ARC Review: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Donners of the Dead

3.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: 24 February 2014


This was a really enjoyable book, it was tense and atmospheric and had me quickly turning the pages to see what would pop up next ~ Under the Covers

Half Indian girl Eve Smith has been living with her aunt and uncle on their ranch since her father disappeared, but when a group of men come knocking requesting her assistance tracking down a rescue party that went in after the infamous Donners, she has no choice but to go. Jake McGraw is part of the group, he is sarcastic, rude and hates Indians, but Eve still can’t help being drawn to him. But, there may be more in the mountain’s than the Eve and men suspected and the closer they come to tracking down the rescue party, the clearer it becomes that something may be stalking them…

This was a really enjoyable book, it was tense and atmospheric and had me quickly turning the pages to see what would pop up next. Donners of the Dead is a horror story loosely based around a set of true events where a caravan of families in 1846 attempted to cross the Sierra Nevada mountains but became trapped by the snow and as they became more and more hungry they had to result to cannibalism to survive. It is an interesting but very tragic set of events, but also a very good basis for a horror story.

What I liked about this book was that it really built up the tension and the more I read the scarier it got as I was prepared at an minute for something horrific to happen and scare the hell out of me. In fact, often the tension and the expectation of what was going to happen was scarier than what actually did. Although don’t let that fool you, what did happen was freaky and creepy, especially towards the end when the people in the group began to fracture.

However, although it was mostly creepy flesh eating zombies, there was also another kind of tension threaded throughout this book. Eve and Jake. From the minute they lay eyes on each other you could feel the chemistry between them, which only continued to grow as they traveled together. But although the building romance was present throughout all the book and is one of the aspects I enjoyed most, if you are looking for something steamy and romantic with just a few monster thrown in for atmosphere, you are looking in the wrong place. Not that Donners of the Dead didn’t have its really sweet and romantic moments, it did, but it managed to blend it in really well with the main horror story.

This was a really good read and I have yet to read a Karina Halle book that I didn’t enjoy and which didn’t freak me out a little! I highly recommend you give it a try.

*ARC provided by author

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About Karina Halle

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 has appeared in pub­li­ca­tions such as Con­se­quence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNo­mad Travel Guides. She cur­rently splits her time between her apart­ment in down­town Van­cou­ver and her sail­boat, where a book and a bot­tle of wine are always at hand.

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I have been devouring halle’s eit series!….thanks suzanne


Thanks for the review Suzanne.