Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Expected Publication: May 8th, 2012
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC
Pages: 400
Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Rating: 5.0 / 5

First thoughts:
With its captivating mystery and interesting take on a world that has to deal with werewolves, Hemlock turned out to be an incredibly addicting start to a series I can't wait to continue. Despite its paranormal elements, this novel has a very realistic feel to it which makes it very easy to connect with the characters and be afraid of the things that might happen to them.

More detailed:
I've been wanting to read more and more werewolf-novels for a while now and put Hemlock onto my to-read list immediately after reading its summary for the first time. Then, more and more very positive reviews started to appear on various blogs and my need to read it got even worse. Luckily my expectations for Kathleen Peacock's debut novel were met: it's fantastic.

We're introduced to Mackenzie, or just Mac, during a horrible part of her life. Her best friend Amy has just been killed by a werewolf and Mac's life as she knew it starts to unravel slowly. I absolutely adored how real Mac seems to be. While she continues to fight for everything and everyone she believes in, she isn't exaggeratedly kick-ass - there are still moments when she feels as though her complete world is breaking apart and I loved her for it.

There are many other characters involved in the mystery of Amy's gruesome death and while some of them will surprise you positively, others will rip your heart out and make you wonder "why the hell you didn't see this coming." What I love most is that you can't sort these characters into black or white - evil or good - categories: even the most awful character has a reason for his behaviour, which makes every characterization very realistic.

The love story is another aspect which sets Hemlock apart from other, similar-sounding Young Adult novels. I don't want to tell you too much, but I was more than happy to find out that I didn't have to deal with yet another brooding but handsome new guy at school (no matter how often I already fell in love with that plotline in the past). Mac's love story is refreshing but heart-breaking and I loved every second of it.

All in all, I wish I could force everyone to read this book. Since I can't, I can only recommend you to pick up a copy of this bittersweet tale of grief, friendship and slowly blossoming love. I devoured Hemlock as fast as possible and am waiting impatiently for its sequel now, hoping that I'll find out soon which turns Mac's life will take in the future.

Debut Author Challenge 2012

Have you read Hemlock? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?


  1. Oooooo I'm so glad you liked it! I am dying to read this one. It looks simply amazing and I adore the cover. Great review! :)

    Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

  2. LOOL, sold!! I mean how can I not? and, you do not need to foruce me I'm eager to simply go, take your reccomendation and read it. In fact, I was happily surprised by the reviews this book got. Including you, many of my blogger friends I trust loved it... :-))

  3. I´ve read it and loved it, is an addictive book! I glad you like it.
    I´m still intrigued by the dreams/nightmares that Mac had.

  4. I really enjoyed this one so I'm glad to see that you did as well. I loved the mystery aspect in this one and I thought the love story was very well done. I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book. Great review :)

  5. Hey Girlie...awesome review! I have this from the publishers too and I can't wait to get stuck =) Donna xox

  6. Looks like a great book, thank you for the great review!

  7. I've been loving the sound of this book and, like yourself, have seen many great reviews for it which makes me want to read it more! Great review :)

  8. I am really liking this one; close to finishing it, in fact! and I do like her love story, except for the love triangle part. That I guessed long before I had a review copy. le sigh.

    great review!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  9. This one is #3 on my TBR and I've heard great tyingse about it. Glad you loved it!

  10. Oh wow, Carina, you make this sound amazing! I'm SO happy that this wasn't cover fraud because that's happening way too much these days in YA. Mac sounds like an incredible protagonist and oh my gosh, I'm so excited to read the romance! I'm incredibly glad that it isn't the cliche school thing haha :) Fantastic review!

  11. I am reading this book now, and I am SO in love with the book so far. I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and I'm hoping to finish it today. SO Good!


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