Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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.
A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
HEMLOCK is something you're either going to love or hate. Aside from the mixed reviews I've read in the past few months, I still generally believe that this book has a lot of potential and I was definitely intrigued by its storyline, even with the genre of werewolves already being in the YA trend overload. With paranormal elements blended in with some extra hints of mythologies, mysteries and murder, HEMLOCK offers up an exciting debut novel from Kathleen Peacock and while it's not exactly something amazing nor original on our current bookshelves, but this book was still executed very, very well in my opinion.
As the narrator and heroine of this new tale, Mac (which is short for Mackenzie) was an okay girl. She was a character you didn't particularly care for in the beginning - I will definitely admit that - but she was rather someone who'd eventually grew on you as the story went along and that's not such a bad thing because we can't always connect with everyone we meet immediately in a book. That's a well known fact. But getting down to her main character arc, I was sometimes frustrated with Mac and there were other times too . . . where I found myself admiring her strength and the faith that she seemed to put into her friends, so it was great to see these different changes in her not to mention some development in Mac's character.
The only real complaint I have about the characters were the two love interests, Jason and Kyle, whom I wasn't a fan of. For sure, they were your cool people and were the complete opposites to one another which I liked most about them (c'mon we lose those opposites!), but they just didn't offer enough oomph that I was looking for from them in the beginning. Though secretly I did have a soft spot for the caring boy Kyle . . . but that is all I can say on the matter!
Overall, HEMLOCK was a book I liked but didn't exactly love since I preferred the second half of the book to the beginning of it, where a lot of the action was really happening. But with a storyline to keep you interested, some plot twists and some investigations leading to murders and all sorts of deadly betrayal, I think many readers will enjoy this one and I'll be looking forward to reading more of this trilogy to see where everything leads us towards!