Review: The Hunger
Title: The Hunger by Alma Katsu
Rating: 4 stars
"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?"
This is the second book in my Spooky October Reading List which I decided to start on early. Luck must be on my side, because this book was just as amazing as the last book I read only in a different way. This book was much more of horror than mystery which was one of the main differences between it and The Death of Mrs. Westaway
History and Horror (two of my favorite things to read) were brought together in this one of a kind book. For those who don't know, this book is actually based on an actual tragedy that happened back in the 1840s which you can read about here.
The author has done a good job of keeping the story as authentic as possible. She uses the actual names of the pioneers and of the trails they used during their travel. Somehow, knowing that some part of this book had actually happened made it a lot more creepy for me.
So just how scary was this book?
Well, on a scale of 1-10 on creep factor, this ranked as a five for me. It had just enough creepy things going on to make your skin crawl, but not enough to give you nightmares.
Using multiple characters to tell the story, the author came up with a delightful story that kept me reading for hours and hours. The Hunger started off too slowly which I didn't like, and hence the four stars, but it quickly picked up and flowed well till the end.
I really liked the use of multiple characters even though I was not sure about it in the beginning. I am always of the opinion that they bring about confusion, but this was not the case here. In fact, they made the story better. It was interesting to see how their views of each other kept changing from person to person even as their circumstances worsened.
There was a backstory for the main characters which was a wonderful addition. Not only did it make it easier to differentiate them, but it also made them seem more real. Through their flashbacks, you get to see that they were all just normal people running away from their terrible past while looking forward to something better.
I seriously don't understand why this book has such a low rating on Goodreads! Anyway, if you don't mind reading about cannibalism and creepy rituals then please get this book and thank me later.