Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: E-Galley, 336 pages
Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal
With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?
When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.
But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and monstrous serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.
The Undying Legion is the second novel in the Crown & Key trilogy. Authors Clay & Susan Griffith move the series forward several months from the end of The Shadow Revolution. This time out, our group comes across a macabre scene in several churches, and the gruesome reality that a powerful necromancer is raising the dead from their graves. This leads them to their next villain and the return of two super villains who were mentioned briefly in The Shadow Revolution, Ash and Gaios.
*Warning* For those who have not read The Shadow Revolution, please take caution. The Undying Legion is NOT a standalone. It really does help to read the prior installment so that you can understand the characters involved in this series. It also answers pertinent questions like... Why have they come together? What is their overall purpose? Why should I really care about these characters? I know I'm a broken record when I say this, but it is in fact, the only way for you to truly enjoy the writing, the characters, and the unusual world of magic, and powerful monsters who make up this world.
Our intrepid group of Victorian era heroes/heroines have come together and out of the darkness in order to fight evil whenever it pops up its ugly head. Against Nick Barker's earlier recommendation, monster hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, scribe/magician Simon Archer, and alchemist Kate Anstruther found a way to defeat their enemies in The Shadow Revolution at great peril to each of them. The cost of which they are still counting in Kate's sister Imogen's current condition.
In addition to the main group of characters, there is inventor/gadget geek Penny Carter, who I really wish people would stop calling Penny Dreadful, and 13-year old werewolf Charlotte who has more than carried the load. I truly wanted to call this the new version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in the ways they go about things. There is a ton of action, some really interesting mysteries, and even a hint at romance. I know some feminists will be angry at me for calling Kate, Penny, and Charlotte Gentlemen, but, wasn't Mina Harker part of the League? Yes, yes, she was.
I really loved Penny and Charlotte's participation in this one. Charlotte is coming to grips with her transition without wulfsyl while living under Kate's roof, and makes headway in Malcolm's dislike of werewolves. She has a connection to Imogen, and that in turn, helps take a load off Kate's mind who continues to be tormented by her previous choices. Penny is such a great character. I just love her toys that she creates. I love that she's become really important to the group, and really they couldn't get by without her amazing weapons. I also like the hint of a possible connection between Penny and Malcolm.
As I stated previously in this review, it pays to read these books in order due to the fact that everything connects. Well, NOW you need to read this book in its entirety before moving onto the finale called The Conquering Dark. There were loads of interesting questions left behind in this story. More interesting challengers are lining up to take on our heroes, and there's even the possibility of yet another character being added to Simon's gang.
This books cover features Kate. The Shadow Revolution featured Simon. Therefore, The Conquering Dark features Malcolm.
**I received this book for free from (Del Rey) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**