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.
After reading the first few chapters of Kathleen Peacock’s Hemlock, I thought I knew where it was going and who the illusive white wolf was. Little did I know that Hemlock had some delightful surprises in store that shook me up and had me questioning my predictions. Ultimately, I did correctly guess the “who” in this whodunit, but the motive was a mystery until the end and that kept me reading, looking for answers.
What did I enjoy most about this novel? That’s easy—the villains. In Hemlock, there are people called Trackers, who hunt down werewolves. These guys are especially despicable human beings and their leader, a man named Derby, is the worst of them all. He’s a regular wolf in sheep’s clothing, if you’ll excuse the pun. He has a public image as protector of the people but he’s power hungry and vengeful. I liked hating him and his people.
In fact, I liked most of the secondary characters. The Trackers and Mac’s friends were really what made this story for me. Amy, Kyle, Jason, Tess and the rest were intriguing, funny at times, and quite multi-dimensional.
The one character that left me a bit cold was Mac, the protagonist and narrator. Her past has left her with some serious trust issues and while that makes for interesting character development, I found Mac to be very hypocritical and, frankly, quite dense when it came to boys. When I was reading Hemlock, I wasn’t so much rooting for her as I was rooting for justice over Amy’s murder.
While I found the action a bit slow at first (it wasn’t until the second half that I really started to get into it), I really enjoyed Kathleen’s interpretation of the werewolf mythos—that lycanthrope is a disease the government is finally recognizing and trying to control. I have always been intrigued by the history of witch hunts and this story felt very much like a witch hunt (with werewolves in place of witches, of course). Fans of urban fantasy and werewolf stories will find Hemlock a fun addition to their bookshelves.
Also, be sure to check out this Q&A with Amy Walsh, Mac’s best friend in Hemlock.
And don’t miss your chance to win an ARC of Hemlock and some signed swag here!
Kathleen spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles.
Hemlock, her first novel, will be released on May 8th by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
You can preorder your copy of Hemlock from The Book Depository.
Visit The Savvy Reader to find out where else the Hemlock Blog Tour is stopping.
A special thank-you to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with an ARC and a spot on the tour!