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?”
(4 / 5)
The Hunger is a historical fiction first, an eerie horror novel second. Based on the ill-fated Donner party, a wagon train that traveled west during the summer of 1846. The author has added a supernatural twist to the story, and by taking liberties with the characters backgrounds, has turned a sad, treacherous journey into a seamless haunting tale.
It was called the “Donner party”, but there were many families in that wagon train that year, this group being the last to leave Independence, MO that May. The Donner’s were one of the more well known families, bigger as well as more wealthy. But there were many other families, others that were going to claim their own in California, most not as wealthy or well supplied.
As the trip wears on, the leaders of the group are somewhat mislead by others claiming to know a shortcut to California, one that leads them directly across the Great Salt Lake Desert and into the Wasatch mountains. As food starts to dwindle and even people start to disappear from the group. Some of the people are aware that they are being followed, but no one is sure what or who it could be.
There is always a fear of Indians in the group, but it turns out Indians aren’t what the wagon train should be afraid of. Suspicions run high as people get hungry, and they realize too late that they are trapped in the mountains, unprotected, during the winter. And something hunting them.
I brushed up on my Donner party history while reading this book, and the author does a really great job blending the fiction with the historical facts of the story. The characters and their stories reveal themselves slowly at first, and since you know the jist of how the story is going to go, the pages keep turning almost on their own to speed you to an eye-popping end.
Just when you think that it’s about to get really scary, the author pulls back and doesn’t give it all to you, creating even more tension, making it even more terrifying. Don’t read this before bed!!
“Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.”
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