Feb 24, 2014
Title: Donners of the Dead
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Publication Date: February 24th, 2014
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
***This is NOT New Adult***
I have never been so excited to receive an ARC copy in my life! Donners of the Dead is by one of my favorite authors so I definitely had high expectations, but I never know what to expect from Karina Halle so those expectations are wiiiide open. Let me just say cowboys and zombies are pretty much my new favorite thing. Too bad, this is so unique there will never be another one like it.
Karina Halle creates a wonderful character in Eve, she was absolutely fantastic. She was part school-girl, part woman, and she was fierce. Have I ever mentioned I love character growth?? It’s kinda my thing, that all my favorite books/authors have in common. Solid character growth. Well, Karina Halle does not disappoint. By the end of this book Eve is one strong woman who is willing and able to fight for her man.
I’m pretty sure this is what I looked like while reading this book, well if I was trying to pour tea.
Also there is Jake, and he is one big hunk. A little racist (let’s go with the times, folks), but ultimately not a bad guy. He jokes and antagonizes Eve, but that is nothing new in Western Romance which is my guilty pleasure. I could also admire that Jake despite his prejudices wasn’t about to let Eve get in trouble, and several times he did defend her from the other men they were traveling with. Even before they both started admitting their attraction to each other.
Donners of the Dead was creep-tastic. The zombies/wendigo/cannibals were just so freaky, if this book ever gets made into a movie I won’t be able to watch it. That does not diminish this book’s greatness, it just means I’m really squeamish when it comes to gore. This book has a ton, there were times when I was gagging just reading about it, but it was still incredibly well done. This was just so much fun to read, that I couldn’t put it down.
I can’t give this book anything less than 5 out of 5 amazing stars. I highly recommend this book, and the author. You may not love everything Karina Halle writes, but she is always unique, always original, and always entertaining. I hope you all give her a chance!
5/5 – MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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Happy Reading Everyone!