Release Date: In stores now!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (AU) | HarperTeen (US)
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Thanks to: Simon & Schuster for the review copy!
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.
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.
Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
So you've trekked from La Push to Mercy Falls and think you're an expert when it comes to treating flea infestations and discouraging your furry, four-legged friend against marking his territory? You think if you've read it 5 times, then you've read it all? Please. You're still a pup. Kathleen Peacock has shown there is still plenty of exciting life to be found amongst our shapeshifting friends. Deadly Hemlock brings murder, mystery, twisted politics, simmering romance and shocking secrets to a small town choking so deep in fear over the recent werewolf attacks, that they've brought in a radical and frightening group known as the Trackers. Highly effective in their capture of those potentially carrying the Lupin Syndrome; and will use any means necessary to aid in their goals.
Mac doesn't have it easy. Her once tight-knit quartet of best friends has been brutally torn apart. Amy, murdered by a werewolf. Jason, on a downward spiral from his girlfriend's death and Kyle, tempting her heart and hiding dangerous secrets. (In fact, everyone is hiding secrets). I love how determined Mac is. She may need saving from time to time, but she's no damsel in distress. She doesn't let fear hinder her from being proactive; she's desperate to bring justice to Amy, to prevent this from happening again, and especially to help close the case so the Trackers will leave town. A lot of heavy emotions and secrets threaten to weigh her down, but she takes every new blow with admirable strength. Plus, I love that she can make light of her life at times, comparing her romance to a CW show.
Mystery runs a thick and tangled web throughout the pages. You have your suspicions and maybe you're right, but hell if you can figure out the entire answer. The deeper Mac and Kyle dig, the faster your mind is whirring, just as conflicted as they are, just as desperate to latch onto the truth. The subtle clues, the tantalising build up and the final reveal were played out brilliantly. I actually felt a little Veronica Mars vibe at times; with the best friend murdered, the search to uncover who did it, and Mac having ghostly conversational dreams with Amy. I'm a VMars fan, so I loved this, and I think other fans will enjoy these hints toward one of the best shows unfairly cancelled.
It's equally thrilling and infuriating to watch the influence the Trackers exert, their unethical treatment of all werewolves. Yet it's a difficult position, because you recognise that there does need to be a system in play, because not all werewolves are going to be tamed little pups. But the Trackers methods? The torture? The concentration camps? The lies and manipulation and stripping these creatures of any form of human (or even animal!) rights? You want to scream at them (I was seething with rage in one particular scene, courtesy of the biggest asshole in Hemlock, Derby, who you want to throw into a pit of starving wolves). Give someone a taste for power and they'll come back for more and more, until you can no longer satisfy their increasing diet; but by then they've grown strong enough to take it by force. And when a group of extremists are more influential than the police force, slowly trickling into the government, you know it's time to start checking your every shadow twice.
Deadly Hemlock paints a world so eerily believable, even with it's supernatural/sci-fi roots. It's all too easy to imagine our own society descending in a similar fashion, with the way we segregate, point out differences and fear that which we don't understand. Kathleen has spun a disturbingly realistic, yet delightfully entertaining story that is guaranteed to grab you by it's
4.5/5 Golden Apples!
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