Firstly I wish to thank Emily Berge Marketing Assistant of Glasstown Entertainment for inviting me to take part on this BLOG TOUR for THE HUNGER by Alma Katsu
Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.
Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.
While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Oh wow this is some pretty cool reading. I had been unaware of this tragic pioneer crossing of the ill-fated wagon train from Springfield, Illinois to California in 1846. What begins as a new beginning for 90 men, women and children ends in one of the most terrible tragedies in America’s history.
This is a jaw dropping story to start with, but soon transformed from fact into a seamless mix of fact and fiction by author Alma Katsu. This lady has quite a wicked mind, creating a mesmerizing and supernatural nightmare for the Donner Party and a superb mystery for me to try to work out.
There is a nice slow build at the beginning of the book, where I got to know the basics of the main characters before things started to go off-key. What develops is a really creepy atmospheric read that builds from random happenings, that singular can be dismissed, but increase with frequency and seriousness. I am not going to go into much detail of the story because that would really spoil all the nerve-racking, eerie and jumpy moments like I experienced. I was driving myself mad with trying to guess what was happening and boy it was not disappointing.
Alma Katsu, describes just how ordinary and naive these people were, from their varied backgrounds and how ill prepared they were for such a trek. The landscapes were stunningly described with vivid imagery. The hot scorched earth where nothing would grow, to the pass with blinding snow that was deeper than the bellies of the horses. Just wow! It is all so rugged, beautiful and full of hidden dangers. I just kept looking back at the book cover which captures the feeling of isolation, loneliness and sheer take your breath away perfection.
There are some pretty colourful characters in the story that are not as much travelling to a better life as leaving one they want to forget behind. The story, is in places, very graphic when describing the dead, so just a little warning there but it is also so droolingly brilliant!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author of THE HUNGER, a reimagining of the Donner Party’s tragic journey (Putnam);
THE TAKER, THE RECKONING and THE DESCENT (Gallery Books). The Taker was selected by ALA/Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2011.