Tuesday 9 August 2016

Ravage by Tillie Cole Book Review

I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy from the publishers of this book St Martin's Press via Netgalley. Having read the the first in the Scarred Souls series and I was expecting very good things from Ravage and I'm pleased to say that I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I'm a huge fan of Tillie Cole, one of my favourite books from this year happens to be one of her other novels, A Thousand Boy Kisses however the Scarred Souls series is something entirely different. The one similarity is that it still focuses on broken characters.

Taken by the Jakhua Clan as a teen, 194 was stripped of his name, his identity, and his freewill, meticulously honed to be a ruthless, soulless killing machine, trained solely to spill blood and stop hearts. This is a role he resents with every fiber of his being, but one he embraces to gain back the precious leverage the Georgians wield as their weapon of control: his younger sister, 152.

Mzia Kostava is in shock. After fleeing her mafia family's massacre in Georgia as a child, Mzia lives in secret, hiding from her enemies in the dark shadows of Manhattan. At age twenty-five, believing all her family is dead, word reaches Mzia that her brother Zaal is very much alive... and living with their family's greatest enemy: the Volkov Bratva in Brooklyn.

Yearning to be reunited with her beloved Zaal, Mzia risks her safety and anonymity for the brother she had mourned since childhood. But just as she reaches Zaal's apartment, Mzia is seized and taken captive by a strange man, who is strong, dark, and brutal... Unyielding, he demands her utter obedience as he locks her away in darkness. He is highly skilled in torture and inflicting pain, and demands to know everything about her brother Zaal and everything about her. He is a man that'll do anything to get what he wants.

Sometimes love requires the sacrifice and betrayal of those held most dear. But is finding one's true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?

We start Ravage seeing Valentin and his younger sister stolen from an orphanage and you already know that this isn't to save them. Moving into present time we meet "Zoya", a girl who has been in hiding all her life whilst thinking that all of her family have died, been killed by the mafia she is trying so hard to stay hidden from. That is until she suddenly becomes aware that her brother Zaal is in fact very much alive and well after being saved by someone she considers the enemy, the Volkov Bratva.

Coming out of hiding believing the world may now be a safer place with her brother around, she goes to see him, completely unaware that she is being watched by a deadly killer, known only as 194. This monster knows only only one thing, he has to kill to save his sister! And unfortunately Zoya also known as Mzia happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He watched me, his breathing strained."

This story is definitely not one for the faint hearted and it certainly isn't your typical love story but it is love story in it's own twisted way. Ravage is dark, gritty and most definitely emotional but what you learn as you read is that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Beauty is skin deep and sometimes we just need to dig a little deeper to find that beauty that others try to hide.

"We are different. Me weak and you strong. Me a Georgian and you Russian, but our broken hearts are tired and old. Our spirits are low, though not broken. But our souls, though thoroughly tested and hardened through pain are resilient. They are the same."

As I turned the pages I began to feel more for both 194 and Zoya, to endure so much in their lives but still have the desire to fight for what they want is truly inspiring. Torn between doing what's right for them and what's right for others, is it ok to be selfish every once in a while, can everyone suffering be saved?

Reading this story maybe uncomfortable for some but I promise you if you stick with it you will be rewarded with something quite breath taking, heartbreaking yet managing to give you hope all at the same time. My attention was grabbed on the first page and I didn't stop reading until I reached the end which is definitely the sign of a good tale. 

This is part of a series but can quite easily be read as a stand alone if you wish although I highly recommended reading Tillie's other books.


  1. I've not heard of Tillie Cole but I'm intrigued to read her work after reading your review.


  2. I've not heard of this author. Sounds quite a deep book

  3. Sounds like a good read, just love a book you can't put down :) #readwithme

  4. Sounds like a good read, just love a book you can't put down :) #readwithme

  5. This sounds like an intense read, I can see why you couldn't put it down!

  6. I haven't heard of the author but this book seems to be deep. And I love hidden messages behind blood and drama. Lovely review. :) x #readwithme


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