This is the 4th book in the Penton Legacy series and last one that has been published so far which means I have to wait for the next book. The author, Susannah Sandlin, told me that there is going to be more books written in the series and she has already released the first book of a spinoff series called Storm Force. I’ll have to read it.
In the last book, Matthias Ludlum was finally imprisoned after his reign of terror against the town of Penton. Matthias is a rich and evil vampire with a seat on the Vampire Tribunal, the council that makes and enforces laws for all vampires. He is obsessed with ruining the town of Penton and its leaders, Aidan Murphy and Mirren Kincaid because he can’t stand that his son William has pledged his allegiance to them instead of his own father. Matthias doesn’t take into account that the reason his son his son wants nothing to do with him is because he is evil and he treated Will horribly. Matthias used his position on the Vampire Tribunal to go after the town of Penton, saying that Aidan Murphy was a threat to the Tribunal because he was amassing so many vampires together who are loyal to him to take over the Tribunal but that was just a lie to cover up the fact that he wants his son back with him.
Aidan Murphy has such a following because he is a good leader and his idea to create a town full of humans and vampires who benefit from each other is a great idea. About five or six years ago, an epidemic hit the world but scientists were quick to invent a vaccine against it called the Pandemic Vaccine. Unfortunately, the vaccine made human blood poisonous to vampires and now vampires are starving. There are very few humans left in the world who have not been vaccinated, mostly drug addicts and homeless because they were too down and out to go get the vaccine but there are others who didn’t receive the vaccine because they were either allergic to one of the ingredients or because they had already had the virus and didn’t need the vaccine by the time it came out. Vampires are fighting over those humans. Aidan went around to homeless shelters and helped drug addicts to withdraw by keeping them in a trance through withdrawal and then he would ask them if they wanted to live in Penton for a chance to live a clean and sober life with a job in a good community for the exchange of letting a vampire feed from them. They would have to keep the vampire world secret and if they ever wanted to leave, he would just erase their minds of the time they spent in Penton. Aidan Murphy believes that humans should be treated as equals and not just as a food source. He bonded the humans and the vampires to him which protected the humans from others ever being able to feed off them.
Matthias used fear to gain the support of the Vampire Tribunal and back him while he went against the town. Aidan had the foresight to see something like this coming so he had a secret underground hideout made near the town which he called Omega. The remaining members of the town, the ones who Matthias hadn’t killed and the ones who hadn’t decided to leave, escaped and hid in Omega while Matthias took over the town. But Matthias made mistakes and turned a lot of the Tribunal representatives against him. He turned one of the town members into a vampire which is against Tribunal law. When the Pandemic Virus became such a problem and vampires started starving, the Tribunal outlawed turning any new vampires. He also did a bunch of other illegal things and ended up being imprisoned.
Also in the last book, Matthias’ son, William, became mated to Randa Thomas who was turned into a vampire just a few years ago. She was raised in a military household and she was also a soldier when she was turned. Hannah, a psychic vampire, has a vision which said someone named Richard would take a vital role in helping them defeat Matthias. The only Richard anyone knows is Randa’s father Rick Thomas, a retired colonel in the military who still does some kind of secret work for the military. The leaders of Penton decide to have Randa and Will go to him and ask him for help. Rick Thomas wasn’t as shocked to learn that vampires exist as he was to learn that his daughter was alive. He agrees to put together a special force called the Omega Force and he comes up with a plan to take in front of the Tribunal. It’s a new world and humans and vampires have to work together if vampires want to survive. He tells them that he will create clinics that specialize in collecting blood from unvaccinated humans and in exchange, vampires will work with him to prevent and fight terrorist attacks. The Tribunal agrees.
In this book, Frank Greisser, the leader of the Tribunal who has been a secret supporter of Matthias for centuries, sets Matthias free and hides him in the Alps. Everyone suspects it was Frank who set Matthias free but nobody would ever accuse him of it because he is so powerful. Frank Greisser is more evil than Matthias could ever be. He does not want the town of Penton to succeed nor does he want Omega Force to succeed. It takes too much power away from him and he will not allow it.
Cage Reynolds returns to Penton from Europe after three months of being gone. Cage originally came to the town of Penton to study it for his boss Edward Simmons, Tribunal representative for the UK. Edward wanted to see if the project was a good idea for European vampires. While Cage was in Penton, he became embroiled in the fight against Matthias but he also became friends with most of the residents. After Matthias was arrested, he returned to Europe but he missed the town and decided to move back to Penton.
Cage had saved one of the Penton residents from Matthias in the last book. Matthias had taken one of the beloved characters, Melissa Calvert, and killed her…or so everyone thought until Cage found her locked in and underground room. Matthias had turned her into a vampire and was starving and torturing her. Cage rescued her. Cage was attracted to her but she was already married and anyway, it would have been a passing fancy because he wasn’t in love with her. He was just attracted to her.
I thought this book was going to try to get Cage and Melissa together which really irked me because Melissa is married to Mark and they had a great relationship before she was turned into a vampire. Melissa claimed that she just didn’t feel the love for Mark like she did before she was turned and she seemed to be going after Cage. I just could not get into Cage and Melissa as a couple no matter what. Melissa kept doing trying to insert herself into Cage’s life. When Cage flight lands in Atlanta, she is the one who picks him up from the airport hoping to have a talk to him about their relationship. I kept asking, “What relationship? He kissed you one time and now you think you are an item? How pathetic!” Yes, I’m one of those who yell at books and the television.
On their way home from Atlanta, Cage kept seeing flashes of people in the woods. Melissa tells him that a lot of vampires are flocking to Penton in hopes of joining Aidan’s scathe with the hopes of getting to feed off one of the humans but since most of the humans had left the town, Aidan wasn’t accepting any more vampires into his scathe. A scathe is a group of vampires bonded and loyal to each other. Other vampires think that if they kill off Aidan, Mirren and William who are the master vampires who all of the humans and other scathe members are bonded to that they will be able to feed off of the humans. Vampires are starving and desperate. Unfortunately, most vampires haven’t got the message that if you kill off the unvaccinated humans or treat them poorly, there won’t be any left for anyone to feed off of. Melissa tells him that they have patrols to keep the “vagavamps” as she calls them at bay.
A vampire steps in front of their car on the way home so they stop. His name is Fenton Patrick and Cage knows him from a long time ago when Fenton was human and they fought in one of the world wars. Cage doesn’t trust him but he lets Fenton in the car and tells him that he will introduce him to Aidan. Melissa is irritated because she wanted to use the time alone in the car to talk to Cage about their relationship. She knows that once he gets into Penton, she will lose him to everyone else and he will ignore her. I really liked Melissa before but she just came off as pathetic to me for going after Cage who was obviously not into her like she was into him. I also felt bad for her husband Mark who really loves her.
In Penton, everyone is trying to rebuild the town after Matthias destroyed most of it. They have thrown up community housing for everyone. There are a few Omega Force members helping with the rebuilding since they are human and can work during the day…or kind of human. They have discovered that shape shifters exist and Omega Force has quite a few on their team. Mark Calvert, Max Jeffries and Rob Thomas are putting up a brick wall in the new training center when the wall collapses. I thought to myself, “Yep, this is where the author is going to kill off Mark so that Cage and Melissa can be together.” I was wrong. Mark didn’t die. Rob Thomas did.
Two new Omega Force members who they had been expecting, showed up just after the wall collapsed. Nikolas Dimitrou bent down and started feeling the bricks while Robin Ashton gave him a clipboard with paper to draw the images that he got from feeling the bricks. Nik can see images from items he touches. Robin is a golden eagle shifter who has worked with Nik for years. They also are friends with benefits. Nik draws a few images of Mark and Rob working on the building and an image of a panther or cougar. They think that one of the town members is a shapeshifter that they don’t know about.
I don’t think I ever really connected to Robin because I found her abrasive and kind of slutty. She comes into town and immediately starts arguing with Mirren and with everyone she talks to. She thinks about how she wants to sleep with Cage just to sleep with him which I was okay with but I think it was just the way she went about demanding things and being so rude to everyone that got to me. I did laugh at how she immediately assessed Cage and Melissa’s relationship and didn’t let Melissa intimidate her when Melissa tried to be possessive of Cage. Melissa came out of the shower and saw that Cage and Robin were flirting and she became jealous so she sat next to Cage and rubbed her hand up and down his leg. She told him that if she knew he was going to be there, she would have had him join her in the shower. Robin could see that Cage was uncomfortable with how Melissa was acting and said a few sarcastic comments including reminding Melissa that she was married to Mark.
Meanwhile, Frank Greisser is busy with his own plans to ruin Penton. He is doing something weird to Matthias. He has Matthias in a hotel in the Alps and at first, Matthias is a guest but then the hotel manager brings him a human and says he is a gift from Frank. Matthias, who must be bisexual, lays on top of the man and starts feeding off of him and making out with him but the man injects him with a yellow liquid which makes Matthias feel strange. The hotel manager gets the man out of there and locks Matthias into the room. Matthias tries to get out but realizes that the room had been modified to keep vampires in while he was in his day sleep. He is now a prisoner. His captors continue to inject him with the liquid and he starts to feel the effects. He starts wanting to eat real food but when he eats it, he throws it up violently. Blood starts to disgust him but he has to drink it to stay alive. He feels hungry and thirsty but can’t seem to satisfy either. He knows Frank is doing some kind of experiment on him but he doesn’t know what it is.
Someone starts the community house where Cage and Hannah live on fire and Hannah gets stuck inside. Fen and Nik save her. Hannah saw a coyote in the house before it caught on fire. She has a vision of it and says it is angry and hungry but it can’t eat so it just gets angrier.
All ten blood donation clinics were bombed and then all five of Aidan’s supporters on the Vampire Tribunal were killed. Everyone knows it is Frank Greisser who did all of this but now there is nobody to go against him. He calls Aidan and tells him to meet him under the pretense that he needs to talk to him about taking over the US representative seat on the Tribunal. Aidan knows it is a trap but goes anyway.
I can’t go into any more detail without spoiling the rest of the book but I keep thinking how the vampires should be pissed at Frank Greisser for setting them back so far. The clinics were providing them with much needed blood. Of course, Frank probably has a stockpile of humans somewhere to feed himself but most vampires do not and they will die without unvaccinated blood. I just can’t see how Frank will be able to keep in power if he alienates all of his brethren.
I’m excited to find out what happens in the next book. I have gone to the author’s website and discovered that she also goes by the name Susannah Johnson and has written other books. I may have to read some of them.