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Hemlock (Hemlock Trilogy Series #1)

Hemlock (Hemlock Trilogy Series #1)

4.6 47
by Kathleen Peacock

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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


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."

Editorial Reviews

“Seamless writing and plenty of action mark this intelligent, dark paranormal debut. Older teen paranormal fans will likely clamor for the next book in this planned series.”
Sophie Littlefield
“A werewolf tale filled with hurtling action, searing emotion, and enough twists to keep readers glued to the page until the final breathless scene.”
Kimberly Derting
“A clever and frightening supernatural mystery, HEMLOCK had me biting my nails with anticipation.”
Sarah Beth Durst
“A riveting romance and a thrilling mystery, HEMLOCK is the werewolf story done right. I devoured it in one sitting and am ravenous for more! A fantastic start to a compelling new trilogy.”
Publishers Weekly
Jacob fans rejoice: Peacock’s debut is loaded with werewolves both creepy and hot. The town of Hemlock has been the scene of multiple attacks, and the victims who survive are infected with “lupine syndrome” and interned for life. Mackenzie (Mac) Dobson’s best friend Amy was not a survivor. Since Amy’s murder, her boyfriend Jason has gone dangerously off the rails, and Mac and her friend Kyle are doing what they can to keep him from self-destructing completely. Violence and betrayal escalate rapidly when the Trackers, a self-appointed militia dedicated to wiping out werewolves, occupy the town. But not every werewolf is subject to bloodlust, and some are hiding in plain sight—maybe even closer than Mac thinks. When Jason pledges himself to the Trackers, Mac is determined to save him and find closure for Amy by identifying the murderer. First in a projected trilogy, Peacock’s story leaves many threads dangling, but there is a satisfying conclusion to this plot arc, and Mac’s smart and believable voice will leave readers looking forward to more. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emmanuelle Morgen, Stonesong. (May)¦
VOYA - Bethany Martin
Mac's life is finally stable. After years on the run with her con-artist father, she has settled with her cousin and has a group of friends. This stability is torn apart when her best friend, Amy, is murdered in a suspected werewolf attack. Mac's dreams are haunted by Amy's ghost, and Amy's boyfriend, Jason, becomes involved with a Klan-like organization dedicated to eradicating werewolves. Determined to keep her friends, and her life, from falling apart, Mac decides to track down Amy's killer; however, the investigation leads her to dangerous secrets about the town she lives in and her friends. While this is yet another supernatural romance novel, the crime investigation angle is an interesting take on the theme. In fact, the suspense aspect of the story is more intriguing than the romance and is what will keep readers turning pages. The book is full of twists, and while some of the turns border on melodramatic overkill, the major revelation at the end of the story is unexpected and well-crafted. Mac and the other characters explore serious issues such as trust and betrayal, prejudice, and identity, in ways that teens will recognize. The story is clearly set up for a sequel, which readers will be eager to receive. This is a good purchase for collections serving fans of the supernatural. Reviewer: Bethany Martin
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Mac, Kyle, Jason, and Amy used to do everything together, but when Amy is savagely mauled by the white werewolf that has been terrorizing their town, her friends' lives begin spinning out of control. They all blame themselves for her death and are grieving in their own ways. Lupine syndrome is on the rise, and everyone in Hemlock is frightened. Moreover, because Amy was the granddaughter of a senator, her murder becomes national news, attracting a ruthless group known as the Trackers who seek out lupine-infected individuals and throw them into isolation camps. As the Trackers become more and more brutal, Mac begins investigating what really happened the night of Amy's death. In her search, she uncovers the truth behind Jason and Amy's breakup, Kyle's real identity, Jason's connection to the Trackers, and numerous other deceptions. Mac, unlike some of the other characters, is fully developed and believable. While some aspects of this fantasy-thriller fall flat and the pacing is occasionally slow, Peacock manages to hold readers with the intense love triangle between Mac, Kyle, and Jason. Although much of the plot is wrapped up at the end, the epilogue leaves possibilities open for the next two installments in this projected trilogy. Though far from perfect, this respectable first novel will be enjoyed by fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Stephenie Meyer.—Lauren Newman, Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, Columbus, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Ever since the white werewolf killed Mackenzie's best friend, Amy, she's been having nightmares. Amy's boyfriend, Jason, has gone off the deep end. And their other friend, Kyle, has distanced himself. The Trackers, an anti-werewolf vigilante group, have come to Hemlock to round up anyone with Lupine Syndrome to be permanently interned in a government-run "rehabilitation camp." You'd think Mackenzie would be behind this, but one of the few caring adults in her peripatetic youth with a no-good father was a closeted werewolf who had never hurt anyone but was rounded up and interned anyway. Peacock makes sure readers understand the symbolism; narrator Mackenzie actively reflects on the parallels between the werewolf hunt and war propaganda. But because this is a teen paranormal romance, the dominant plot is, surprise, a love triangle. Kyle, who Mackenzie and readers learn fairly early on is a werewolf, is in love with Mackenzie. So is the tortured Jason, who has joined the Trackers. As Mackenzie says to herself, "It was official: my life belonged on the CW." It's this ironic self-awareness that keeps the book at all palatable. Events churn to an utterly predictable confrontation that leaves the door open to the next volume in the planned trilogy. Mildly interesting ideas are obscured by all the necessary ingredients of the genre. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Hemlock Trilogy Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 7.86(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

Kimberly Derting

“A clever and frightening supernatural mystery, HEMLOCK had me biting my nails with anticipation.”

Sophie Littlefield

“A werewolf tale filled with hurtling action, searing emotion, and enough twists to keep readers glued to the page until the final breathless scene.”

Sarah Beth Durst

“A riveting romance and a thrilling mystery, HEMLOCK is the werewolf story done right. I devoured it in one sitting and am ravenous for more! A fantastic start to a compelling new trilogy.”

Meet the Author

Kathleen Peacock spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles. Willowgrove is the final book in the Hemlock series.

Customer Reviews

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Hemlock 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
BlookGirl More than 1 year ago
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!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Mackenzie's life was turned upside down when her best friend, Amy, was murdered by a werewolf. Since then, Mac isn't sure what to think. Amy haunts her dreams. Her best friend, Kyle has been unaccountably distant. While Amy's boyfriend, Jason, seems determined to crash and burn all on his own. Worse, Trackers have come to town looking for the white werewolf that killed Amy last spring and might be back to continue its murder spree. Desperate to protect Jason from himself, and ease her own nightmares and guilt, Mac decides to try and find the white werewolf herself. As Mac's investigation brings her closer to the truth she also learns unsettling secrets about her friends and her town leaving Mac uncertain of who she can trust as she tries to find the white werewolf before it find her in Hemlock (2012) by Kathleen Peacock. Hemlock is Peacocks first novel as well as the first book in her Hemlock trilogy. Peacock creates an interesting world with characters who are well-rounded with both strengths and flaws aplenty. Separately, in fact, all of the characters are quite likable and entertaining. The problem comes when they begin to interact with each other. Mac comes across as a strong heroine in the beginning of the story, but the more the story continues, the more irritating she becomes. Despite being necessarily self-sufficient Mac is embarrassingly clingy in her efforts to save Jason from himself. She is also painfully dense when it comes to Kyle. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, any declaration that a character is strong needs some kind of depth to back it up. Mac doesn't deliver in the arena. Aside from making her a frustrating heroine, Mac's irritating personality made the inevitable love triangle unconvincing. There is always a push and pull with mysteries featuring teen protagonists. The book is about the teens, they obviously need to be at the center of the investigation and the action--that's the whole point of the book. Unfortunately, Mac's logic for pursuing the werewolf herself felt very contrived. I also was frustrated at her insistence on keeping her cousin in the dark later in the story. I get it, absent parental figures make stories easier. At the same time it just seemed heavy-handed and clumsy to push Mac's cousin to the side like that. Filled with suspense, Hemlock is part mystery, part fantasy, all action. Though there is gore and violence thanks to the vicious werewolf attacks in the story, it is kept in check making this a good choice for someone looking for a read similar to the Hunger Games books but with less violence and (slightly) fewer tears. Possible Pairings: Clarity by Kim Harrington, The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
VysBlog More than 1 year ago
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.
Fantastic_Book More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very unique. I've never read a book similar before and I recommend that if you like romance and mystery then read this!
Letora More than 1 year ago
For being a new author, Kathleen Peacock didn't do too bad of a job, but this story did have cliché moments like the love triangle. Almost rolled my eyes at that one, but kept reading. The plot was a little shallow at times as well, Jason was a bit over dramatic for my liking. Granted his character was going through a lot of emotional turmoil, but it didn't feel real enough. Also, the plot twist didn't seem as dramatic as it should have been either. I think more hints were needed to make the readers begin to puzzle it out for themselves, draw out the suspense so readers are more involved and the big reveal hits them just as hard as it does the characters. Like I said, not a bad debut, but I'm not sure I would continue to read the series as this book didn't draw me in so well.
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Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
This book was selected for me during the Secret Reader Program Hannah and I are running. If you're not sure what it is, you can find out about signing up for September here. Anyway, this book was picked for me and I'm really glad that it was. I had been interested in reading this book because I've heard that it was just like Veronica Mars with Werewolves. I loved Veronica Mars and though that it was cut short too soon. That being said, I felt that it was a little bit too like Veronica Mars. Down to a memory of spinning around with prom dresses, some things were just a little too similar, which bummed me our because I was looking for this renewed vigor, but instead my mind kept dictating scenes that each one reminded me of. This was the only flaw though. I loved how the werewolves were incorporated into the story and how she created this whole story with the Werewolves and their lives. I'm excited to learn more about them and see how Peacock is going to take werewolves and make them her own creation. I did adore Mac although I felt that she found herself in dangerous situations all the time. I felt that each of her relationships were realistic. I was a little bummed that "Love" was thrown around a few times, but I can try to forgive it because of who it was. Either way, I cannot wait to check out the next book which I got lucky enough to snag when I went to ALA! Thanks for picking such an awesome book Secret Reader!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not out this book down! An excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SmalltownSR More than 1 year ago
Wow!!! Great fast paced werewold story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book . Can't to wait to read the next book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in under ten hours! I absolutely adored this book! I hope there will be a sequel! There better be!
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ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookCutie More than 1 year ago
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!
BookPortrait More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow just wow.