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Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
--- Book Synopsis ---
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.
--- Review ---
Tired of werewolves? Me too. Tired of predictable paranormal YA? Me too.
So let me reassure you that Deadly Hemlock is none of those things. It's one of the most unique and engaging YA books that I have read this year. Kathleen Peacock is definitely a new author to watch out for.
Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is the first book in the Hemlock trilogy.
If I am honest for the first 50 or so pages I really struggled to get into Deadly Hemlock, the world was different from what I had been suspecting and the huge list of characters all presented at the beginning was more than just a little confusing.
However, the world building in Deadly Hemlock was good, and although I did want to know more it was because I found it fascinating. It's hard to say too much without giving away some aspects of the plot but the world of Deadly Hemlock won't be one I will be forgetting any time soon.
As well as the plot and characters, I really enjoyed how the book questioned a whole range of issues such as prejudice and how groups of people can be treated by our society if we don't all stand up for equality. It is clear to read what unfortunate historical events provided inspiration for Mac's world.
Overall Kathleen Peacock succeeded in creating quite a range of interesting characters from very different backgrounds. For example;
Mackenzie (Mac to her friends) was a little typical of the YA female characters, but I still liked her.
Jason was a character that I liked despite his bad choices, of which he made many.
As for Kyle, it's difficult to say too much for fear of giving away any spoilers. But I completely loved Kyle right up until the end when I thought he made completely the wrong decision.
Amy's character also pops up throughout the book, although not like you might think. Amy definitely gave me the creeps.
There were quite a few other characters that I enjoyed reading about but it's hard to pick who was my all time favourite, it was just a group of characters that all worked well together to really bring the story to life.
As with lots of paranormal YA this book did contain a love triangle but I actually found this one interesting, which considering how fed up I am of love triangles speaks volumes for Ms. Peacock's writing.
The ending of Deadly Hemlock left me wanting more, it's clear that Kathleen Peacock has more planned for future and I for one will be looking forward to it. This book comes highly recommended from me. Personally, I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy, it's just a shame that it won't be out until 2013, which is only really around the corner!
From reading some other reviews it seems that Deadly Hemlock is one book that is being enjoyed by a wide range of people and personally I highly recommend it.
To sum - not your typical werewolf young adult story.
Four out of Five stars
Genre - YA, paranormal crime mystery
Published by Simon Pulse (July 2012)
Paperback - 404 pages (£6.99)
Source - I received a copy of Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.