In the Arena, you're either a killer or a victim.Shadow of Wrath by L.W. Patricks is an interesting book. Interesting in that, while it's in the same type of genre and has the same idea as some other books I've read, it's completely different. Imagine a gladiator type scenario meets something akin to The Hunger Games. Children are kidnapped off the streets and forced to fight for their lives in an arena where they're watched by gang bangers, outlaw biker clubs, sex traffickers, etc. Every kind of low-life you can imagine is probably watching them.
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.
When a starving and homeless boy is kidnapped and brought to a modern-day gladiator arena, hidden deep within the abandoned city of Bimini, he is forced to fight for his life. The crude death matches are a source of enjoyment for Ryker, who resides over the Arena as its vicious master. Given the name Dog, the street boy must find a way to survive, even if it means murdering other innocent kids in combat at the expense of his humanity. With every dead body he leaves behind in the pit, the blood and the violence threatens to wake a beast inside him.
Allegra, a slave girl in the pits 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? With death casting it's long shadow over everyone, how can anyone survive?
A tale about survival, tragedy, and human perseverance, SHADOW OF WRATH allows us a glimpse into the world of the Sins of the 7.
Dog, one of our main characters is pulled off the street with promises of food and a warm place to sleep but he's drugged and thrown in a cell where he wakes up to find that he's now a pawn in the arena master's sick and twisted entertainment seeking.
Allegra is just as imprisoned as Dog, but in a different way. She's a medic in the arena, left with the task of trying to save the boys that DON'T die in the arena so that theyre able to fight again another day. Something she's tried to de-sensitize her self to without success. Every death makes her sick and every injured boy breaks her heart.
Dog and Allegra both seem much older than the age that's conveyed in the books. Whether that's because both are forced to grow up much quicker than their years on earth would normally allow or for some other reason I'm not sure. Allegra, I believe, was just 14. Dog was not much older. Young lives forced to fight for them.
It was a good book. I had one issue with how quickly the beginning went. At first, I was glad that I was thrown right in to the action when Dog gets into the fight that leads to him being taken to the arena. But everything else went just as fast. He was in several fights and the only mention of how they went was how long they lasted. Not that I necessarily would LIKE to hear about how he had to kill each person he fought, but so much else was described so wonderfully and so fully that it seemed the fights themselves were kind of lacking.
There was a point where the book fast forwards 2 years in a paragraph. Dog is in love with Allegra, but I never really saw a point where they even had the sort of relationship where he could fall in love with her. She was kind to him, yes, but the build up was missed in my opinion.
The ending was frustrating and sad. But in a good way. The way it was supposed to be. I can't tell you why, because that would spoil the book. I CAN tell you that it did NOT end the way I expected it to. At all. It was a fast read, only 165 pages. But it was a good one that I'm glad that I read. I'd recommend it to people interested in dystopian type books or just something with a lot of action and twists and turns.
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