Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Author: Kathleen Peacock
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary from GoodReads:

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 ofFirelight, raves: “Forget every werewolf book you’ve ever read. This one breaks the mold.”


3 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

My Thoughts

Hemlock has been on my TBR list since it came out last year.  It’s one of those books that I’ve checked out multiple times, only to return it unread.  But finally, I read it!  Hurray!  Hemlock is a solid paranormal teen story.  You get what you expect from Hemlock, but you don’t really get anything breathtaking or extraordinary.

Hemlock is set in our world, for the most part, with the exception that fourteen years prior to the beginning of the story, the government let it out of the bag that werewolves were real, and that they were people suffering from Lupine Syndrome.  Oh, and that any werewolf is sent off to a rehabilitation camp (basically to never be heard from again).

Mac, who’s the main character, has been living in this werewolf infested world for almost her whole life.  When her best friend, Amy, is found dead from a werewolf attack, she is heartbroken.  The story really begins, though, about five months after the death of Amy, with Mac, and her other two best friends, Jason and Kyle.  Jason, who was Amy’s boyfriend, has been a bit out of control, and is thinking of joining the Trackers, this really scary group that’s whole purpose is to capture the werewolves.  These Trackers don’t believe that those infected with Lupine Syndrome have any rights.  They’re pretty scary guys.  Kyle and Mac don’t feel that way.

With all this drama, Mac is really stressed out, especially when she starts developing romantic feelings for someone.  But Mac is also determined to find the wolf that killed Amy.  As she digs into the case, she finds out some shocking secrets.  I like the basic storyline.  It sort of reminded me of The Body Finder, although I did like The Body Finder more.

Mac is strong, and determined, and incredibly loyal.  Sometimes I was surprised with the amount of loyalty she showed Jason.  Really, for the most part, I thought Jason was a total ass, but, I never really knew him BEFORE the story began.  I loved that, even after Amy was killed by a werewolf, Mac didn’t jump on the “all werewolves are evil” bandwagon.  I did feel like she was a tiny bit selfish because she wanted to keep certain people in town, even though it was incredibly dangerous.  But at the same time, I can understand where she was coming from.

I did find Mac’s other BFF, Kyle, to be kind of dreamy.  He also shows incredible loyalty, again, especially towards Jason.  He’s smart, and kind, and really wants to do what’s best for everyone.

The mystery part of the novel was mediocre, for me, though.  I pretty much figured out who the baddie was very early on.  That’s not really a dealbreaker for me, but it is something that I think could have been improved.

So, there is a love triangle in this book, which you guys might know, I’m not a big fan of.  It’s not the main focus of the book at all, but when it started to show its ugly face I was a bit disappointed.  Love triangles are just not my thing.

Although we do discover who the baddie was, there are still some unanswered questions. Perhaps more will be answered in the second book, Thornhill, which will be released in September.  However, I do see more love triangle crap in the future, which makes me hesitant to continue the series.

That said, I’m very glad that I finally did read Hemlock, although it isn’t my favorite paranormal suspense book I’ve ever read.  The mystery was so-so, and the characters, although well-developed, never really made a strong connection with me.  It’s a fun read, though, and I definitely recommend it if you liked The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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9 Responses to Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

  1. Hmm, I might have to pick up a copy of this at some point. I love that cover and the story sounds intriguing. Thanks for your review, Quinn!

    • Quinn says:

      I love the cover, too! It’s so pretty. Although it doesn’t really have anything to do with the story. Well, it does give off the right atmosphere, I guess. But you should give Hemlock a try.

  2. I haven’t read this one either. Thanks for the great review. I don’t know if I am ready for another love triangle though. Some books aren’t so bad with it, then some drive me nuts. I have one series I love where they is multiple guys, but it works for the series it is. Other books I want to scream “There can only be one!” LOL Thanks for sharing.

    • Quinn says:

      Lol. I just have such a hard time with love triangles. If I think a book might have a love triangle, I tend to not read it. They just aren’t my thing.

  3. I keep meaning to try this one, but, like you, I keep returning it to the library unread. I’m not always the biggest fan of werewolves though I like the idea of this one. I am a little disappointed that there’s a love triangle…not my favorite story line. Thanks for the fabulous review!

  4. LilysBookBlog says:

    sounds interesing, I hadn’t come across it before so this is a new one for me. I love your review and i’m glad you finally read it and liked it. the cover is super pretty too!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  5. Merin says:

    I think I may have used the exact same “love triangle crap” phrase in my review of this, LOL. I was pretty seriously annoyed with that aspect of this story as well. I am looking forward to Thornhill, though, just because I want to see what comes next. I have it on hold at the library, and am really excited for it to come in. I’m #7 on the wait list!

  6. Candice says:

    I’ve had this one on the backburner for a while now, but I honestly thought it was more werewolfish than it sounds. This actually doesn’t sound too bad! Maybe I should check it out sometime soon! Although I’m not too into the love triangle… maybe it won’t be TOO bad in the upcoming sequels?

  7. Pingback: Hemlock | Kathleen Peacock | Book Review

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