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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 ...
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."
Posted May 20, 2012
If I could describe Hemlock in one word, it would be "stunning". Seriously, this book blew me away with its lush descriptions, perfectly flawed characters, unforeseeable twists and turns, a believable romance, and fear-inspiring villans. After I finished, I wanted to flip it right over and start again!
I wasn't sure what to expect upon turning the first page of this book. I adore Urban Fantasies, but have never been big on werewolves. It obviously requires a certain suspension of rationality to believe that a virus can cause bones to shift, hair to grow, and a biped to transform into a quadriped. However, I was completely happy to hand over my brain and my heart to Kathleen Peacock and become like putty in her hands.
The humans-turned-werewolves in Hemlock were sympathetic and relateable. After all, they're not just evil fairytale creatures out for blood. They're regular human beings who were unfortunate enough to contract the virus that changes their life forever. They are cast out from society and stripped free of their human rights. Society as a whole has slapped a big label on werewolves, with "VICIOUS" written across, and the hatred towards these "creatures" is on the rise. The subtle but effective message within the pages of Hemlock on the dangers of prejudice and judgment is a much-needed one in today's social climate.
I really adored all of the characters in Hemlock, even the bad guys and the secondary characters. They each played their part well and were very well-written. I enjoyed the friendship that was portrayed between Mac, Kyle, Jason, and Amy. I had a group of friends like that in high school, and the similarities are eerie! Mac was such a fierce character, and I really felt for all of the highs and lows she went through. I like to fancy that she's a bit like me, in that she wants to "save" everyone from themselves, and tries to see the best in even the worst of people. I loved how Kathleen handled the love triangle between Kyle, Mac, and Jason. It was definitely NOT the focus of the story, and I respect that there was no definite "team" between the two boys. Jason and Kyle are both lovable, though incredibly flawed, and you never really know which one will come out on top.
The nightmares that Mac has throughout the story were delightfully creepy, and despite Hemlock not having illustrations, I could vividly picture what she felt and saw. I also enjoyed the way the mystery of Amy's death and the secrets she hid from Mac slowly and purposefully unfolded. Maybe, looking back, I could have guessed a couple things, but Kathleen Peacock has a way of telling a story that just keeps you hurtling forward with no desire to figure things out before they're revealed within the story. This is one of the greatest attributes of a master story-teller, in my humble opinion.
Hemlock ended on such a great cliff-hanger, and left me stuttering and wide-eyed. Now, I cannot WAIT for Hemlock #2, which is sooo far off, the title and release date haven't even been declared yet! I do hope that this review has urged you to grab Hemlock off the nearest shelf and give it a read. It is easily one of my most favorite reads of 2012 thus far! Kathleen Peacock has earned a "Standing O" from this book lover!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2012
Filled with mystery and heart pounding action, HEMLOCK will keep you turning the pages. I enjoyed every aspect of this book. This book is so different from many of the werewolf books that I’ve read. I ate up the whole trackers against the infected (Lupine syndrome) angle. The issues of prejudice in this book made this book more appealing in my eyes. No one was safe from suspicion – anyone could be infected.
The murder of Mac’s best friend Amy was full of unknowns and it was fascinating to read alongside Mac as she tried to solve Amy’s murder. There were so many surprises in this book that kept me guessing throughout. Peacock did a great job of shrouding this book in mystery with a good dose of gruesome.
I am curious to see what happens during the next installment as Mac continues her journey. If you’re looking for a werewolf mystery with a twist, I suggest giving HEMLOCK a try. Hopefully, you’ll be on pins and needles as you try to solve the murder of Mac’s best friend while receiving eye openers along the way.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 12, 2013
A slightly different approach to the werewolf idea. I really liked this book! Appropriate for teens but enjoyable by adults as well. I look for books without a lot of swearing or vulgarity. So I really liked this author's writing voice. Clean, yet realistic teen struggles. I will be looking for more by this author in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2013
Posted March 6, 2013
Posted March 5, 2013
Posted January 19, 2013
There are WEREWOLVES in this story. WEREWOLVES.
The story surrounds the mystery of a white werewolf who happens to be a serial killer. Werewolves
AND serial killers? This was definitely my kind of book. Let the excitement begin.It was interesting to
read about lupine syndrome being known to the public and announced as if it was just a new disease
spreading in the nation. Becoming a werewolf was treated as an incurable disease that was transferred
through a scratch or a bite. With the new threat of werewolves, attacks become more common,
especially in the small town of Hemlock.
Mac (Mackenzie), Amy, Jason, and Kyle, were as close group of best friends. The dynamic of the group
instantly changed after Amy’s death. Jason was Amy’s boyfriend and her death sent him plunging into
even deeper trouble. Which then leaves Mac and Kyle with a new awkwardness that was never there
before. There is a start of a love triangle between the best friends, but each relationship come naturally
and has been building up for years. Kyle and Jason are both strong and... interesting. Jason comes
from a rich family and is constantly neglected by his parents. He's often described as arrogant and
spoiled, but occasionally has a good heart. Kyle on the other hand begins to uncover secrets that
makes him a mysterious character.
Mac is the kind of girl that wants to save everybody. She’s not afraid to stand up against people
regardless of the dangerous situations she could end up in. The places she ends up for doing this are
unbelievable and only feeds into her exciting character.
A part of the story that creeped me out, besides having an unknown killer on the loose, was the
snippets of Amy. Her history was weaved in by her visits to Mac through her dreams. And those
dreams were quite vivid.
The mystery, action, and romance of Hemlock fully captured my attention. I was kept guessing through
out the whole novel on how it would end.
Posted November 20, 2012
Hemlock is unique both as a paranormal read and in the writing. This is different from other werewolf stories in that it has become an epidemic. Werewolves may be the hunter, but the majority don't want to be a werewolf. They are ostrichized and hunted. Many other books may include a werewolf who wants to be a normal guy, but this book is darker than most. It is clear that there is nothing romantic about being a werewolf or falling in love with one. And especially not being killed by one.
The writing is beautiful and descriptive. Hemlock is a thick book and rather intimidating when you tackle a large pile of books to review after having lost a month due to exams and illness. However, I never felt overwhelmed while reading it. I received an ARC, so there were some rough transitions; for the most part, I was completely sucked into Mac's world. The pacing was spot on. It was slow and riddled with tension when there was danger lurking nearby; it was fast and heart-pounding when there was an attack; and my heart stopped with Mac's when she received a shock. It takes something for me to feel so close to the narrator that I feel like I'm there with her. I never knew what to expect next. There are so many plot twists that I didn't see coming that when I was able to guess something, it felt new and special when it did happen because I didn't know what would happen next.
Mac is one of my favorite heroines of the year. She has strong emotions that she normally hides under a cautiously reserved exterior, afraid of showing the people close to her how much she cares about them. She looks after Jason out of duty for the boyfriend that Amy left behind, but the one she is really interested in is her close friend Kyle, though she insists that they're "only friends." This has been called a love triangle, but I wouldn't call it one when the girl knows who she wants. Mac is someone with whom I can easily relate, despite never having been put in a similar predicament. Having Amy's ghost haunt her dreams was a nice touch. We get to know Amy, who would have otherwise remained a name and a body to us readers, and we know just how guilty Mac feels. The nightmares also help set the plot in motion, as they are one reason that compels Mac to look into Amy's murder.
What really pulls this story together and makes it more than another paranormal romance is the world building. As I mentioned before, Hemlock is dark, much darker than other paranormal books out there. There is cold-blooded murder and politics involved. Werewolves are given harsh treatment even if they mean no harm to humans, resulting in a controversial issue with people taking side: there are those who want a more peaceful approach to werewolves, and there are those who want extreme measures to be taken against them. When the werewolf situation in the town of Hemlock takes a turn for the worse, people must choose sides, and Mac learns more about her friends than she may have wanted to know.
Hemlock explores how change, both good and bad, affects people and what it means to care about someone; it explores different reactions to getting infected and asks if is always possible to see past the exterior and remember who someone is on the inside. Each character has his or her own story to tell. It's a bit weird, but I felt like a proud mama watching the characters grow and take the initiative. I am intrigued by where this story is going and am definitely interested in learning more about the werewolves and ongoing politics on the topic, though I have mixed feelings about Mac's decision at the end, as I hadn't thought of her as one of those girls who'll follow her love to the end of the world. Nevertheless, she is following her heart, and I do want to see her fulfill her mission.
Posted September 14, 2012
WOW!! This is one of those books where you hide in the bathroom just so you can keep reading when you've passed your bedtime. I wasn't even one-forth into the book yet when I decided to purchase my hardback copy. Unlike many other YA books, this story doesn't focus too much on teenage angst but rather the storyline of who killed Amy Walsh. Like an onion peel, there are layers of secrets that unfold and just when you think the murderer is revealed a twist comes along and steers you away. There's nothing like a good mystery to propel you to keep reading. Surprisingly, there were a few crack-up moments of humor at unexpected times and there is love in this story, too. Did I say this book's got a lot of really good scenes? We're talking drama, action, and scary. There's a good feeling of depth to all the characters and when the end of the story neared I dreaded saying my temporary goodbye... Book two will be out soon and will be in my possession on it's day of release! Ahh! I can't wait!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2012
Really 4.5 stars
Sometimes you start reading a book and you know from the first five pages that it's going to be great. Hemlock was one of those books, and I was certainly not disappointed.
Mac lost her best friend Amy to a werewolf attack. Months later, the white werewolf who killed Amy still hasn't been found, and Mac is continually haunted by Amy in her dreams. Then, one day, the werewolf attacks start again, and Trackers - aka werewolf hunters - arrive in Hemlock to search for the killer. However, Mac would rather not have the Trackers in town. They seem to be causing problems, not to mention the fact that Mac's friend Jason is spending more and more time with them. Mac decides to take on the search for Amy's killer herself. But once she starts gathering information, she finds out that she might be in over her head, dealing with secrets she never imagined and situations she might not be able to escape. In a town full of secrets, who can Mac trust?
One of the things I love about YA is how books so easily cross genres. Hemlock blends elements of paranormal and mystery stories, bringing a fresh twist to werewolves. In Hemlock, everyone in the US knows about werewolves - or those that suffer from Lupine Syndrome - and they all hope to avoid werewolf attacks that come with the threat of being changed or killed. Beyond those things, there is still so much to love about Hemlock. One of my favorite things about Mac was her dedication to her friends. She was determined to help all of them, even those who weren't her "best" friends. I also really enjoyed the way Mac's dreams with Amy were incorporated; it provided a great glimpse into Mac's psyche and made their relationship that much more real. Then there was Mac's best guy friend, Kyle. Who could help but fall for him? And even though at first it seems like there's a hint of a love triangle, in reality things are much more complicated.
The story of Hemlock is so engrossing that I forgot everything else while reading. I was swept away by the mystery as well as the excellent writing, and even though I was able to figure out some of the secrets, there were still unexpected surprises. The synopsis definitely doesn't lie when it promises "provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love."
Hemlock is a fabulous debut novel that is not to be missed. Everything about this book left me wanting more, and I cannot wait to read the next installment of the trilogy!
Posted August 6, 2012
Posted August 1, 2012
Posted July 18, 2012
Posted July 9, 2012
This book came out a while ago. Mostly, everyone love this book even before it came out! I was excited when it came out but I never got the chance to read this because I was so busy with work. I finally had a chance to read it and what can go wrong? Hello, it's about werewolves! This is probably the second book I read about werewolves. Yeah, i know... I wasn't too crazy about werewolves.
This book is a group of friends. Mackenzie, Amy, Jason, and Kyle. After Amy's death, everything been different between Mac, Jason, and Kyle but especially Jason. Jason been getting drunk and getting into fights after his girlfriend's death.
I can never live in a world full of werewolves. NEVER. I would be scared to go outside by myself.
I love the relationship between Mac and Kyle. They just have a strong relationship even though they just became a couple. There's also a love triangle but of course I'm not going to tell you who it's with since it'll be a spoiler. If you want to find out go read the book!
The book was action pack with romances and suspense! The end of every chapter was a cliff hanger. You always wanted to turn the page and read the next chapter and the next. The action never stopped! The dreams that Mac was having was pretty creepy. It made my skin shiver a bit. You can never really guess what will happen next which I like.
Overall, I love this book a lot! I love the romance in this one. There's also a lot of drama going on. I'm can't wait until the next book comes out! I would put any book down just to read the next book. I recommend you read this book!
Posted June 21, 2012
I like books that have flawed characters. The main character in Hemlock, is highly flawed. With a bad childhood and a group of friends that are far from perfect and at this time in their lives they are not only dealing with a werewolf scare in their town but their best friend Amy has just recently been killed by one. Each of these characters are dealing with the death of Amy in their own way. So far it seems that Kyle is the one that is the least focused on what happened to Amy and more about the problems in his own life with his old and new girlfriends. Both Mac and Jason are emotionally troubled in their personal lives as well as with the new loss of Amy. When the Trackers come into town to rid them of the "dangerous werewolves" Mac, Kyle,and Jason come to odds with their opinions on the Trackers being there and taking over.
The main character Mac is really put through a lot physically as well. She seems to be the heart of all the drama happening in town and whenever something bad happens (except when Amy dies) she seems to be right there in the middle of it. She is continually getting herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and the lead Tracker, Derby can't help but notice her and locks in on her almost immediately.
There are some unique things in the book that make it different. Mac still talks to Amy in her dreams, but through these dreams the reader gets clues to what Mac is searching for. The dream sequences are incredibly informative and give us an insight to who Amy was as well, so even though her character is deceased, the reader still gets a very good look at the person she was (through Mac's eyes anyway), she is still very much a part of the story, and a constant character throughout.
The other thing that stands out is how much of a role Mac's father plays into her daily life, and how she bases most of her thoughts and actions around how she was raised. Even though she has not lived with him for years.
It has been awhile since I have read a book that got me thinking as much as this one did. I was mesmerized with how much I could associate with the characters, even though this is a highly paranormal story in a world setting that I will never live in, the characters, the actions and emotions were all so relatable and understandable. There were moments that I was shocked by events that happened, I was not expecting the story to get so dark, but loved every minute of it. I found that there was not a moment when I was not reading, that I was not thinking of the story and what could possibly happen next.
Even though there are two boys and a girl and some romantic aspects to the story. I would not say that this story has a love triangle. It's a different take on relationships and secrets and friendship that some could interpret as a triangle, but I don't label this story that way. Hemlock is unique with it's highly flawed characters, a town full of secrets and a dangerous person around every corner. Talk about not knowing who to trust..
Anyone who knows me well knows that werewolf books aren't really my favorite. But I do have some I've really enjoyed and when I saw some early reviews on Hemlock I knew it was one I had to try. And I am so glad I did! This is definitely going on my favorite werewolf books list, no doubt about it!
One thing I loved was that we were kept guessing. I thought the mystery was fantastic and not knowing who was good and who was bad was great. I loved how things were not always what they seemed and even when you thought someone was good we were convinced that maybe they weren't good. As things were gradually revealed we could come up with other ideas only to be knocked down by other revelations.
I loved the characters! Mac wasn't an annoying girl that made stupid decisions. She made some choices that weren't so smart, but she did them with passion and not with stupidity. She didn't want to lose more of her friends and she'd do anything to make sure they didn't get hurt, even if it meant putting herself in danger. I never felt annoyed with Mac and loved how she had so much love for her friends and people in her life. The romance in this book worked well because there wasn't any instant love. And while there was potential for a love triangle it hasn't really quite become one. I feel pretty okay with it though and kind of think it works with this book. Hopefully I feel the same way in the next book about that though.
I honestly could really rave and rave about this book. It's hard for me to try to pick out something that I didn't like. I think that the whole story line worked really well and it all felt completely unique to me. In the description it says "filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love" and I think that's a perfect description right there.
This was a beautiful story that had me at page one. And while it has plenty left for us to anticipate, it didn't have a cliffhanger. I very highly recommend you pick this one up!
Posted June 11, 2012
When it comes to the supernatural and fantasy book world i'm EXTREMEMLY skeptical. This book took something that is literally being overdone right now in the young adult literary world and gave it a clean fresh crisp makeover. It was impossible for me to put it down from the very beginning! I connected with the main character from the start and was very emotionally invested in her decisions and the twists and turns the plot took. To the point that my Fiance says it was more entertaining watching me read (and by that i mean becoming vocal and extrememly animated that i couldn't sit still at some points lol) then reading it himself.
I really recommend this for someone who's looking for a awesome read and especially for the reader like myself that tries to stay away from the supernatural that have the Bible complex far too involved.
Posted June 8, 2012
After a slow start, Hemlock picks up with an exciting plot and some great character development. Exploring the friendship between Kyle, Jason and Mac after the death of their friend Amy gives you a really different look into their lives, and becomes the basis for the whole story. And of course there is some paranormal, and some romance thrown in. Truly something for everyone to love!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2012
Posted June 7, 2012