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.
Note: The book has recently been updated with a new cover and has brand new chapters (extra 70 pages).When I first read this book last summer, I thought it was flawless – I especially loved that the story gave me a total escapism feeling. As time goes by, I’ve noticed that my tastes change (like a lot) and I become more jaded & critical. I just want to point out that this review is not very trustworthy – the first time reading I gave this book 5 stars. Now almost a year later it barely scrapes a satisfactory rating. This is going to sound harsh but I personally didn’t see the difference between the old version and the updated one I just finished reading.
Lexi lives in a dystopian world where everything is governed by the Commander, and if accused of one of the seven deadly sins, that person is immediately thrown into the Hole, a wretched, cursed place where slave labor and worse basically happen. In Lexi’s unfortunate case, she was wrongfully accused of lust,one of the worst sins to be branded with, and is assigned to Cole, the hero of the book and Lexi’s new guard.Cole becomes Lexi’s guard and has orders to protect her – according to Lexi and others he has a very appealing physical form and is the best of the best out of all the guards. The only crime worse than being branded with one of the seven sins is for a Guard to fall in love with a Sinner, and that is precisely what happens in this story.
Before I get all critical, I do want to point out that it’s tough to balance both dystopian and romance. Those two themes shouldn’t even be in the same sentence as they’re polar opposites so I do applaud the authors for being daring and bold.For me though, this book weighed more on the romance side than dystopian, and I felt like a lot of the character interactions were childish, unbelievable, or annoying.– From the start I had this feeling like there were exceptions made for Lexi: she just had to get the nice and hot guard Cole, she just had to meet the kind Dr. Sutton, she just had to be instrumental in the revolt, etc…I mean this is freaking dystopian society we’re talking about here! I need to feel like Lexi is just like any other branded Sinner not just some girl who got an easy pass because she’s the heroine and deserves an HEA.– Cole is a guard? Aside from the uniform, you could’ve fooled me. The VERY first moment he sees her he gives her a “pained look.” Why is he, a GUARD, sympathizing with her??? And on first sight too? This guy is just too good to be true and in any other setting (like contemporary for instance) I would’ve adored him. Truly, I would’ve but since this isn’t, at least try to make his character convincing before he falls for Lexi!I feel myself getting ranty now so I’m going to stop because it makes me sad that a book I adored last year ends up receiving a rant this year. The book premise is awesome, but the writing felt a little immature and as for the story, well…suffice it to say I liked it but didn’t love it – a very bumpy ride.Copy provided by the authors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.