Author: Kathleen Peacock
Format: ARC Paperback
Publish Date: May 8th 2012
I hereby award this book 5 wings!
I was looking on Amazon one day for upcoming books when I stumbled across this GORGEOUS cover. I was instantly hooked and just had to know more about it. So I read the blurb and knew that this was a book for me. Something to really sink my teeth into.
I started following Kathleen Peacock on Twitter and mentioned that I loved the cover. She was kind enough to send me signed bookmarks & bookplates. So I put them into my gorgeous author SWAG scrapbook:
On with my review:
Lupine Syndrome - also known as 'the werewolf virus' - has been on the rise across the country. Attacks in Hemlock have also been on the rise. Amy is not the first death in town... will she be the last?
Recently werewolves have been outed, no longer are they something of fiction or nightmares. No, they really exist. A fact that Senator John Walsh is in support of. Right up until one kills his grand-daughter, that is. Amy was a beautiful young girl with her whole life ahead of her. She had her loving boyfriend Jason, her best friend Mackenzie - all until that day her life was cut unnecessarily short by the white werewolf.
Mac's life was turned upside down that day. Little did she know things could get a whole lot worse. I know, you're thinking "what could be worse" Right?! But trust me, things got decidedly worse when the Trackers came to town. The Trackers are an extremist group, called into town to hunt for the werewolf. They are working alongside the police, hoping to bring Amy's killer to justice. I'm just not so sure their brand of justice is the same as mine.
Mac knows that the Trackers have come to find Amy's killer. She just can't help but not trust them. There's something about them and their leader, Derby, that hits a nerve.
So, wanting to put an end to her dreams where she is haunted by visions of Amy, Mac decides to investigate for herself. Little does she know that the circumstances surrounding Amy's murder would up-end her life even further. She uncovers secrets about the people she loves and holds dear. Secrets that throw her into a maelstrom of violence and bitter betrayal that will see her own life put in harms way.
I loved this story for many reasons. Mac was just the kind of MC that I love. She's feisty, she's tough and when confronted with an amassing amount of evidence that all is not what it seems, she is like a dog with a bone and she will not let it go until she uncovers the truth.
Throughout the whole story, I couldn't help but admire Mac's strength, loyalty and hard-headed attitude. She may have been a little naive in some instances, and she may have been kept in the dark by those closest to her. But that doesn't stop her from being one of the best female leads I have seen in YA. In fact her foibles endear me to her just as much as anything.
Along with a great MC and a gritty storyline, there were also some other little bonuses in HEMLOCK. For instance, Kyle. *Swoons* I heart Kyle. Big time! He was the kind of guy you'd be happy to call your best friend. The kind of guy you'd want backing you in a fight. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him from pretty much first sight.
There's other characters to like, some to hate and some that trip you up when you least expect it. I knew who the killer was before it was revealed, but even then, there was another surprise in store that shocked me to the core.
I finished HEMLOCK with a lump in my throat and tear tracks down my face, so I warn you now - have tissues at the ready.
Being Kathleen Peacock's first novel, I didn't know what to expect from her as an author. What I found was she has a unique style all her own - making her sky-rocket straight onto my favourite authors list.
The writing was fast-paced with an elegant fluidity to it that meant I was absolutely swept away and easily lost chunks of time whilst I was reading. I'd pick it up and upon putting it down I would wonder how on earth it had got to that time when it felt like I had only been reading for 5 minutes.
Sometimes I find stumbling blocks within books that it takes me a while to get my head around. But HEMLOCK wasn't one of those books. There was nothing that needing explaining, no barrage of information that attacked you from on high. It was a provocative storyline that prompted questions about love, trust, lies and prejudice. All in all, it was a beautiful story that left me sated yet all at once thirsty for the next installment in the trilogy.
For anyone who likes a good supernatural mystery - this book is a MUST read.
To pre-order HEMLOCK: