THE HUNGER BY ALMA KATSU
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
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The Hunger by Alma Katsu is based on the true events of Donner Party tragedy where a party of pioneers travelling west came to a crossroads and the leader, George Donner had to make a decision to take the well documented but longer route across the desert towards California, or to take the untested path, which was rumoured to be far shorter. His decision could mean life or death to the families travelling with him.
It’s kind of funny that the first time I heard of the Donner Party was on one of my favourite horror films, The Shining, written by Stephen King and directed Stanley Kubrick. Jack Nicholson acting as the character Jack Torrance, mentions the Donner Party and it’s how the name came about for the Donner Pass on Interstate 80 in Northern California. Since hearing about this in the film I was eager to look it up, so when I read the synopsis of The Hunger, I had to read it!
This book is broken up into monthly sections starting from June 1846 to April 1847. The latter of which is actually the prologue and supplies the details of the findings of one man, Lewis Keseberg, the last known survivor of the Donna Party event. This makes for an intriguing hook for the rest of the book and I couldn’t wait to see what had happened. Why had no one else survived?
The Hunger is an atmospheric re-imagining of the Donner Party disaster, which blends true horror with the supernatural and is ideal for historical, paranormal and even dark horror fans! It’s full of drama, mystery, intrigue and is downright spooky. The tension Alma Katsu adds, it amazing! I really sympathised for the families, those that had no idea what was going on, and even those that were forced to survive the only way they knew how. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about Westward migration that is so chilling! This is a study of human endurance tested to its very limits – and beyond. How far would YOU go in order to survive?
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