ARC Review: Hemlock by Rue Volley

*ARC courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


Publication Date: August 1st

Every five hundred years humanity bears a child who has unlimited power over life and death. And now she’s a teenager.

Rook Dagger spent the first fifteen years of her life safely tucked away in a beautiful cottage on the lake, enjoying home-cooked meals and homeschooling far away from the rest of the world. But her power couldn’t be hidden forever.

The time has come for her to be enrolled in Hemlock Academy, a centuries-old institution designed to cultivate and create the greatest necromancers in the world. Read More.

My Rating: ⭐.5

I am frustrated and I am disappointed.

I want to start off this review by saying that Hemlock is by no means the worst book I have ever read. Infact I’ve probably read worse books before now and rated them higher but I was just so disappointed and annoyed by this book that a 1.5 stars is where it’s at right now.

The absolutely gorgeous cover and the tag line of  “Every five hundred years humanity bears a child who has unlimited power over life and death. And now she’s a teenager” is what made me request this. That and the themes of necromancy. Infact I was so hooked that I didn’t bother reading the rest of the synopsis.

Maybe this was my downfall. Maybe if I’d actually read the rest of the synopsis I would have had even the slightest idea of what was happening because literally nothing was explained!

This book follows a girl called Rook Dagger, a necromancer born to human parents, who after a lifetime of seclusion and home-schooling is set to attend Hemlock Academy where she will then be placed in one of the Seven Kingdoms of Magic.

This is where my confusion began. Seven Kingdoms? Yeah barely anything was said about this until over half-way through. And then there was the story of a forbidden love which is mentioned many times before finally being explained, again halfway through.

So yep. Maybe I should have read the entire synopsis. But I don’t think I should have to read the synopsis to know what’s going on.

Another problem I have with this book is the pacing. It was incredibly rushed and although according to Goodreads I read 230 pages this felt like the first few chapters of a novel instead of the first instalment to a series.

Also nothing happened!! She accidently killed her cat, brought him back (this is mentioned several times. we get it. you’re a necromancer. move on), she goes to school, she pukes, has a dream, there’s a bare ass excuse for a romance, a party and then BAM. The end. I spent a fair few days reading this because of my disinterest but in the end it felt like a waste of time.

And finally the romance. Ughhhh. Boring. Forced. Insta-love. Pass.

Overall I think what has me so frustrated with this novel is that I can see it’s potential. If things had been better paced and further explained this could have been really good.

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Hemlock by Rue Volley”

  1. I read the synopsis and I was interested by the exact same reason but wow what a huge disappointment. It really does have a lot of potential and some popular tropes but it seems to me that maybe they tried to do too much and ended up with some parts underdeveloped.

    Liked by 1 person

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