Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Werewolves are a part of reality caused by a disease known as lupine syndrome. The second a person is infected, they lose all rights and privileges as people and are sent to camps to keep them away from humans. Many werewolves hide undetected among humans, but transformations are sometimes unavoidable due to emotion and bloodlust. A murderous white werewolf is on the loose in Hemlock. It killed Mackenzie's best friend Amy and a few other girls along the way. The Trackers, an extremist anti-werewolf organization, come to Hemlock in an effort to catch the werewolf, but they also cause a lot of trouble for the citizens. They view themselves as above the law and pretty much do whatever they want without consequences. Mac decides to investigate the murder for herself since the Trackers are absorbed with harassing people and the police do nothing. She gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers secret after secret about Amy's boyfriend Jason, her best friend Kyle, and Amy herself.
I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading Hemlock. I'm usually not a fan of werewolf books because good characters are inevitably changed into insufferable jerks. This actually wasn't the case in Hemlock. The world is different than the usual fare. The public is aware that werewolves exist and they immediately lose all rights as people when their existence is known. The driving force behind the werewolf camps seems to be primarily fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of being attacked. Fear and the need for protection or security over freedom also allows the Trackers to take over and do whatever they want. This group is so frightening to me especially since the Hemlock world is basically our world with werewolves. A fanatical group taking over, pushing their own secret agenda, and running wild unchecked is one of my worst nightmares. The Trackers' actions become more and more violent and reprehensible as the book goes on.
The characters are also more than I expected. The back of the book describes a typical YA love triangle, but it's a little different than usual. It's not just a girl mooning over 2 guys and waiting 3 books to choose and the romance aspect never takes over the entire plot. I really like Mac and sympathized with her. Unlike many YA heroines, she was strong, fiercely loyal, and full of heart. The two young men in her love triangle are both awesome and annoying in their own opposite ways. So many surprising revelations come out about these characters and it makes the book exciting with all the twists and turns.
Hemlock was a very surprisingly good read. I loved the characters and crazy plot twists. I can't wait to read the next book!
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins