Happy Thursday, bibliophiles! Friday is upon us, and with its approach, I bring you all another book review! Get excited, because it’s a good one AND it’s a twofer! That’s right, it’s two books in one! I’m talking about the Scarred Souls series by Tillie Cole. I saw this book floating around on my Instagram feed and knew it would be one I had to pick up in my travels. It was just so pretty and had such an intriguing plot! Once I owned it and opened it, I just couldn’t put it down. I absolutely adored these stories! They were emotional, heartbreaking, and I could not possibly imagine what Luka and Naal had to go through in their young lives. It shattered me completely. Making anyone fight to the death is unimaginable, but making children take part in such a blood sport all but gave me a migraine to carry with me through the pages.
In Raze, we meet Luka, otherwise known as prisoner 818. He was taken to a gulag in Alaska for crimes he didn’t commit when he was just a teenager. Trained to fight, and fight to kill, that’s all he knows. It’s when he’s able to break out years later, that his life takes a turn.
His friends, family, and even his girl, Kisa, think him dead, but little do they know, he’s been lurking in the streets and training for revenge on the people who put him away on false charges so many years ago. He’s back and ready to Raze hell in order to get to his family, and the girl he’s belonged to since birth.
Reap tells a vastly different story, but one that is still linked to the beloved Luka and dark days in a fighting ring. Naal is the son and heir of the Georgian Mafia, also a fighter, and a trained, drugged killer. Taken from his massacred family when he was just eight years old, he became the ideal prototype for a slew of experimental drugs given to him by his Master. His memories are wiped as are his emotions. He’s simply a killing machine, a dog forced to obey his Master, prisoner 221.
Luka, who had been in the gulag with Naal’s brother is on a mission to rescue him from the only life he can remember. Although their families are mortal enemies, (Luka Tolstoi of the Russian Bratva and Zaal Kostova of the Georgian Mafia) the brotherhood of survival in the death ring are stronger. Luka refuses to let Naal be forgotten.
When Naal is freed and detoxing from the black market drugs in his system, he meets Luka’s sister, Talia, and his life takes a turn from anything he’s ever been familiar with in the last twenty years. “You are…for me?” is a line that will make any girl’s heart go pitter-patter. With the help of Talia, Zaal learns to recover and attempts to gain his life back. Surnames and a divide among their families won’t keep these two apart. They’re determined to see this through and be each other’s missing half.
Scarred Souls were tales of survival, strength, war, determination, and undying, eternal love. While 818 and 221 might be trained killers, they become so much more. Their courage knows no bounds and stems from the unbreakable women who stand by their sides for better or worse.
If I’m not mistaken, I believe there is a third book coming in this series, entitled Ravage . Needless to say, I can NOT wait! My Final Rating: five out of five stars