Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 24, 2012 | 4 Comments

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen PeacockHemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock #1
Published by Katherine Tegen (5.8.2012)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

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 thoughts

What a glorious read! Out of all the paranormals, weres have always been my favorite – and this book didn’t make them look all fluffy and sweet. Lupine Syndrome is an actual disease, and when infected, the person typically turns into a monster and a killer.

Hemlock really portrayed the ugly side of humanity. There was a lot of bigotry and racism towards those infected and it was violent at times. The riot at the protest and the way Branson Derby’s son acted toward a RfW supporter (regs for wolves….LS rights activists). The acts of Derby himself.

Branson Derby, the head of the Trackers – that man creeped me out hardcore. He was vile and conniving, yet covered it up under a professional facade. His snake-like ways reminded me a bit of President Snow. Derby was such a great villain! It’s rare that a book can make me hate characters, but this one did. Derby’s threats and disturbing agenda inspired a lot of anger for me.

I kind of hated Jason too. At times I had trouble distinguishing whether he was one of the good guys or the bad guys. I felt like he had a bit of a twisted side that was just waiting to come out. The characters were beautifully flawed and realistically portrayed. The world is not all sunshine and rainbows – people do terrible things sometimes. Even people you thought you knew.

Mac was alright. A few times I felt a passing annoyance at the way she acted, for example: Her best friend had just died and she was thinking about boys. She stated that Kyle and Jason were both just friends, but kept repeating that fact. In the middle of such a tragedy you’re thinking about kissing your dead BFF’s boyfriend? Classy. Also, she cried. A LOT. I mean, don’t get me wrong, most of it was stuff that you should cry about. The circumstances were pretty depressing. But it just started to seem a little excessive after the fifteenth time she started crying. And she threw up a lot, that irked me too. Like I said, these were just passing irritations. It wasn’t so bad that I was dwelling on it to the point of distracting me from the story. There were so many things going on plot-wise that it was very easy to overlook.
This book was filled with secrets and shocking revelations. The air of mystery kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. The plot was so intense! I love a book that can shock and awe me.

There was a lot of talk about a love triangle in this one. Let me put your mind to rest: There’s really not. Kind of, but it’s not a focal point at all. The love interest is almost strictly between Kyle and Mac. She doesn’t ever waffle about that (thank goodness).

Can’t wait for the next one!

Favorite character: Kyle!! He was so awesome :)
assessmentPlot: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 5/5 starfish
Definitely recommend!
Jessi (Geo)

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4 responses to “Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

  1. OMG I seriously have to read this book. I’ve heard so many good things about it. I think I’ll give in soon and go buy it… ;p

  2. Stephanie H.

    I realize your review is over a year old, but I finally got to read this one! While I agree the love triangle wasn’t prominent, and was hinted at continually. I think Mac was pretty naive not to see Jason’s feelings for her even if she doesn’t want to reciprocate them. I agree I spent most of the book unsure which way Jason was going to go, but as I tend to have a weakness for bad boys, I kept hoping he would pull through. I liked Kyle, but some of his immature behaviors (although I know most were to try and keep Mac safe) kept me from loving him. I instead was more drawn to Serena and Trey. I’m interested to see where the next two books go!

    • Haha that’s okay, I love random comment love on old reviews! It’s been so long since I read this that I barely remember it at all sadly =/ I need to re-read it or read the summary on Recaptains before I pick up Thornhill! I’ve been dying to read it though!

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