Shadow of Wrath
In the Arena, you’re either a killer or a victim.
If survival meant murdering an innocent person in cold blood every week, could you do it? Are you able to stick the knife into your opponent’s heart while they look at you with fear in their eyes? Life in the Arena turns everyone into sinners.
A homeless boy is kidnapped from the streets and finds himself imprisoned in a far more horrifying place: The Arena, a place where teenage boys fight to the death for the pleasure of various lowlifes.
The Arena is the brainchild of Ryker, an ex-convict addicted to alcohol, gladiatorial-esque combats, and money. When not devising new ways for boys to kill each other, he’s ruling his small empire with a ruthless fist, rewarding his guards with sex slaves and punishing those who oppose him with barbaric executions.
Renamed Dog, the boy from the street proves to be an excellent fighter and finds himself surviving week after week, but as he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake, the ghosts of slain boys haunt him and the violence threatens to wake a beast inside him.
Allegra, a slave girl in the Arena and a victim of Ryker’s constant abuse, is his only key to salvation. She has lost everything already — her family, her innocence, and her dignity — while her will to live hangs on by a thin thread. Can she save Dog’s humanity before she too succumbs to the horrors of the Arena?
Seeking to defy Ryker as Dog rises to power as his champion, the stage is set for something to give in this murderous world of young combatants.
A tale about survival, tragedy, and human perseverance, the Complete SHADOW OF WRATH is the first book in the Sins of the 7 series.
***My Book Review***
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was provided free of charge for an honest review.
Okay, right from the outset of Shadow of Wrath I was getting strong emotions involved with it. There is an instant love for the main character of Allegra as well as a complete loathing for Ryker, who is the books official bad guy (and with the descriptive: ‘Ryker had the pale complexion of a maggot and his diet of whiskey made him wiry thin’, how can you not hate this guy?). Both of these characters have strong voices that reach out and grasp the reader.
The other main character, Dog, however falls a little short in this department at the start of the book. While the author enslaves us in the harsh world of Bimini and makes us care so much about the outcomes of both Allegra and Ryker, poor Dog seems to lack the same sort of passion. While, by the end of the book, you are completely trapped in his life, at the start of this novel, there does seem to be a few moments where Dog’s back story is rushed over and as a result, it takes a little longer to warm to this character. If you bear with this novel though, there is a delicate humanity in Dog that is unexpected at times, yet completely rewarding. And I completely love the fact that Dog is tortured by the ghosts of his past.
And yet, it is this glossing over certain parts of the story, that works so well in other aspects of the story. The author seems to have a knack for touching down in delicate parts of the story, allowing the reader to feel that emotion, and then lifts you up again and takes you somewhere else. It feels like this method of story telling shouldn’t work, like you shouldn’t connect so well with the characters as a result, yet Patricks seems to have mastered this easily.
While there are a few moments when this story feels rushed, there are other times when the author is very adept at drawing the reader into a story line and then changing the subject! I love it when an author does this well. I found myself furiously devouring this book as a result of this. Nice work there Patricks 😉
Once more I am finding myself loving dystopia from the male perspective. While there are some fantastic female dystopian books out there (and plenty that I have read), it is always refreshing to view the harsh clime of dystopia through the (usually) stronger perspective of a male main character. While there is a certain brutality within this male perspective, the author has not forgotten the agenda of dystopia and as a result, there are these delicious little nuggets of human kindness tucked away within the battlegrounds of this novel just to show that above all, human nature can prevail over cruelness.
I did find a little confusion over the age at which Allegra was taken from her family and bought into slavery. At one point, it seemed she was around the age of 4 or 5, and then further on, references seemed to indicate she was a lot older than that. While it was an inconsistency it by no means detracted from the story.
There were also the occasional missed word, or oddly formed sentence within this novel. I also found a few passages (in particular, the journals of Edmund Glaber) to be over explained. There were also a couple of moments where I didn’t quite believe the story (only having one guard overlook Dog was one such moment, and having a body bag that doesn’t make a noise when unzipped another). Once again, none of these issues detracted too much from the novel.
This novel also has a completely unexpected twist at the end and this is what I love the most about Indie authors, the fact that they are allowed to take the story where it needs to go – even if it doesn’t fit the traditional mould.
Therefore, I am giving Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks 4 out of 5 stars.
You can purchase this novel from the following places:
or add it to your reading list on Goodreads
Thanks to the author, L.W. Patricks, you can enter a giveaway here. It’s for a $25 Amazon gift card and is open internationally.
About the Author
He currently lives in Toronto with his wife where he enjoys the scorching summer days and the icy winter nights while masquerading as a Word Samurai. He claims to be the offspring of a typewriting chimp and a literary ninja.
You can visit him at his website at www.lwpatricks.com
Blog Tour Stops:
- Dystopia Reading Challenge Book 8: The Giver by Lois Lowry (racheltsoumbakos.wordpress.com)