“I don’t believe in monsters,” Stanton said. “Only men who behave like them.”
The Hunger is a fictional account of the Donner part as the journeyed to California from Illinois. If you’re like me all you know about the Donner Party is the cannibalism that the part had to survive. What Alma Kastu did was add a horror element to the already horrific tale. It’s almost like a horror filled game of the Oregon Trail This review is mixed for me there’s things that the author did well like create tension. The tension is the best thing in this novel and it is razor sharp But there are a lot of other problems.
The Plot: Is the Donner Party is a group of 97 settlers, some families, some hired hands, and some single riders traveling in the group for the safety of numbers who are traveling to California from Springfield, Illinois. Very few settlers are not running from some sort of problem back home. Tensions rise against class warfare, rations, and gossip. The real trouble starts when when of the young children is stolen in the night, and most of his skeleton remains are found, was it someone in the caravan, a wolf, or something else? As the journey continues, food runs low, people start acting strange and a little mad and more people and livestock starts going missing.
What Happened in the real Donner Party, they started out with a party of 97 exploring an uncharted trail, and they got caught in the Sierra Mountains of Nevada with rations running low they resorted in cannibalism to survive, and 48 made it out alive very malnourished and with frostbite.
What I liked: The tension is done really well it keeps adding until the final conclusion. There’s a lot of character’s but they all feel real, and not without their flaws. I was surprised a lot of where the author was going with the characters .
What I disliked: Too many characters, and it gives too many voices to characters that are just throw away characters. In terms of the main characters, they did have a real conclusion. If you’re fans of Lost a few character’s got Libby-ed where they were killed, banished, or silenced before there story was complete. The supernatural tries to get explained, an it was frankly a weak explanation. Ending was good on one level of wrapping up one story line but, but weak in the epilogue of not explaining what happened in the months prior, or at least a guess!
I would not recommend this one too my friends, if you’re a historical fiction buff I think there might be enough there, with the tension of just what it took to live back in that time done really well. I almost feel it would have been a better novel if played straight with no horror element, and let the nature and food dwindling be the horror. I would rate this 2.5 stars out of five.