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Monday, March 02, 2015

Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock

Wow! I'm in complete awe with the conclusion of this debut trilogy. Willowgrove surpassed my expectations and kept me intrigued until the very end. Kathleen Peacock reinvented werewolves in an intelligent and gripping way. You would think by now, the ever popular paranormal phenomena would start to get boring, but on the contrary, Peacock found a way to feed my werewolf addiction by adding dimensions to her characters and by developing her idea from a scientific point of view.

It feels likes forever since I read Thornhill, the second book of the trilogy, and honestly I was glad for the quick recap provided at the beginning of Willowgrove. After the escape from Thornhill, the detention center for werewolves and suspected werewolves, the characters have returned to Hemlock, the city where everything began when the protagonist's best friend was murdered less than a year before. Mac is still devastated by Amy's death but ever since uncovering secrets at Thornhill, Mac is now convinced even more that Amy's death wasn't a random werewolf attack. On the contrary, she thinks her friend died with a devastating secret that could shake up everyone's lives, werewolves and humans alike.

Hemlock may be the most dangerous city to be in right now, especially for Mac's werewolf boyfriend Kyle, but since all secrets seem to be pointing towards Hemlock, the only way to get to the truth is to stay and investigate. Mac and Kyle, along with their human friend Jason, and werewolf friends Trey and Serena, begin to uncover the truth behind Thornhill and it's secret facility Willowgrove that tested "cures" for the lupine syndrome, while torturing teenage werewolves. The civil unrest in Hemlock brought by werewolf Trackers and other anti- and pro-werewolf groups definitely creates a hostile setting for the book and adds to the fear and concern we have for the characters.

Throughout the series, I really enjoyed all the characters, and Mac was definitely a great main character. She's strong, independent and dedicated. She doesn't have any super strength or supernatural powers to help her out but what she does have is great empathy that makes her care for werewolves. She sees beyond the infection and only wishes everyone else would come to their senses and realize werewolves aren't dangerous (unless, of course they're psychotic werewolves--but psychotic humans exist too!). It's not surprising that Kyle is in love with her because she's a very lovable character. Their relationship is sweet and a good balance to the turmoil surrounding their lives.  The quasi love triangle with Jason isn't necessary but it does add something to the story by reinforcing Mac's love for Kyle. Unlike in the other books, Kyle doesn't exactly shine in this one but I'm okay with that because it allows Mac to shine even more.

The character interactions are exceptionally wonderful in this book. It's those little details that add to the scenes and creates a wonderful reading experience. I also really admire how the slow build up created wonderful suspense. I could never have guessed while reading book one that the story would lead us here. In my opinion that's wonderful writing and although some elements were foreseeable, Kathleen Peacock has a wonderful storytelling future ahead of her.

In my opinion, Willowgrove was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy, despite the fact that I would love to read more about these characters and this world. Everything more or less wrapped up nicely but as it often happens with trilogies, I feel like I didn't get enough from the characters and I have a hard time letting go. The epilogue could have been done differently and it's my only major concern with the book. It's two years after everything else happens and it leaves my wanting more. Trilogies can often be a hit or miss for me because sometimes you end up loving the first book and everything else published after falls short. In this case, the Hemlock trilogy is an overall gem. That being said, I really hope I get to read more Kathleen Peacock books in the future.

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. This sounds like a series I am definitely going to have check out. I loved your review, and the cover art on this book is GORGEOUS.