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.”
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.