Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Title: Hemlock
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Paranormal Romance
Release date: May 8th, 2012
Pages: 416 (ARC)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Won
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Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.

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.

It's been years since the government first announced that werewolves lived among humans. Those infected with Lupine Syndrome, or LS, have never been much of an issue until now.  In the town of Hemlock, there have been several violent murders spanning over the past few months, one of the victims being our main character's best friend, Amy.  Mackenzie decides that she doesn't want to live in fear.  She believes that the Trackers are doing more damage than they're doing good.  With the help of a few unlikely heroes, Mackenzie's determination only grows.

Only days after burying Amy, Mac begins to dream of her best friend.  Each night she's plagued by horrifying scenes of her death, but sometimes they're able to converse in her dreams, and throughout the book, it's as if Amy is trying to help Mac uncover each of the truths that have been looked past.  It's only when the Trackers begin meddling in the school, attacking students over suspicion that they could be infected, that Mac decides to take a stand.  There's only one problem, and it's the fact that Amy's grieving boyfriend, Jason, has joined the war against werewolves.

The Trackers have given me a strange feeling from the start, and it won't take readers long to see why.  They're incredibly violent and they always seem to shoot first and ask questions later.  When they get their hands on any werewolf, no matter who they are or if they've been violent or not, they immediately ship them away.  Mac was a likable character for me, but she certainly isn't one of my favorite YA heroines.  Though she was intelligent, resourceful and gave others the benefit of the doubt, she wasn't as unique as I wished she would have been.

Overall, I found Hemlock to be an entertaining and fast-paced read with many twists and turns.  While I'm getting a little tired of the cheesy love triangles, I especially enjoyed one of the boys involved.  In fact, Kyle is the reason that kept me flipping the pages.  Each of the boys, while best friends, turn out to be complete opposites.  Even with it's slight cliches, Hemlock is definitely worth a read for any fan of paranormal romance.

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