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.
**A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
It’s no secret that here, at She-Wolf Reads, there’s a lot of love for Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) and her Penton Legacy series. I’ve reviewed the first two books here and here, the author has guest posted here, and the latest book in the series, OMEGA, made my most anticipated reads for 2013 here. There’s something about this community of vampires and their layered relationships, coupled with the tenuous future of Penton that keeps me coming back for more. Sandlin originally announced this as a trilogy. Let me say right now that I will start writing letters to the publisher to get more books in this series. Yes, I like it that much. And this latest release, OMEGA, didn’t disappoint.
Some of the strongest and most original aspects of OMEGA are its two main male protagonists – Will and Cage.
His ego couldn’t deal with both his father and a woman with bigger balls than him. A man had to have limits.
Let’s start with Will. In the second book, ABSOLUTION, when I got the sense that Will would be the featured character in the follow-up, I admit there was a part of me that may have been a little worried. I bought into his image as an arrogant, cocky, reformed rich kid who, while smart and with a good heart, still came across as someone who lacked a certain depth. That Sandlin is a tricky one. The Will we discover in OMEGA is unlike any other vampire hero I’ve read in a PNR. His arrogance masks insecurity and while he’s a strong male character, he’s not the overt alpha male we normally see in the genre. This guy has serious issues and a past he’s trying to not let define him. I love the depth Sandlin gave him, along with the very realistic coping mechanism of arrogance to hide insecurity. I also loved that he’s paired with Randa, a Vet, who probably scares and intimidates the shit out of him, all the while not knowing she feels the same about him. The tension is delicious and the coming together of the two is sweet, tender, and deserved.
One thing that sets OMEGA apart from the previous two books in the series is that there’s a good amount of time devoted to another character in addition to Will and Randa, the book’s central couple. That character is Cage. He got on my radar in ABSOLUTION and in OMEGA, Sandlin fleshes out his position in Penton and why he’s there. Cage is interesting. He has skills from his past in the military in addition to a unique profession that makes his insight into the Penton vampires probing and, at times, funny. Cage also starts to have feelings for one of the Penton crew which opens up a romantic dilemma for the tight knit group. While I did feel there were traces of insta-love, it didn’t matter. The conflict it promises to create is going to be heartbreaking and I want to see where it goes. But I won’t give details because it would be a major spoiler. Suffice it to say that if we’re lucky enough to get another book, Cage will be a major player both in terms of the future of Penton and with regards to its romantic drama.
For series fans, rest assured Sandlin brings the overarching storyline of Penton’s relationship with the Tribunal to somewhat of a conclusion and by that I mean she goes ahead and opens up another storyline that is, well, very cool. The potential for spinoff or continuation is ripe in OMEGA leaving me both satisfied and, honestly, rabid for more.
Now, be honest…a letter to the publisher…too much?