This is the 3rd book of the Penton Legacy series and I’m loving it.
In the last book, Absolution, one of the beloved characters was killed. It was surprising because Melissa was such a big part of the series. She was sweet and was the unofficial welcome wagon for new residents of Penton and she never failed to lend a hand when needed. Matthias, who is Penton’s biggest enemy, had one of his minions break her neck right in front of everyone. In this book, we learn that she is alive and that Matthias had his minion carry her away and turn her into a vampire. There is a big discrepancy in the two books which really bothered me. It clearly stated in the last book that the minion broke Melissa’s neck with an “audible snap”, in which case she would have been dead and she couldn’t be turned but in this book, it was changed to her throat being cut and then the minion dragging her off to change her into a vampire. I went back and re-read that part just to be sure and her neck was definitely broken and not cut. I think it showed poor planning on the author’s part but I was glad she brought Melissa back…well, kind of…after reading the 4th book, I didn’t really like her that much.
This book was about William Ludlum, Matthias’ son who he wants back…not because he loves him but because Matthias believes William belongs to him and should be loyal to him just because he is his son. Matthias was never really a good father to Will. After Matthias was turned into a vampire, he decided to turn his entire family into vampires despite the low survival rate. Will’s sister and mother did not make it. Will was only 22 at the time. When Will wouldn’t bend to Matthias’ every evil wish, Matthias would have him beaten or worse. The last time he punished Will, he sent him with one of his lieutenants, Shelton, who Matthias knew was a sadist and liked young men. Shelton tortured and raped Will who then was returned to Matthias and acted like he had broken and changed to be pliant but ran away from Matthias and kept gone.
Now that Matthias knows where Will is, he has used it as an excuse to ruin the town of Penton and everyone in it. Penton is a town that Aidan Murphy, a master vampire, created in order to escape starvation from the Pandemic Vaccination that almost every human in the world received after a worldwide epidemic. The vaccine turned the vaccinated human’s blood into poison for vampires. Vampires are now starving and having a hard time finding unvaccinated humans to feed off of. The problem is that many vampires don’t just feed off a human, they kill them unnecessarily. Aidan Murphy believes humans should be treated fairly and not be treated as just food. He has found unvaccinated humans who have agreed to live in the town of Penton in exchange for a good life and letting a vampire feed off them. Most of the humans used to be drug addicts who Aidan and his right hand man, Mirren, helped to get off the drugs or they were homeless or had other severe problems. Penton is a chance to start over again. Will pledged his loyalty to Aidan and became part of his scathe, a group of vampires who are bonded and loyal to each other. Matthias has used the size of Aidan’s scathe to strike fear into the hearts of the Vampire Tribunal who believe Aidan plans to overthrow them.
When Matthias killed Melissa, he had taken over the town of Penton. While he was busy threatening the leaders, the rest of the town went into their evacuation plan called Omega. They snuck down into a tunnel which was located in the church with an elaborate door that looked like part of the flooring in the church. After a huge fight, all the other members were able to escape Matthias and enter Omega which had another entryway miles away. After you go into the tunnel in the church, there is a small area and then steel doors which would take break through. On the other end, there is a long tunnel leading to steel doors.
The leaders of Penton decide to use Cage Reynolds as a spy to infiltrate Matthias and his followers. While this book was mostly about Will Ludlum, it had a lot about Cage who recently joined the Penton scathe under orders from his leader, the UK Tribunal representative Edward Simmons, to learn about the town of Penton and to see if it would be a viable option for the UK vampires. Aidan Murphy knows about this but hasn’t let it be known to everyone else until now. The Penton leaders decide that since Matthias does not know Cage is with them that Cage should tell Matthias that he is there on Edward Simmons’ behalf to help him. As soon as Cage gets out from underground, he calls Edward and tells him of their plan. Edward is one of the few Tribunal leaders secretly backing Aidan and his scathe.
Matthias accepts Cage’s story but isn’t trustworthy of anyone so he doesn’t share any secrets with Cage. He gives Cage a room under the Penton Clinic where Cage discovers a locked door, picks the lock and finds Melissa Calvert tied to the bed, starving, afraid and a vampire. He ends up rescuing her which blows his cover and effectively blows Edward’s Simmons’ cover. Matthias has the backing of the leader of the Tribunal, Frank Greisser and since, in the last book, Mirren killed a Tribunal member to save his mate and Aidan turned his mate Krystal into a vampire to save her life which is against Tribunal law at the moment, the Tribunal has issued warrants for the Penton scathe members.
Meanwhile, a lot of humans are abandoning Omega, they just are too afraid or don’t want to live underground for an extended amount of time. Aidan and Mirren are the only master vampires which means they are the only ones who can wipe the human’s memories so they are spending a good amount of their time traveling at night to take the humans to nearby cities and drop them off. Will and his annoying but capable partner, Randa, who Aidan teamed him up with have to take charge of Omega while Aidan and Mirren are gone. Will keeps doing things he shouldn’t be capable of doing and thinks he may be turning into a master vampire.
Matthias starts stepping up his game. He starts using bloodhounds to try to find Omega and hired someone to poison the streams around Penton which started making the humans sick. He had tortured and lied to Melissa, saying he captured her husband Mark. Melissa gave in and told Matthias about the entrance to Omega under in the church. Melissa tells Aidan that she told Matthias so Aidan puts guards outside each steel door. While Will and Randa are guarding the outside entrance of the steel doors, they see the hidden entry hatch open. If anyone enters, they can only enter one or two at a time and they will be able to pick them off easily but Matthias is smarter than that. He throws in a grenade. Randa recognizes what it is just before it goes off and jumps on top of Will to save him. They aren’t dead but Will’s leg is mangled and they are buried. One wrong move and the whole thing might cave in on them. They take the time to get to know each other.
A weird thing is happening to Melissa and her husband Mark. Mark thought Melissa had died and was so inconsolable that Aidan had to keep him in a trance to keep him under control. Now that he knows Melissa is alive, Aidan takes him out of the trance but Melissa doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Mark. She told Aidan’s mate that she just doesn’t feel for him like she used to and thinks it is because she is a vampire now. She also is eyeing Cage like she has a crush on him and Cage seems to be looking back which ticks me off royally. I like Melissa and Mark together and I won’t accept a Cage and Melissa scenario even if the author kills off Mark.
It seems like the people of Penton are fighting a losing battle. There was some good news in the book but a lot of bad news went with it.
I have already read the last book, Allegiance. I usually do my review before reading another book but I was sick with some sort of flu and just couldn’t concentrate enough to do a review. I felt so icky that I couldn’t even read that much which means I’m really really sick.