Publisher: Strange Crow Publishing (March 2013)
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Format: eBook (300 pages)
Source: Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
In the Arena, you’re either a killer or a victim.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.