Thursday, 31 May 2012

REVIEW: Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1) 
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Amazon: Hemlock

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

REVIEW: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Hemlock is a book that has intrigued me since I first read about it, I love werewolf stories but haven't read anything about them in the YA genre so I was keen to get hold of and devour this book.

Mackenzie (Mac) is being haunted in her dreams by her best friend, Amy who was brutally murdered by a werewolf. Mac has been abandoned throughout her life by those she loved so is extremely insecure and has trouble trusting those around her and since Amy’s murder hasn’t yet been solved and the killer not caught, she takes it upon herself to investigate.

Since there have been a few attacks in the small town of Hemlock an extremist group known as The Trackers have arrived to hunt those with Lupine Syndrome and lock them away at camps specifically for their kind; they are brutal in their ways and trying to recruit everyone possible, including one of Mac’s best friends and Amy’s ex boyfriend Jason.

Jason and Kyle are Mac’s closest friends but they couldn’t have been more different, I knew upfront I wanted Mac to be with Kyle, he was sweet, caring and protective and always seemed to be there for her whereas Jason was somewhat on a path of destruction.

Hemlock surprised me with the many twists and turns; there was mystery, betrayal and a murder investigation that had me intrigued, I was certainly surprised by the bad guy and somewhat disappointed in him.

The concept of Hemlock was certainly interesting and very different to any other werewolf book I have read more recently and Ms Peacock’s writing was engaging and kept me wanting to know more. I would have loved more information on the werewolves, the camps and how they came to be.

I think I am in the minority of readers who didn’t completely fall in love with this book, Hemlock was just an ok read for me, I felt there was something lacking – the characters were ok but I didn’t ‘love’ any of them and the premise although interesting I felt was missing the wow factor. I preferred the second half of the book over the first; there was a lot more action and intense interactions which kept me more interested.

Overall, Hemlock’s storyline kept me interested but the characterizations fell flat for me. I am still interested in reading the sequel to find out what is to come of Mac, Jason and Kyle.


  1. I have seen a lot of positive reviews of this book but I'm unsure just because I'm not usually a fan of werewolf books and I've struggled with characterization in paranormals. Your review makes me a little hesitant about this book although I will still try it since I got a review copy.

  2. I think that this is the first non-gushing review I've ever read for this book, so thank you so much for that, Sharon! I always like to see both the positives and negatives before I buy a book :) Even though this one didn't exactly blow you off your feet, I'm still ordering a copy because I would love to know more about Jason and Kyle, and YAY for Canadian authors! ;)

    Awesome review, Sharon! :) <3


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