Released: February 2010
Source: Sent by author via blog tour
Night after night, Jessica stands trial before a council of vindictive angels for deeds she didn’t commit. Condemnation brings a branding as they dementedly laugh and point but exaltation starts a war over her soul.These are Jessica’s nightmares.
Alex is everything Jessica could ever want and she’ll do anything to be with him. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck.This is what she will fight for.But the nightmares rule Jessica’s life and she must find a way to stop the events that are pulling her toward her own judgment or become the object of her greatest fear. And lose Alex forever.
Keary Taylor brings something new to the popular angel trend with her novel, Branded. The idea of a girl standing trial, night after night for things she never commited is definitely a unique and very appealing idea. I liked Jessica. She was easy to slip into yet I felt horrible for her. She lived a very hard life, never being able to sleep, never really being able to connect with anyone because of this burden that had been placed upon her as a young child.
The descriptions in the story were very well written. I could see the council, feel as if I were there knowing all the terror she was put through. This led to a nice mystery of why this was always happening to her. And while I liked the suspense, sometimes I felt like the fillers of daily life seemed to drag the book down some. It was easy for me to skim over some parts because I didn't really feel them relevant to the story.
Alex and Jessica's relationship was a bit rushed, but played a very important role to the story and Jessica's need to survive all the things that were happening to her. Hints are dropped here and there of why Jessica was standing in for others, and why her nightmares were suddenly beginning to change. When handsome yet very suspicious Cole came around the story, the plot picked up, and kept me more in glued than the beginning did.
While I guessed a good part of Branded, the ending completely took me by surprise! It was well played, and I'm really curious of where the author will take Jessica's life in the second book, Forsaken.
Forsaken will be available in January 2011. To find out more about Keary Taylor and her books check out her website.