Shadow of the Wrath
Sins of the 7 #1
Published December 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo
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.
About the Author
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.
Patricks brings to you a story of a nameless homeless boy, dubbed "Dog", lured into a brutal world of fighting and death by the sweat luxury of food and a warm bed. But Dog's survival instincts are strong and he wont let the Area take him, if a killing-machine is what he needs to be to survive, then that is what he will be. Having being tricked into this new found life, Dog is not one to trust - but can the lovely Allegra, a slave girl, get through to him, and more importantly, should she want to?
Shadow of Wrath is a well paced novel, beginning at a well thought out starting point that gives you the back story that you need to understand the character's without an information overload that gets tedious. Patricks is able to seamlessly blend in the passing of two whole years into the novel with grace that is not usually seen when authors jump in the time period. It is just slipped in there in a paragraph without one of those annoying little subheading, "Two Years Later..." which I feel really stops the flow of the story. So, my hats off to you, Patricks!
The voice of the novel switches between characters, mainly focusing on Dog and Allegra. Due to the setting of Shadow of Wrath, I think that it was a good decision to have the alternating perspective of the contrasting characters Dog and Allegra. Dog, as one of the child fighters, is more a brute and emotionally detached voice to read with his life of growing up on the streets and the whole having-to-kill-for-entertainment-thing that he is forced into. The pit is a brutal place and it takes it's toll on him. Then there is Allegra. She softens the tone of the story and and brings the emotions and feelings to the novel with her kind heart.
When I finished the novel, I honestly felt a little disappointed and confused. A lot gets thrown at you in the last couple of chapters and it's a bit of a sensory shock. But seen as this is the first in the series, I can see how these things needed to happen to set up the other novels and keeps you interested and dying to know what happens next.
Patricks draws from the seven deadly sins to bring you Shadow of Wrath, a thrillingly gruesome story about the will to survive.
3 out of 5