hemlock by kathleen peacock

Looking for a killer werewolf novel with tons of teen angst?  This is the book for you!  Great characters and a story that will keep you guessing until the end of the book.

Theology: The “just in case” God

I was surprised at the references to God in the book.   It was very different from most paranormal novels where the subject of God is not broached at all. The main character, Mac, offers prayers up in life or death situations, but only in life or death situations.  There is even a reference to the Lord’s prayer at one point.   In this book, God is the God of “just in case” — if you think you’re going to die, go ahead and pray to God in case he’s out there somewhere listening.

In this book, werewolves arise due to infection – lupine syndrome, so at least there is some scientific basis for the werewolf occurrence instead of just wondering where they came from.

Maturity: PG

There is no profanity or sex scenes in the book, but there are teenagers having sex (not the main character, but minor characters).  The main character’s guardian is essentially living with her boyfriend as well.  Sex is not necessarily portrayed in a positive light, more like it is a given.

There is a lot of rule breaking and saying one thing and doing another (lying), which is common in YA books because how else would they be able to go out and do anything interesting?  It’s unlikely you’ll end up in a dark alley if you have your mom with you.

Social Issues: Bigotry, hate groups, minority rights, concentration camps, parental abandonment

The author does a good job looking at hate groups – how and why they get and keep members, their motivation, the draw of a charismatic leader.  There are human rights issues that are touched on in this book as well — how are people that may be dangerous to be treated?  What is the role of the government?  The danger of unregulated vigilante groups.  The power of the rich.

 
As it always seems with paranormal books, this is the first in a trilogy.  (Why are books always better in threes?)  Unfortunately, the first one just came out this year so it may be a long wait for the rest of the series.

 

Have you read it?  What did you think?

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