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Hemlock (Academy of the Dead, #1) – Rue Volley

RATING: ★★★★☆
TITLE: Hemlock (Academy of the Dead, #1)
AUTHOR: Rue Volley
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2020
GENRE(S): YA, YA Fantasy, Supernatural

Thank you so much to the author from my gifted DRC in exchange for my honest review.


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.
The children who attend will one day be placed among the seven kingdoms of magic, serving Kings and country for as long as they’re needed.
To harness the power surging through her veins, Rook will need guidance in the art of giving of life… and taking it away.
This power makes her unique.
Her abilities could make her an unstoppable force of nature, if she wasn’t hung up on a boy.
G Gianni–a beautiful distraction with pouty lips, pale skin, and a sharp tongue.
His attention consumes her. His scent entices her. His words infuriate her.
She loves to hate him.
He hates to love her.
And together? Well, together, they could destroy the world.

This was a great, and hauntingly beautiful story about 15 year old Rook. She embarks on a journey in her life by attending the Hemlock Academy. There, supernatural beings of all kinds learn their crafts in order to, ultimately, be placed in one of the seven magical kingdoms.

Rook is a necromancer with exceptional abilities. But exceptional may not necessarily be a good thing, considering her balance of giving life and taking it away isn’t always in her control. There she meets her roommate, Nadia, an instant friend. Nadia helps her maneuver through her days at Hemlock Academy. Who to get to know… and who to stay away from. But the one person she is warned to stay away from is the one boy who has instantly captured her heart.

G Gianni is elusive. He always has a different girl in his arm. But he gives Rook his secrets and she knows deep down that the way he looks at her and the way he touches her means something. Something MORE.

Aside from meeting new people, Rook is completely drawn into the lore behind a princess, Emma Green and her tragic love story that ends in death. Rook shares a very unique connection with the history of the Forest of Emma Green.

This was a very fun read. I enjoyed it so much. I loved the characters and what they all individually bring to the story. I love the history that is talked about and how events at the school are completely tied in to that history. The only thing I didn’t love was the fact that the writing was slightly juvenile in some aspects. But, when you consider that the story is about a 15 year old girl, that is definitely acceptable. I also wish that the ending didn’t happen so abruptly. I was enjoying the plot so so much and then it ends leaving me wanting more. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.


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