Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
Hemlock is quite possibly the best werewolf book that I’ve read. It’s not like I’ve read that many, but this was still amazing.
Hemlock follows Mackenzie (Mac), and her longing to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of her best friend, Amy. Of course, things get in the way of her journey to uncover the truth, one of those things being a group of werewolf hunters known as The Trackers. As more secrets of the seemingly quiet and peaceful town of Hemlock unfold, Mackenzie realizes she may have gotten herself into a dangerous situation, and now, there’s no turning back.
Right from the beginning, I knew Hemlock and I were going to get along well. There’s not much action for the first half of the novel, but that doesn’t mean it was boring at all. I couldn’t have turned the pages faster, and with each chapter, more and more is revealed about the mystery of Amy Walsh’s death, all the way to a boiling conclusion that I did not see coming.
The characters in Hemlock, especially Mackenzie, were handled expertly, and had so much depth to them it felt like I could reach out and hug them. Mackenzie is an amazing heroine, and didn’t take no for an answer. There’s also Kyle and Jason, who are great characters as well, although I wanted Jason to die desperately throughout most of the book.
The mystery of Hemlock was much better than I expected it to be, and with each and every plot twist I found myself gasping aloud. Like I had mentioned earlier in the review, the ending came as a complete shock to me, although I was a little disappointed in it, but that’s only because the theories I had in my head were a bit more complicated, and the ending in Hemlock was a little simple.
Peacock’s writing is excellent, and I absolutely loved the chapters in which Amy visited Mackenzie in her dreams (that was probably my favorite thing about Hemlock). The portrayal of how much a death of a friend could change your life, and that you’d do anything to find justice for that person was done amazingly, and I found myself tearing up quite a few times throughout this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hemlock, and I recommend it for anyone who is looking for a fresh take on the werewolf genre, but at the same time, something so much more than that.
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