Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.
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.
This is one of my reads for the #TBRTakedown challenge "One Year or More on TBR" that is hosted by Shannon.
I don't know how I feel about this one. I enjoyed it but at the same time I didn't. I must confess, I watched the show first before I realized it was a book, so I think I was tainted. I think I enjoyed the show so much that it overpowered how much I enjoyed the book. I think in reality this would be a one star book and I wouldn't have given the tv show a chance if I had read this first and watched the show after. BUT. I am probably going to go home and rewatch the show now. So who wins? Brian McGreevy.
This book, for lack of better phrasing, tried too hard. It wanted to sound smarter than it was like those students who use the thesaurus incessantly to use larger, more complex words, in order to sound smarter. Except it sounds fake and forced and really unnatural. I thought at first that there would be more quips and insights from the narrator, since there were some at the beginning, but then it kind of dwindled out throughout the course of the novel and picked up again at the end. It almost seemed like the beginning and ending were written at the same tie and used this device and the rest was written after and the author forgot he did this.
There were lots of unanswered questions in the book that I only had answers to because I watched the television show. Like the ritual that Peter does near the end. That made zero sense to me in the book. I had to read it multiple times for me to understand what was actually happening. And Roman's transformation at the end made zero sense because there was not enough information in the book to come to any sort of conclusion. It was also like, does Olivia die? What happens? The ending was a little up in the air, which is usually fine, but in this case it was a little too vague because it left me confused and not questioning.
I am going to warn y'all right now that there are multiple rapes in this novel and that is not cool. What else is not cool is the blatant sexism. But that is for a different person to add in their review because I do not have the energy for it. If you are a female and don't want to feel offended while reading a novel, do not pick this one up.
There were some things I liked. The mythology and transformation of all the different creatures was super cool and interesting. The take on "good" wolves and "bad" wolves and what makes them differ was a good thing. That was it. Oh. "Shee-it" was also a thing I enjoyed.
Overall: 2/5 stars. I love werewolves. I love anything surrounding them. But this one was just in the middle for me. I don't know. Just watch the show instead, honestly. I can't believe I actually think that about something.