Thornhill is the second book in the Hemlock series and it was an enjoyable sequel to the first book, Hemlock. It picks up pretty much immediately after the events of Hemlock and maintains a decent pace throughout the book. There are some rough patches but they are few and far in between so thankfully it doesn’t drag too much.
At the end of the previous book, Kyle leaves his hometown of Hemlock to protect his friend, Jason and girlfriend, Mac. In Thornhill, Mac and Jason go to Denver to look for him and to try and convince him to come back with them. Another friend of theirs, Serena, also joins them. In their search for Kyle they run into one of the local packs, and find Kyle with them. There isn’t much time for a happy reunion. Trackers raid the pack’s home and almost everyone is apprehended and taken to a detention facility called Thornhill. They lose track of Jason immediately but considering that he had joined Trackers earlier and has a tattoo to prove it, they aren’t too worried. The facility is meant only for werewolves but Mac manages to get in. Once inside, they are separated from Serena under the pretext that the Warden wants to question her further. Kyle and Mac soon realise that something is not quite right at this facility. Werewolves disappear overnight without any explanation.
Thornhill wasn’t as gripping as the previous book and I also found it a little hard get back into this world. That’s one huge drawback of having to wait too long for the forthcoming installments. There is a possibility of the reader losing interest. Thankfully it didn’t happen with this book (although it did happen with another series). The good thing about Thornhill is that Mac, Jason and Serena found Kyle fairly early in the book. The narrative also took it’s own sweet time to pick up but once they enter Thornhill, the pace picks up quite a bit, plus there’s always the looming threat of something truly horrible happening in that place, so that keeps the reader hooked.
Most of the characters from the previous book are here and there are a few additions. Of the old lot, Mac, Jason, Serena and Kyle are present (obviously) as well as Amy. I don’t remember the previous book very clearly but this time around, I preferred Jason to Kyle. At least Jason has personality; Kyle was boring and uninteresting. There was also no spirit in Mac. I vaguely remember her having more spunk. She’s still brave and willing to put her life on the line for the people she cares about but there was little or no spark. Amy is still a little creepy, though I guess that’s warranted considering she’s dead. In the new bunch, we have Eve, Curtis, Dex and Warden Sinclair. That’s the other problem with this book; it wasn’t too big on character development. I vaguely cared about Eve but even though she features fairly heavily in the book, she didn’t really create an impression. It was the same with the others. With the exception of Sinclair. She was truly hateful and a seriously revolting character. As far as villains go, I like the ones that are out and out bad, there is no soppy sad story that tries and explains why they do the horrible things they do. And if there is, they don’t use it as an excuse. Sinclair was awful because she was convinced that she was doing the right thing, that she was helping these werewolves by ill-treating them and hurting them. I wanted to acquaint her head with a crowbar on multiple occasions.
Thornhill was a bit of a let-down considering that I had been looking forward to it quite a bit. But it was also not as bad as it could’ve been. There are no dull relationship woes or annoying and completely avoidable misunderstandings, a decent heroine, a truly evil and delusional villain and decent secondary characters, it is worth reading at least once.