“Branded” is the tale of a young woman who has always been haunted by dreams of angels, of the less than angelic sort. The dreams are a reflection of reality, though she’s never had any success in getting anyone else to believe that, and she has the scars from the experience to prove it.
The concept was interesting and I was really happy to see that “Branded” is on the longer side for an ebook. Often ebooks seem to come in at the rather skimpy 50-75 thousand word mark (average paperback fiction novels in comparable genres tend to be over 100 thousand words each) that allowed for a more leisurely pacing that was a nice change. However there were a few things that really bothered me, some of them might be a bit spoilerific so take that into account before reading on.
My biggest pet peeve would be the unrealistic points of plot. No one who has two ‘loving’ parents gets through their childhood with those kinds of scars, without their parents knowing. There’s also the fact that though the protagonist knows enough to research the names of the people involved in her dreams she’s never done any research into angels some of which would likely have assuaged some of her panic attacks (Valentine’s cherubs – not really angels) and maybe have lead her to a place in the Catholic church where she would have found more sympathetic ears.
“Branded” was full of overly florid and repetitive language. All the angles are perfect and gorgeous, the point is emphasized so much that when a character steps into the scene who the protagonist thinks is perfectly gorgeous – you know they can’t be human even though it’ll be many, many, pages before the protagonists figures it out.
Lastly, “Branded” could really have benefited from some additional editing. The first few grammar mistakes were easily ignored but when it gets to the point that entire sentences make no sense (“Why was I been holding back again?” page 143) that’s a problem that can’t be ignored.
It was an interesting read but I have to say the previously mentioned stumbling blocks kept getting in the way of making “Branded” truly enjoyable for me which is a shame. Nothing wrong with the tale itself, just the way it was told.