Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of "Donners of the Dead" by Karina Halle

I think we all know the stories about the Donner party that got stuck in the mountains, caught by snows on their way to the west coast. Trying to survive they turned to cannibalism, but what happens to a person that eats human flesh? Is it so hard to believe that they may develop an unnatural taste for it that makes them more monster than man? Karina Halle didn't think so, and after reading this book, neither do I.

I desperately wanted to read this book because zombies (horror is my absolutely favorite genre and it's kind of impossible to have zombies without at least a little horror), but with how many un-read books I currently own, I just couldn't justify buying it when it went live. So when I saw a giveaway for a copy, I entered and got lucky. I was thrilled and the book did not disappoint me.

Meet Eve, a half-Indian and half-white eighteen year old woman who has basically been raised by her racist white aunt and uncle (of course just about everyone was racist back then and they didn't see anything wrong with that. Miss Halle did a good job of portraying the reigning group mentality of the time) after her father's mysterious disappearance in the Sierra Nevada mountains years ago. Treated like Cinderella by her uncle because of her mixed genes and her gender (because woman in general were second class citizens back then too), her life isn't really her own. When a group of five men shows up on their doorstep wanting to hire her for her supposed tracking abilities, her father was one of the best trackers around, her uncle jumps at the chance to make a quick buck since any money she earns while living under his roof is automatically his. They set out into the same mountains where he father disappeared and find far more than they bargained for, well more than some of them bargained for at least.

This tale of almost terror had me hooked from the title because of my thing for zombie books, and movies, and plant based iPad apps. I probably found this story less horrifying than it actually was because of my fascination with zombies and horror books in general. It really takes a lot to scare me. As far as horror stories go, "Donners of the Dead" had a fairly predictable outcome overall, but I was still quite anxious for the survivors to get to that point, and there were a few instances where I actually wasn't so sure of who the survivors would be (and I really have a knack for picking horror story survivors). I would have read this book in a single day had my Kindle battery not died on me.

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for being so entertaining and well-written. I assure you, if you like suspense and a little bit of horror, you will definitely like this book.

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