Written by: Matt Molgaard
If you’re one who caught a glimpse at Netlfix’s Hemlock Grove but have yet to unearth Brian McGreevy’s inspiring novel, you’ve been missing a piece of fiction that transcends anything Netflix can offer us visually. That’s not to say that Netflix’s show is terrible, it’s just vastly inferior (and generally rather inconsistent) to the source material, which must be said, is an absolutely top notch engaging read.
The story essentially boils down to a case of whodunit. Peter is new to Hemlock Grove, and he just so happens to be a werewolf. When bodies begin piling up, horribly disfigured and showcasing obvious signs of animal aggression, suspicion immediately falls on the strange outsider. But Peter isn’t the only oddball in Hemlock Grove worthy of eyeing curiously. Roman Godfrey has some unique abilities of his own and he doesn’t seem to fit properly into any specific crowd. Could he potentially be a killer? Is Peter the safe bet as the story’s antagonist? These two are destined to cross paths, and their subsequent fate is something of a surprise as the two join forces to pursue the menace terrorizing Hemlock Grove.
That’s about as far as I can travel in terms of details. Any deeper divulging would threaten unnecessary revelations, and I don’t – for a single moment – aim to ruin this one for future readers. There are enough twists and turns that the story feels as though it delivers subplot after subplot on a slew of entirely separate tiers, eventually meeting at one setting to convey major admissions. And McGreevy’s general prose, which is of the unorthodox nature, delivering near run-on sentences with a noticeable lack of punctuation works perfectly to bring everything to a head. Initially the man’s style feels strange and a bit off-beat, but within a few chapters that atypical delivery translates into the most endearing strength of the novel. This guys is wildly different, and he’s not afraid to be break standard rules.
Hemlock Grove is stuffed full of fantastic characters, excavated in depth for those who cherish thorough exploration of personality. It’s also perfectly paced and equipped with enough ghastly scenarios to leave readers anxious to turn the page, relishing in an amalgamation of contemporary terror and vintage gothic fare. Initially published in 2012, Hemlock Grove is finally gaining a foothold on the commercial market (in massive part due to the Netflix adaptation), and it deserves every bit of attention it is and will continue to draw. This is an amazing read that instantly establishes Brian McGreevy as a genre star.