Donners of the Dead
by Karina Halle
Publication date: February 24th 2014
Genre: Horror, Romance
Source: Ebook received from author
in exchange for an honest review
Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive
The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.
What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
***This is NOT New Adult***
It’s no secret that Karina Halle is one of my favorite authors and she continues to prove why that is with every book she writes. Her ability to wrap a reader up inside her stories is astounding. With Donners of the Dead I was hooked in mere seconds and I didn’t put it down until I devoured the entire thing. I hadn’t even read the synopsis before I began reading. I saw the words horror, romance and Karina Halle and immediately knew I had to get my book-greedy little hands on it. Everything about this tale was totally unexpected (unless you read the synopsis — don’t do it! lol) and I enjoyed it even more than I anticipated because of it. Cowboys, romance and zombies? Hells yes! And here’s a fun little tidbit for you — the story is molded from a piece of real, honest-to-goodness American History.
The story begins with an introduction to Eve, an eighteen-year-old girl considered a half-breed by all; half caucasian and half native-american. Her father was presumed dead after disappearing in the mountains years earlier, so Eve and her mother, who hasn’t spoken a word since he vanished, were taken in by her Aunt and Uncle. Eve had to work her ass off on their ranch, but she didn’t mind because she was able to work alongside Avery, who she was majorly crushing on. One day a group of men rode into town looking for a tracker to help them locate others that had disappeared in the mountains. Since Eve’s father had been known as the best tracker, the townsfolk sent these roughnecks to her doorstep, figuring her tracking skills rivaled her dads. I don’t know about you, but after the brief description of these guys I don’t think I would be riding off into the mountains with them.
I can’t reveal any more because I was happily surprised by everything that happens and I would have been pissed if someone had ruined it for me, but let me just say that the character arcs are seriously fantastic! I know this is a standalone book, and we’re not left wondering about anything, but somehow I still want more. I can’t stop thinking about the story. It’s nothing like I expected, and it was difficult to pull myself out of the story even after it was over. I guess you could say I have quite the book hangover on my hands. This book has everything — horror, history, romance, blood, guts, gore, and even a bit of mystery. Gah, I want more!
I highly recommend this to all fans of horror. Heck, it was so good I want to convert everyone that doesn’t normally read the genre just so you can experience the awesomeness that is Donners of the Dead! I hadn’t read anything yet this month to go on my “Favorite Reads of 2014” list and was getting a bit worried with the month coming to a close. Not that I have a quota or anything, but I hope for at least one awesome read a month. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Well, I shall worry no more… this one just made my list!
~About the Author~
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with). Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.
Karina’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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