November 29, 2013

Book Review: Penton Legacy Series by Susannah Sandlin

Penton Vampire Legacy, Book 3
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date of Publication: February 5, 2013
ISBN: 978-1612183596
ASIN: B0073XV3L2
Number of pages: 328
Word Count: approx. 88,000

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Book Description:

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.

Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.

Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.  

Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)Omega by Susannah Sandlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may actually be my favorite Penton Legacy book so far! I seriously loved Aiden and Mirren's books, but this was the story I was waiting for.

Will just does it for me. He has been so mistreated and abused by his evil father and his side kick, that it is a miracle that he is still a functioning person....or, vampire. I knew from the first two books in this series that Will's past was bad, but man, once you read about it in black and white in Omega it just breaks your heart. And it makes you want to kill Matthias and Shelton a hundred times over. It also made me respect the hell out of Will and how strong and resilient he had to be to live through all of that. Plus, it's just icing on the cake that he is now transitioning into a Master Vampire that will one day (or maybe even already) be way more powerful than his dad.

And Randa is just the perfect companion and partner for Will. She also has a complicated past. Not anything as horrific and scarring as Will's, but it definitely affected her and the person she has become. I was really glad that she was given the chance to face her past and get some clarity and closure. Her and Will's sarcastic banter still makes me laugh, but it was great to see that both of them were using that as shields for their true feelings. Of course, it should have been obvious that it would take the two of them being trapped together in a life or death situation to get them to move past their hardheadedness. Once they began actually talking instead of teasing and insulting though, they quickly began to realize that they have a lot in common - and there is a very serious attraction there! I think that they are freaking perfect for each other, and I hope that before long they both realize it and make a real commitment to each other.

Besides the relationship between Will and Randa developing, this book has a lot of development going on with the Penton refugees. They have had to take shelter in their underground Omega bunker after the bombing attack by Matthias. Now things are going downhill fast as the humans trapped in Omega are going stir crazy and are having to be escorted out in small groups and then have their mind erased so they don't remember anything about Penton. Matthias is camping in the Penton ruins and waiting for Aiden or any of his group to show their face so he can kill them. Pretty much everything that Aiden has built up until now is falling apart. The question is, will Aiden and his group finally be able to catch a break and be able to overthrow Matthias, or will Matthias be able to destroy them and everyone they care about once and for all?

Like I said before, I loved this book. Probably my favorite so far out of this series. And I can't wait for the next book to come out in 2014. Cage's story will be amazing, and I can't wait to read it!

View all my reviews

The Penton Legacy, Book 2
By Susannah Sandlin

Release date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Book Description:

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.

A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.

To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.

Absolution (Penton Legacy, #2)Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Absolution, book two of the Penton Legacy series, we get to learn more about one of my favorite characters from book one: Mirren Kincaid, also known as the Slayer. Mirren has a very dark and tortured past that was alluded to in book one. He served as an assassin for the Tribunal back in his earlier years and earned quite a reputation as a ruthless mercenary. However, once he learned that the vampires that were hiring him to kill other vampires were actual the worser of two evils, he disappeared from pubic view, and later faked his death. After joining up with Aidan and helping him to establish Penton, he has spent his life trying to atone for his past in his own silent and closed off way.

I knew there was more to him than met the eye from what I read in book one, and I was really looking forward to getting past his stoic demeanor. When he met Glory, I knew right away that she was going to be the one to break him down and then help him rebuild. Mirren and Glory were both kidnapped by Matthias, an evil, power-hungry member of the Vampire Tribunal that is trying to destroy Penton. Matthias holds Mirren in a cage for weeks, starving him of blood until he is weak and almost out of his mind with hunger. Then Matthias throws Glory in the cage with him, betting on the fact that Mirren will be so blood-crazed that he will attack Glory and kill her by draining her to death. He thinks once Mirren does this, he will then choose to return to his old ways as the Slayer and come back to work for the Tribunal and help destroy Aidan and Penton. However, Mirren does the exact opposite of what Matthias has planned, and instead saves himself and Glory.

I loved the relationship that these two had. Mirren is such a domineering and imposing character, that of course the woman he falls in love with would have to be his equal. And Glory is all that and more. She is strong and sincere and stubborn, all rolled up in one woman. I truly enjoyed their banter (more hers than his), and watching their relationship evolve into something real. I definitely love Mirren! He is 100% the epitome of the bad guy with a heart of gold.

My only disappointment with this book was that I felt like we didn't get to spend enough time with just Mirren and Glory, and didn't get to really enjoy watching their relationship grow and blossom. There was too much other action and drama going on with the town and with the attacks coming from Matthias. The book focused more on the advance of that story line, and Mirren and Glory's romance was really a side plot. Overall though, I still really loved this book, and this series. Can't wait to read the next one!

Book One Penton Legacy series
By Susannah Sandlin

Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland.  Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. 

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

Redemption (Penton Legacy, #1)Redemption by Susannah Sandlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't tell you how much I truly enjoyed reading the first three books in this series! This is really one of the best new vampire series that I have read in a long while.

I love the unique spin that Susannah Sandlin has put on the age old vampire story - not only are there vampires living in our world undetected, but they are facing their very own "Walking Dead" apocalypse. Humans have been forced to take a vaccine that cured a worldwide pandemic, and as a result all vaccinated human blood is now toxic to vampires. The number of humans who did not get vaccinated is small, thus causing a widespread starvation amongst the vampires. In the midst of this catastrophe, Aidan Murphy, a powerful master vampire, has bought up an old abandoned town in Penton, Alabama and turned it into a safe haven for his chosen vampire and human family, or scathe. Aidan's scathe has an abundance of unvaccinated human familiars, or feeders, that feed the vampires regularly, so they do not know starvation and desperation. Plus, all of the vampires have bonded with Aidan and all of the humans have bonded with the vampires, so no other vampires can feed off of them. The Vampire Tribunal sees this wonderland that Aidan has created as a threat to their power. They feel (or rather one member of the Tribunal) feels that Aidan and his town pose a real danger to their control over the vampire world if they ever decided to rise up and fight the Tribunal. Aidan has no desire to ever do this, but that doesn't stop the rogue member of the tribunal, Matthias, from sending Aidan's estranged brother Owen to kill him.

The events in the first book, Redemption, are very fast paced and adrenaline inducing. Sandlin keeps the action going at the same time she is world building and introducing quite a lot of characters. I think that she did a very good job balancing it all, and there was never a time where I felt lost or bogged down. In this book, we get to see the story of Aidan and Krys, the human doctor that he kidnaps and brings to Penton to replace the doctor that was murdered by Owen. Aidan and Krys sort of fall into insta-love, but she is in for a shock once she discovers the existence of vampires. I usually do not enjoy books that have insta-love. I prefer that the characters have to work for it. But if you can make me believe in it after the fact, and do it enough justice to make it seem credible, I'll go with it. And that is what Sandlin does here. She builds the relationship between Aidan and Krys methodically and logically after they are in love with each other. And it works. She uses the same tactic in book two when we get the story of Mirren and Glory, and it works there also.

By the end of this book, I was totally engrossed with the world of Penton, and with all of the characters. Sandlin has done an extraordinary job of crafting a world that I want to keep coming back to book after book, and of creating a large cast of characters that I would love to see featured in books of their own. I can't wait to continue on with this series!

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

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