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Radiant Shadows


Hemlock - A relatively fast-paced murder-mystery plot with likeable, if slightly stereotypical, YA characters and an interesting spin on the classic werewolf mythology makes Hemlock stand out amongst its peers!With the government officially announcing Lupine Syndrome - or the werewolf virus - Hemlock immediately separates itself from most other YA titles, in that the general public acknowledge that there are paranormal creatures living among them! The disease is becoming increasingly more widespread, easily transferable as a mere scratch from someone who has been infected can pass on the disease, and with each new attack, panic levels rise. The rising hysteria easily explains why people are quick to revoke werewolves' rights and ship them off to rehabilitation camps, where they will spend the rest of their lives.What I didn't find so easily explained were certain continuity issues. Like Mac's job, for example. Hemlock opens with her working as a waitress and there are a couple of instances where she specifically mentions financial issues being the reason for her needing to work. But as the plot progresses, her job is conspicuously absent. It's not until the epilogue that her job is mentioned again. The other main continuity issue I came across was Mac's guardian Tess and her flip-flopping parental concern. It seemed like Tess was only concerned about Mac when it was convenient for the plot for Mac to be stuck at home, or for her to feel guilty about betraying Tess' trust. Whenever possible, Tess was also conspicuously absent so as not to get in the way of Mac's sleuthing or love life.The characters were all enjoyable to read about, but I didn't fully connect with any of them. I enjoyed Mac's dry sense of humour, especially in awkward or inopportune moments. I also loved her stubbornness and determination to solve Amy's murder regardless of her own safety - though it definitely got her into some dangerous situations!Hoisting my brick, I aimed at the white werewolf's head and threw as hard as I could. The brick collided with the wolf's skull and then bounced to the ground. It let go of Kyle and barked out a surprised yelp just as I realized my plan didn't have a step two.Her relationship was Kyle was cute, even through her somewhat annoyingly naive insistence for the first half of Hemlock that they were just friends. I guess I didn't get to connect with Mac because of her self-consciousness about being a pretty blond who thinks she's plain, especially in comparison to her oh-so-gorgeous, wealthy and voluptuous best friend - it was a little too stereotypical for my liking. There was also the fact that I couldn't quite grasp Mac's history with her criminal father and how his abandonment affected her psyche.I actually found both Kyle and Jason to be slightly better fleshed out then Mac, as I understood their inner emotional turmoil. The issues both boys were struggling to deal with, and the manner in which they expressed their angst, was both realistic and heartbreaking and I found myself looking for them when I was left alone with just Mac.But the plot is where Hemlock truly captured my attention. I was desperate to figure out who Amy's killer was, the secrets Amy obviously hid from Mac, and what role Jason/Trey had in Amy's murder. As the clues piled up and Mac started to make connections, I found myself gripping the pages until my knuckles were white and the murderer was revealed. I won't say I didn't see it coming, but it was nice to see how Peacock tied up all the loose ends into something that made sense in a realistic way.Some minor issues aside, I really enjoyed Hemlock. Even though I didn't fully connect with the characters, I was invested in what happened to them and I hoped for their safety/happiness. But Hemlock's saving grace was it's action-packed thriller of a plot, which caught me in it's grasp and refused to let go!Find this review on my blog, Radiant Shadows