Review–Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock (Hemlock #1)
by Kathleen Peacock
Summary: Fans of Maggie Stiefvater and the hit television show True Blood will flock to this first book in the supernatural mystery series set in a town where werewolves live in plain sight.
Mackenzie Dobson's life has been turned upside down since she vowed to hunt her best friend Amy's killer: a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country, and bloodlust is not easy to control. But it soon becomes clear that dangerous secrets are lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, Mac's hometown—and she is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her in grave danger.
Kathleen Peacock's thrilling debut novel provides readers with a mystery that Kimberly Derting, author of
The Body Finder, calls "clever and frightening," while Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight, raves: "Forget every werewolf book you've ever read. This one breaks the mold."

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Source: I purchased a copy for Kindle.


Hemlock was such fun and engaging book. A world where werewolves exist and have no rights? They were sent to camps to protect the population. I loved the politics. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of a werewolf version of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, which was great: a little romance, an awesome heroine, and a scary and thrilling plot!

I liked Mac a lot and I cared about the people in her life. Her best friend, Amy, died as a result of a werewolf attack. Everyone had secrets and the town was getting pretty crazy after the attack. Mac was curious, but she discovered maybe she didn’t know what was going on in her best friend’s life at all. There were secrets, betrayal, love, and drama with all of the characters.

The town turned into kind of a police state with werewolf trackers and the politics of werewolf rights intrigued me. I loved the parallels with regular society. Hemlock was a town where nothing and nowhere was safe, but the narration and some of the characters made it fun to read as opposed to just action packed and scary. It was funny and sweet when it needed to be and Mac was pretty spunky, tough, and a little naïve. I liked her so much.

Books like Hemlock are some of my favorites. I like when fantasy and paranormal plots use the element of danger and ignore the secrecy. There are so many plots where the mythical creatures are secret, enchanting, and the characters involved are enamored by them. I enjoy that, but I love the other side, where the existence of the creatures is known and they ARE dangerous. It leaves so many doors open for real life parallels, such as the werewolf rights politics of Hemlock.

And what is a YA paranormal without a decent love story? Sure, it’s kind of a triangle, but it’s actually one of those good ones. And it’s kind of awesome that as soon as the triangle formed, the main character made fun of herself and compared her experience to a teen angst drama that would probably air on the CW, which made me laugh out loud. I love it when a book can do that and be fun while also being romantic or dramatic or scary. It’s so refreshing.

I really enjoyed Hemlock. So much that I bought Thornhill without a second thought immediately after finishing. Not because it’s one of THOSE books where you’re left totally hanging and you realize how much you actually hate series, but because I really wanted to know what happens next because I love the characters and their adventure. So, of course, I definitely recommend the book.


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