12 October, 2017


Title: Hemlock Grove
Author: Brian McGreevy
Series:  Hemlock Grove #1
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Publisher:  FSG Originals
Release: 2012 March 27th
Source: eBook
Pages:  319p

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An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come. 

EXPECTATIONS:  I've watched the Hemlock Grove series on Netflix not so long ago. Usually books tend to be better than either series or movies, so, to be honest, I came in with good expectations. I was ready for the gruesome werewolves, awesome vampires, Order of the Dragon, blasphemous experiments, and so on.

THE WORLD:  Hemlock Grove, the little town with the White Tower at the heart of it, is full of strange things, ugly rumors, and now - gruesome murders, with girls torn apart. The town was found by the Godfrey family, back in the day when hard smoking chimneys of metal molting factories were a thing to be reckoned with. Today the factories are silent, but people still revere and fear the Godfrey family. They now own a research facility, likely more scary than the abandoned factory with the blood stains in shapes of wings all around. Ungodly things are happening in the ever lit tower. Ungodly things tend to walk out too. But then, Godfreys themselves are ungodly, so no one's really surprised. All that matters is that the killer gets caught. There's plenty of suspects after all: the giant freak - Shelly Godfrey; the weirdo gypsy - rumor has it Peter's a werewolf; maybe Roman Godfrey himself - who knows, with that boy.

CHARACTERS:  Peter is a gypsy. He travels around, attends local schools, lives his life, and moves when the time comes. I doubt he ever expected a town like Hemlock Grove to get in his path, but here he is, making friends with an upir, the giant freak of a girl with lights glowing under her skin. And her brother, Roman Godfrey. He may look normal, but he's far from it. Then there's this girl... She was the first to accuse him of being a werewolf. And the rest just kicked off.

ROMANCE:  There's no real romance in this book, so feel free to pick it up to rest from that genre. There's some semblance of crushes here and there, but that's about it.

GOOD:  Mythology in this book is great. No joke, the way they used the werewolf and vampire myths is beautiful. For instance, you can turn into a werewolf by getting bitten, of course. Or, you can drink from ones pawprint! Turning on full moon, and why other moons are bad was interesting too.

BAD:  The stories of characters aren't developed enough. Everything felt very much on the surface. A lot of great things were mentioned, skimmed over, forgotten. Yes, like the Order of the Dragon. Or how are Godfreys involved with it.

OVERALL:  The book is good in many senses. It's a pretty interesting detective, with gruesome killings, and oppressed people actually considering them being done by a werewolf, just because they live among personality freaks, so why not literal ones? All in all, I did like it, even if I found it to be lacking on the interesting stuff.

What do you think about HEMLOCK GROVE?



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