Book Review Of “The Hunger” By Alma Katsu @PutnamBooks

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?” (From Goodreads)

I received this book in my monthly Paper Obscura box. I did a joint review with my dear friend Jena, (Jena Brown Writes Blog) Now below you will find my personal review, I feel like I need to touch more on my thoughts, now that I have had more time to think about it.

I had stated in my previous review that I needed more horror, and I want to reiterate that point. I think that this book could have been absolutely horrifying, without the supernatural aspect. I mean, what is more horrific than a person at their lowest, and that hunger that can turn a person into a monster. I felt we didn’t need creatures with slimy hands and foul odors. The monsters were the people walking the trail, starving, cold, and hungry. The men that raped, or tried to rape the young girls. I felt the “Creatures in the woods” brought this story down a bit.

However, all that being said I still enjoyed the book, and I think Katsu did a remarkable job, making me feel how they all struggled specifically Tamsen. When all is said and done, what this book boils down to is what would you do to save yourself, to save your loved ones? Do you sacrifice yourself? Do you sacrifice those around you, so you can survive? Do we all have a hidden monster within us? I found the writing to be well thought out, detailed, and very realistic. The thoughts and emotions provoked from the pages in this book, are a true testament to Katsu’s talent.

How many of you have heard of the Donner Party? Growing up in Carson City, Nevada, and not far from Donner Pass, and The Truckee River, I grew up learning of it. So I was thrilled when I found out this was a fictional tale about this horrific event in history. I’m glad I got to read it, and the Author Alma Katsu is such a sweet lady!

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere

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