I absolutely love this cover. It’s about werewolves and it has a great blurb by Kimberly Derting on the front cover too. Needless to say this is another book, I hopped on as soon as it came out and am only now getting to. However, it is a special book for me because it marks the 100th book I have read this year! I completed my GoodReads reading challenge in the beginning of November! My 2013 challenge will have to be harder…And what a fantastic book to be my 100th!
The book is about Mac (short for Mackenzie). She lives with her somewhat older cousin, who acts as her guardian. She’s had a bit of a troubled childhood with a father who abandoned her at a funeral…She works at a restaurant and has some great friends. The book begins shortly after her best friend is murdered by a werewolf. One of my favorite things about this book is that werewolves and Lupine syndrome are actually known to the public (True Blood style). Everyone knows werewolves exist and everyone is afraid of attacks.
This book is like a good mixture of Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and Veronica Mars (with no vampires). But, unlike other books I’ve read recently, it mixes all of the good things about these shows and turns it into something good, familiar, but also unique. Any way, Mac blames herself a little bit for the death of her friend even though it no way is her fault. And while missing her awful sounding family (minus her super cool cousin), and missing her best friend, she is also trying her hardest to take care of her best friend’s boyfriend who also is blaming himself.
There is most definitely a love triangle (even though it takes the whole book for Mac to realize this). There is a lot of chemistry between Mac and Jason (her dead best friend’s boyfriend). However, Jason is slowly becoming the world’s biggest jerk, one bottle of booze at a time. And then there’s Mac’s other best friend, Kyle, who’s the classic boy best friend who is also clearly in love with her (even though he keeps dating other girls too).
Mac is constantly getting lip from her cousin and her one other girlfriend about how she belongs with Kyle, but she legitimately doesn’t seem to have boys on her mind! Yes! She is too focused on her dead best friend and trying to get everyone around her to be happy. The story really kicks off when the Trackers come to town. Mac has already had bad experiences with them abusing power. The trackers are this hybrid group of religious extremists/hate crime activists. Seriously, a whole bunch of different awful groups of human beings came together with a mutual love of tracking down werewolves. And in towns like Hemlock, they tend to be given complete control of the law by the police.
This results in a plethora of hate crimes, abuse of power, accidental murders, caging of innocent people who are sent off to camps (where people with Lupine Syndrome are all sent), and a general obstruction of equal, civil, and human rights. Werewolves aren’t technically considered human so they don’t have any rights at all. And the police and general public are almost too willing to accept the trackers because they are more afraid of werewolves than they are of loosing their rights. This is particularly true in Hemlock, where there have been a succession of werewolf murders (including Mac’s best friend whose the daughter of a senator).
There’s a murder mystery, protests, youth recruitment meetings, plenty of attacks on innocent people, twists, love triangles, and so much politics! It gets to the point where the trackers burn down family homes, beat up werewolf supporters in the streets, threaten the lives of kids who don’t keep their mouths shut. The trackers are seriously scary! They give this urban fantasy an almost dystopia feel, reminding me of all the books that take place in futuristic military societies like Legend. Except, here the trackers don’t have complete control (yet).
The twists in the book actually surprised me. There were a couple that everyone can guess right from the beginning, but than there are some more that I don’t know how anyone could have guessed. When stuff gets mixed up with senators and political organizations and protests, I literally was on the edge of my seat. There’s riots, werewolf attacks in the school, lots of violence, and lots of dystopia type fear.
I loved Mac! She has a lot of problems, but the way she handles them is just so strong and believable. I loved that she didn’t always have boys on the mind (at least not till the end)! She also is small and protected by a lot of people, but refuses to be held back by any boys! And I love that the romance in this book always sort of took a back seat to all the supernatural stuff and suspense.
Oh, and the boys! Even though Jason was on his way to becoming a Tracker and always seemed to say the wrong thing, I think I’m on team Jason. He really wanted revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, and I kept waiting forever for him to get his act together. But there was just so much chemistry. And he gives up his crazy vendetta for Mac. He gives up all of his bad things for her, actually. And even when it seems she’s picked someone else, he stands by her. I have a feeling I know which boy she will be with, but I’m hoping for this one!
This is one fast paced, suspenseful werewolf story. I loved that the werewolves didn’t have to hide and pretend like they didn’t exist. The public knew about them! Though, they did still have to hide in fear of being sent to a camp, that kind of sounds like World War II now that I think about it. I loved the characters! I loved Mac’s relationship with her cousin. I even loved this love triangle in a way I haven’t loved triangles in a while. And I can’t wait for the suspense to continue in book 2. This gets a 10/10 from me.