Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Author: Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: In stores now!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (AU) | HarperTeen (US)
Add it: Goodreads
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 paws claws and drag you along for a howling good read!

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

Add it: Goodreads

25 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Brodie! As usual, I was the Black Sheep who didn't enjoy this as much as everyone else, but I loved Kyle and especially the murder mystery element of this was brilliantly written! I'm nervous about the sequel though, simply because it seems to be more of a Jason novel and I think the love triangle will become more prominent, which is a scary thought, but I'm still so happy you liked this! :) Stunning review, Brodie! :D

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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    1. Kyle! <3 I had a paragraph on him and the romance, but my review was getting too long, so I sadly cut it. But I adored him! I love how you have your suspicions over the mystery, but you just can't be CERTAIN about any of it. I love not being 100% sure.

      I have a feeling the love triangle will deepen in book two aswell. I am a little nervous, because I'm Team Kyle, but part of me DOES want to see Jason evolution and for those feelings to be played out.... but... but... agh! Eager to see what Kathleen actually does with it al :D

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  2. i have not read it yet . mad mad mad . i don't get the la push pun! explain pls . i love mystery and deadly hemlock sounds cool plus i love the wolf in the trees . awesome review brodie

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    1. I am pained to admit it was a Twilight reference :P La Push is the Native American reservation where Jacob and his wolfy friends come from :)

      I LOVE the wolf in the trees too! I didn't notice it at first, then it jumps out at you and... so cool. You definitely need to read it, Roro!

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  3. You did not just mention La Push - hahahahah!

    I've been meaning to read Deadly Hemlock since I got sent it for review. I must admit I'm not that interested but I've heard the most amazing things about it so that really excites me!

    This sounds thrilling; I love that it sound a bit like a murder mystery. And the romance sound delectable!

    Hopefully I'll read this one sooner than later. Gorgeous review, B! ♥

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    1. Buahahaha actually, I originaly wrote "La Cross" and then had the urge to verify it on Google and was all "WTF IS THE NAME OF IT AGAIN?!" Then... oh! La Push. Thanks, Google ;)

      I THINK YOU SHOULD READ THIS, BECCA. I feel stupid, stupid, stupid for waiting this long, because it really lived up to the incredible reviews. Sarah first wowed me with her stunning words a while back and then just the other week, Beverly from A Reading Daydreamer also wrote an amazing review, which decided me on reading it! So glad I did!

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  4. Great review! I can't say I was a big fan of this book . . . such a shame too. Though I did manage to like its concept and some of the characters.

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    1. Aw, sorry you weren't a big fan! I SO understand the disappointment of not loving a book that other's have been praising. Glad you still enjoyed some aspects; curious which characters appealed to you more!

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  5. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

    Deadly Hemlock! It was AMAZING! I read it a while ago but I still remember the feelings I had when reading the book. I absolutely loved the way Kathleen writes and werewolves are just awesome! At first, I thought Jason was okay but then I completely turned to 'Team Kyle' as the book progressed. Like you said, it is definitely a good howling read and I can't wait for the sequel! ;)

    Awesome review, Brodie! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. CEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! *glomps*

      YES!! Team Kyle! I was realy intrigued by Jason at first, but then Kyle won me over. I STILL am eager to see Jason grow, but I don't want him to end up with Mac. Ugh, but the more I think about it, the more interested I am in seeing that connection explored.... slap me!

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  6. Awesome review, hun! I don't feel like werewolves are too overdone, compared to say vampires, but I probably did dismiss this at first. Now I feel like I should give it a chance, especially as it had a VMars feel - that's a bonus!

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    1. Oh, definitely. I'm probably one who unfairly judges vampire books at times because I've read so many, but I LOVE when an author brings new mythology (Richelle Mead, anyone? <3). Anyway, definitely give DH a go!! I hope I'm not the only one who got the VMars vibe; I think you'd like it and the mystery is so compelling!

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  7. Just when I was worried I might have seen it all with the werewolves, you go and convince me otherwise! This sounds like such a powerful read, and it's scary to see how realistic the book looks despite the werewolves. Awesome review, Brodie!

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  8. Lovely review, Brodie dear~!! I agree with Vegan YA Nerds, we can definitely have more wolfie books in YA! This one was actually just a bit over average for me, but I'm so glad you enjoyed it ^o^ It's true...our society just might end up like that O_O Scary. -prays for it to not happen- I really loved the believable factor of this one as well! Thanks for sharing the review, Brodie!!! <333333

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  9. Oh this sounds wonderful and exciting and wonderful again! I'll be on the look out for this one.

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  10. I actually felt a little Veronica Mars vibe at times - This makes me ridiculously happy! I love the sound of that. I love the sound of this whole book, in fact. It's been sitting in on my shelf for a while now so I really need to get stuck in soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Brilliant review as always, Brodie! :)

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  11. BRODIE!!!!!! I'm SO SO SO glad you loved this <333 This book was like no other werewolfy book and that's what I loved most about it, plus it was so believable and similar to our own society. I didn't figure the entire answer either - it kinda smacked me in the face :D Didn't you just ADORE Kyle :') He was so sweet <3 And yes, I was *seething* with rage at Derby - that man made me scream and want to pull my hair out! I detested the Trackers - the way they persecuted the werewolves was just utterly DISGUSTING!

    So glad you enjoyed this, Brodie and thanks for sharing your thoughts in such a brilliant review <3

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  12. I neeeeed to read this! I haven't heard a bad thing about it yet, and Veronica Mars vibe? AWESOME. The Trackers sound terrible, I can tell I'm already not going to like them and their cruel methods. Can't wait to read this one, and meet Mac! Great review :).

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  13. You had me giggling through your entire review! <3 it so much (no wonder Kathleen adores your review, it's amazing). Mac comparing her love life to a CW show had be laughing out loud. I love that Mac seemed so NORMAL. She seemed like the girl next door.

    Derby *RAGE*! I hate him! The romance, the politics, the werewolf lore were all wonderfully done. Super excited to get my hands on book 2!

    I agree with everything you said and now want to go re-read this amazing book! I have a review schedule to keep though so....*pouts*

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  14. Dear Brodie,

    I just wanted to write to say how much I love you and your reviews. Due to being busy, busy, busy with a new job, I have been slightly slack in commenting lately, but I have missed your reviews, and am so glad to come back to commenting to find such an incredible piece of writing as this. Seriously, with your reviews, if "hello" was the first word of your review, 9 times out of 10 I could say "you had me at 'hello', and I'm getting this book now!" Thankfully, I already have Deadly Hemlock, so I will get to reading this pretty damn sharpish. EEE, I AM EXCITED! Politics, and dodgy groups and a mystery and werewolves! And this start of the review from you:

    "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."

    Eeee! Someone dig this book out of my review pile from wherever it may be (I have no clue!) and put it into my hands now, please! You are completely awesome, and this book sounds like it may be just as awesome, and I want to reaaaad it! Thank you for increasing my excitement 100-fold. You are one of the best review writing people I know.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jo

    P.S. I am very sorry for the silliness of this comment, but I am ever so slightly tipsy as I write this, and thought you may find it a little amusing.

    P.P.S. THANK YOU for bringing Amelia of The Graphic Files to my attention. She is currently working her magic for me, and what I have seen so far is BEAUTIFUL! I will soon haz pretty header and stuff too! :D

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    1. Oh crap, that was a lot longer than I thought it was. Sorry!

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  15. What a beautiful review, Brodie! Gosh, how I wish I have this book in my hands right now just so I could read it. I am not really a fan of werewolves but I love mystery and solving clues so I could act all Nancy Drew and stuff. Heh. Again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this review, Brodie! Thank you for selling Deadly Hemlock to me. ;)

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  16. Yay! Another person who loved this book. I did too and I was surprised because werewolves books - I think, are hard to pull off. Glad you loved it! Great review. xxxx

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  17. Oh, I'm glad to hear that you loved it so much! I love werewolves, but I can't seem to find a real good book about them. This might be the one to blow me away! Awesome review girl! ^^

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  18. Just picked up the Temple Wars book! Book 1 is fascinating and had me engaged from page one! You guys should check it out! Temple Wars

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