Author: Kathleen Peacock (Twitter)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: May 8, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Years after her best friends' murder, Mac is still haunted vivid nightmares and visions of a restless Amy. Fearing for her own sanity and desperate for answers, Mac decides to take matters into her own hands and find Amy's killer herself. But Mac's in over her head. In a time where the werewolves are out and the virus is real, Mac's life is most definitely in danger, but she doesn't know where exactly this danger is coming from, or just how close to her it's going to get.
If you've been looking to satiate your paranormal-loving appetite, look no further than Hemlock by debut author, Kathleen Peacock. This riveting tale combines classic paranormal elements with some of the most beloved and winning traits of YA novels - love, danger, mystery and self-discovery. With a fast-paced plot that has you reeling from the start, readers will be thrust into a world that masks a troubling conspiracy and a deadly clash of races and cultures. Hemlock features heartbreaking characters, strong storylines and a vivid, emotional voice that will have you invested in the outcome from the start.
I've long since been tired of paranormal novels, and I think I've yet to read a werewolf series which I actually love. I'm in the minority here, as I know there's a certain series by Maggie Stiefvater that I simply did not appreciate. However, Hemlock really defied my expectations which, admittedly, were not very high. Mac was the type of heroine I look for in paranormal novels. Rather than being weak and allowing the trauma of Amy's death to consume her, she throws herself headfirst into the throes of this simmering war and tension. She is the type of heroine that young girls should look up to with a true purpose and passion for those she loves and what she believes in. There is a love triangle in Hemlock, but I was surprisingly not too disappointed. It's fairly well-crafted, and the author does a good job of developing the sides of the romance and creating these polar opposite love interests that both have redeeming qualities. Kyle is sweet and caring on the surface, by Jason's outward vitriol lends to a deeply caring and compassionate heart, which makes you invested in his plight, as well. The best part about the triangle is that it never actually circumvents the plot, itself. We're given fast-paced action throughout, and rather than simply being consumed and overridden by a cloying love story, we're given a subtle triangle that weaves its way into our hearts and gives us something more to believe in. The puzzling mystery, too, is done in a way that kept me guessing from the start. I love not knowing where a book is going, and Hemlock managed to keep me on my toes throughout. The only downfall to this book might be the fact that the setup is pretty formulaic in terms of paranormal novels, but the author puts her own touch on it, which definitely brands it as her own.
Overall, I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book, and I find myself invested in a paranormal series despite my ardent reservations. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I definitely recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal stories and werewolves.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.