride - Purple. To be honest I got a little ways into the e-book on my kindle and was having problems remembering which brand was which so I flicked back on my kindle and wrote the brands and what offence they were for on a piece of paper just to refer to if I needed to. I did so occasionally. I also thought it would be a good idea to explain them to you in my review, that way you know what type of people the innocent Lexi has been put into the hole with. the last part of "processing" is watching a film about the great Commander of the Hole. Basically propaganda. 
Lexi is assigned a job at the hospital under a man called Dr Sutton, which is lucky as most who have her Blue Brand for Lust end up as prostitutes. Lexi is also assigned a guard. The guard turns out to be one of the "good guy" guards. He sticks to the "rules" doesn't treat Lexi like a prostitute as some of the other guards would do and would like to do now. The Guards name is Cole, and he is . . .Mmm gorgeous, he also has a great dane dog called Zeus who takes a liking to Lexi and soon becomes a best friend and protector.
So life kind of goes along with the undercurrent of Lexi and Cole beginning to fall for each other, which is dangerous (you'll learn how in a scene about another guard and his prisoner on a stage) Lexi tries hard at her job and is really loving and caring to a young thirteen year old who is dying of a virus that cannot be cured. Lexi becomes true friends with Alyssa and stays with her as she is dying promising the girl she will carry out her final wishes of her body being cremated and her ashes being spread somewhere beautiful outside the Hole.
Then there is the rebellion which is being led by Sutton and Lexi's brother Keegan. Lexi only finds all this out when she is in danger of being hurt by the Commanders second in command Wilson. Sutton arranges for "good guards" Bruno, Cole & Zeus to take Lexi "underground" to rebellion headquarters. Keegan and Cole immediately lock horns over whether Lexi should fight. . . . .  and yes there is an awful fight in which many people are killed. Who makes it out? The ending is very poignant with Alyssa's ashes finally being scattered . . . but who makes Alyssa's wish come true?
I truly loved this book the whole time I was reading it. Near the end I was "wow I can't wait to finish it and find out who survives" but at the same time I didn't want the whole book to end at all. You do become very attached to the characters within this book. I totally admit to having those tears in my eyes as Alyssa died and again as her last wish was fulfilled. This book really is an action, drama, angst ridden, emotionally charged dystopian delight!
So did I enjoy the book? Enjoy it? I totally loved it. It's totally a amazing, fantastic, brilliant read.  Would I recommend the book? I highly recommend this one, alone with my favourite dystopians. I'd recommend to those who have read and loved The Registry by Shannon Stoker, and The Breeders by Katie French. Would I read a Bk#2?  I'd be reading it right now if I had it! so yes! Would I read other books by either author alone or both authors co-writing again? I'd definitely read books co-written by Abi and Missy as well as books they have written or will go on to write alone.


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