Saturday, March 1, 2014

Review: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

A note about this book: Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 – couples were often thrust into marriage together with short courtships, racism was widespread and not overly frowned upon, and women had little to no rights. What wouldn't fly in today's day and age was unfortunately the norm back then - it is worth keeping that in mind when reading this book.

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.




Another horror story by my favorite, Karina Halle. Seriously this woman really can scare the pants off me. I even love the fact that despite her popularity, the price of her ebooks remain low compare to other authors who-shall-not-be-named. 

This another solid work by Karina, the cannibal, zombies and the snowstorm was simply terrifying. She added a romance subplot for the spice, although the romance was not as epic or angsty, Jake McGraw was an interesting Texan ranger and also an unlikely hero.

Set in the year of 1851, Eve Smith, a half-breed girl who inherited her dad's tracking skill was requested to join a search party for the missing Donners. Everyone thought they have stranded and died in the mountain, but his relatives thought otherwise. She was unsure of the mission, but after demanded by her uncle, she reluctantly joined the party with her friend, Avery and Donna.

Eve Smith had live her life as an outcast under the roof of her hateful uncle. Her father was gone and presumably dead and her mother was a total recluse. She believes in her gift, but didn't seems to find any good use for it. She dream a life of freedom away from the hateful eyes of the small minded townsfolk. When a group of Rangers came requesting her help, she wondered whether she's making the biggest mistake of her life or is she setting out for an adventure.

Our hero Jake McGraw seemed to be the enforcer of the group, always on the front line, looking out for potential danger. He came off as stoic and mean towards Eve. He find her skill questionable and it seems like he had his own ulterior motive in the mission. However, despite all that, whenever Eve's well being was being threaten, he was the first one to step in to save her. 

The journey was hard and they were all psychically challenge. Add in some horrifying appearance of zombies and internal conflict within the group itself and you have the perfect concoction for a horror action-flick. As with any Hollywood ending, you knew what was the demise of the people in the group. 

Recommended for those who love horror, zombies and action with a little of romance. If you heading into this for the romance alone, please don't put too high expectation. This is a standalone with a HEA.

"We're still human even in the face of beasts, even with our lives at risk. When you're close to death, love is sometimes the only thing that makes sense in life."

Rating 4/5