Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Hemlock, Kathleen Peacock

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 boy-friend, 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. Goodreads   

This book left me with mixed feelings. It is a new and interesting take on the werewolf theme, a little darker and more frightening than most of what I've read. Some of the decisions Mac has to make are really tough, and the right answer is hardly ever clear. I found myself wrapped up in several scenes, wondering what was going to happen next. Dream-Amy is super creepy, and the ending pretty much guarantees that readers will come back to see what happens next.

But I had several problems with the story line. I really didn't get how Mac-who is now trying to solve a murder the police couldn't figure out-seemed to know absolutely nothing about her supposed three best friends, even though they'd been together for years. Not surprisingly, she knew even less about the other people in her town. And then there is the love triangle. Yes, it is cliche, and no, that doesn't automatically make it bad. What makes it bad is that Mac continually points out that it is cliche and stupid. In my opinion, common plot lines exist because they work, we readers like them. But the author's job is to put their own twist, some angle of uniqueness on it, not point out that they are copying what millions of books and movies have done before them. *done with rant* While thinking about this review, I also noticed several holes in the plot. They didn't immediately jump out at me while I was reading, but they are definitely there. In the end, it was a good book that could have been great with a little more effort.

Rating 3/5 stars

YA notes: Mild language, mild suggestive content. 

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