Review: Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted April 16th, 2013 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 19 comments

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Shadow of Wrath

Sins of the 7 Series, #1

by L.W. Patricks

Publisher: Strange Crow Publishing (March 2013)
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Format: eBook (300 pages)
Source: Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

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.

At A Glance
Like effing poetry! I held my breath, I cried, I almost threw up. That’s the best way I can describe Shadow of Wrath.

The Good
I was blown away by Shadow of Wrath. I was really iffy when signing up for this blog tour. But I am more of a fighter than a lover (in books that is) so I knew I had to read this book. This book reminded me of raw, gruesome poetry. The concept was just horrific but Patricks did a great job of turning a frightening idea into a compelling story.

Dog has been on the streets since he can remember. That is until a man with a scary smile snatched him up and put him into an arena to fight for his life. The dregs of society and sociopathic rich people come to watch kids fight each other to the death for pleasure and money. Dog has been forced into this nightmare but he actually takes it better than I expected. He’s lived on the streets, he knows about survival and violence. But he still has anger and resentment towards his capture. When him and Allegra get close, Dog’s view on survival changes. Because now he must find a way to get them both out of this world of slavery and degradation, not just himself. Dog was so brave and confident it made me believe he could really save them both. And that hope kept me reading.

Allegra has spent most of her life as a slave in this underground fighting ring. She is Ryker’s, the man behind this monstrous Arena, personal slave. Her virginity is being saved for when she reaches puberty so Ryker can sell her as a sex slave. But she is still abused every day by Ryker. Unlike Dog, she remembers her life from before. Her family, her friends, the joy of being free and young. Now she is the Arena’s unofficial doctor. Every night she tries to keep the slave boys alive to fight another day, even if it makes her ill to give them false hope. But she keeps her emotions hidden to deter Ryker from using them against her. When Dog comes to the Arena, Allegra sees hope. Maybe together they can be free.

Both Allegra (14) and Dog (around the same age) are very young, but they act very mature. I think anyone would learn to grow up quickly if put in the same situation. Shadow of Wrath is the kind of book that gets better and better with each page. You hope and pray that these kids will get free and the monsters will get what they deserve. Some hopes are answered, as others are horribly crushed.

I have to warn you, this book has a sad ending. Luckily I knew that before going in, so it wasn’t as hard to take. Even with the sad ending, it was also beautiful. If I am going to read a book that ends like that, then I want it to end the way Patricks did it. This book was amazingly written. It was edgy, gritty, and lyrical. The concept of humanity, survival, and pure evil all played a huge part of Shadow of Wrath. What would you do if you were put in an Arena and given the choice of fighting for your life or dying on the spot?

The Bad
I wish we got a chance to actually see Dog and Allegra build a relationship. The book skipped years ahead so we never really got to see them fall for each other, we saw more of a friendship.

I would have liked to see the fighting described more. It may be horrifying to read about, but it would have made a bigger impact. Instead the fighting was often skimmed over.

The Snuggly
This is not a great love story. This is about two people who build a friendship over their shared misery and confinement. But near the end, we do start to see a little love peeking through. By the end, I was crying over what this couple had went through together. Sex wise, there is none, but we get a little sexual assault.

Final Thoughts
Though this book wont be for everyone, it for sure will hit some people in the best way possible. Shadow of Wrath was a thrilling ride filled with blood and desperation as well as hope and friendship. This book WILL make you cry. Highly recommended.

The crowd roared above them, screaming obscenities and cheering for the fight to begin. Dog realized that they were a part of some sadistic game. When he was younger, he heard stories about ancient fighting arenas and warriors that were forced to fight to the death in front of live audiences. Gladiators they were called. It looked like he had just become one.

Sunny began to cry.

“Don’t do this,” he pleaded. Dog ignored him. He had already accepted the harsh reality of this twisted event — another thing gone wrong in his life. It was nothing new. Perhaps it was all those years of living in a harsh environment that made him callous to the situation, but it all boiled down to one single thing for Dog.

Survival. It was his natural instinct, despite death staring him in the eye constantly.

Author Bio

L.W. Patricks is the author of SHADOW OF WRATH and the literary architect behind the upcoming Sins of the 7 series with his second book: AWAKE THE GHOSTS to be published late 2013.

His short fiction works has been published by Crow Toes Quarterly Magazine, Fiction and Verse literary magazine, and upcoming Denizens of the Dark. He enjoys writing contemporary fantasy with an emphasis on creating urban mythology for his stories.

Though he calls Toronto his home, L.W. Patricks has a passion for exploration and has travelled all over the world including Germany, Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, United Kingdom, Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia just to name a few. His diverse experience amongst other cultures provides inspiration for his stories.

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

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19 Responses to “Review: Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”


      Sorry about the romance aspect of it. I wanted to work it in but found it difficult to develop because of the brutal nature of the environment. Next book though, I promise =P

      Thanks for having a look!



    Thanks for the wonderful review Jennifer and taking a chance on reading this one =). I’m not going to lie, I knew it was going to be a tough read for a lot of people, but I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Reviews like yours make me know that I’m doing something right….though I have to apologize, I feel bad for making you want to vomit and cry.

    I hope you forgive me….

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Hehe, we can all use a good cry sometimes. Yeah, the vomiting not so much lol.

      Since I knew it was going to be sad from the get-go, I was ready for it. It also helped me enjoy it more since I didn’t have to agonize over what was going to happen in the end. I had a good idea already.

  2. Elisa

    Fudge, this sounds amazing. Definitely going to be on my list – for when I am ready for a tough read! I must be a sicko because I am really enjoying this exploration of what the human spirit can endure in the worst of settings, zombies, fight to the death, dystopian worlds, post-apocolyptic. Even though it is tough, they give credit to the human spirit.
    Great review.

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    What a great review! It sounds like there is so much on the line and it is very emotional. I’m really glad that you let us know about the sad ending. I think that’s something I really need to know ahead of time. Thank you so much for sharing 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

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