Rummanah Aasi
 I've been really curious about Hemlock ever since I found out it was about a murder mystery featuring werewolves. I've read a few good paranormal mysteries and hoped that I could add Hemlock to that last too. Despite a few troubled spots, I would add it to that list.

Description (from the Publisher): MacKenzie and Amy were best friends, until Amy was murdered. Not only is Mac being haunted by Amy in her dreams, an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to track down Amy's suspected killer: a lone, white werewolf.

Review: Ever since a white werewolf killed Mackenzie's best friend, Amy, she's been having vivid and extremely disturbing nightmares. Amy's obscenely rich boyfriend, Jason, has gone off the deep end. He has completely shut down, succombed to alcohol as a way to get numb, and is continually seeking fights to alleive his aggresion. And their other friend, Kyle, who use to be carefree is now scarcely seen.
Mac, Kyle, Jason, and Amy were inseparable best friends, but after Amy's death they each feel guilty for the death of their best friend and hold themselves responsible. To make it up to Amy, they each are determined to find her killer though they might have different ideas to go about solving the murder mystery. For example, Jason turns to the Trackers, a furvent anti-werewolf vigilante group, who have come to Hemlock to round up anyone with Lupine Syndrome (which is how one transforms to a werewolf) to be permanently interned in a government-run "rehabilitation camp."  You would think that Mackenzie would fully throw her support behind the Trackers, however she knows that not all werewolves are bad in fact one adult affected by the disease cared for her while her dead-beat dad abandoned her. be The symbolism between werewolf hunt and war propaganda is made very clear.
  Despite likeable characters, attuned dialogues that doesn't scream teen-speak and pretty good set up for a murder mystery plot, the book seems to abandon its genre in favor of your typical paranormal romance. Mac is the center of a love triangle though she seems to favor one love interest over the other. For me, the romance was a bit lackluster. Apparently both Kyle and Jason have been in love with Mac for a very long time, but I feel like that came across. There was no tension between any of these characters as Mac was pretty adamant that both of these guys were friends. I have to say though I'm a Kyle girl. Jason just seemed to try too hard.
  While the murderer is identified through a series of events that lead to a predictable confrontation, I was really upset that nothing came of it. Normally when you read a murder mystery, the story arc completes with the culprit identified, trialed, and jailed but Hemlock leaves this door open along with other storylines to the next volume in the planned trilogy.
  For the most part, I would have to say that I enjoyed Hemlock, look forward to see what happens next, and would recommend it, but I would first see if your library has the book before purchasing it at a bookstore.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, disturbing and violent images, and crude humor. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I really liked this one, I thought the world and the werewolf mythology were both really interesting, but I could have definitely done without the love triangle. I'm glad it didn't really come across to triangle-y since Kyle seemed to be the clear winner, but I do fear things are going to change in the next one and that triangle shape is going to solidify. *crosses fingers that doesn't happen*

  2. Okay, wait, Jason is so torn up about Amy's death that he turns to alcohol and aggression but turns out he's been in love with Mac all along? How does that work? I have shied away from this one because I can't get past the werewolves thing. They aren't my favorite topic. But I think, when I get a chance I'll check the library for a copy. I don't like open ended stories.

    Terrific review!

  3. I know Jenny liked this one and even you gave it a 3.5 so I do plan on reading this one eventually. I like that this one has likeable characters and a good mystery, but it's too bad that it becomes a typical paranormal romance story. I love a good romance but sometimes it feels like authors just focus too much on that aspect.

  4. Candace Says:

    I liked this one but didn't care for the love triangle. But I actually loved the mystery part and liked how the werewolf stuff worked. I'm curious to see where things go....

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