I just found out about this book yesterday, and I seriously felt like a seven year old kid on Christmas morning. A horror romance based on the Donner party? Is the author my soul mate? Did I perhaps write this whilst I was sleeping? I am obsessed with cannibalism in survival situations (I know, it's a weirdly specific niche to be obsessed with), but I love reading about the Donner party and the Andes plane crash survivors.
So this is what you need to know about the Donner party, if you don't already:
From History.com: In the spring of 1846, a group of nearly 90 emigrants left Springfield, Illinois, and headed west. Led by brothers Jacob and George Donner, the group attempted to take a new and supposedly shorter route to California. They soon encountered rough terrain and numerous delays, and they eventually became trapped by heavy snowfall high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Purportedly reduced to cannibalism to survive through the winter, only half of the original group reached California the following year. Their story quickly spread, and before long the term “Donner Party” became synonymous with one of humanity’s most ingrained taboos.This is what you need to know about Donners of the Dead: It's the authors take on the Donner party, but guess what? They're zombies. Really detailed, creepy, disgusting and foul zombies. Really good zombies.
I honestly didn't even care about the romance aspect, and before I started reading, I thought I was going to hate it. I couldn't imagine how romance and horror could be thrown together without one or both of them being cheesy. I needn't have worried; Karina Halle pulls off this novel with aplomb. The heroine is likeable, the hero is a big stud, and the zombies are truly terrifying. And it works... it just works.
Donners of the Dead is a story about a young half-breed Indian girl that gets hired to help track members of a search party that disappeared when trying to locate the original Donner party. After accepting a staggering sum of money for the job, Eve sets off with her chaperone, friend, and the group of men that hired her into the mountains. Eve finds herself drawn (adversely at first) to Jake, a cowboy helping with the mission. They soon find themselves fighting for their lives, while still managing to discover a blossoming love in the face of tragedy and horror.
One qualm? It was a bit short at 203 pages, but it didn't feel rushed, surprisingly.
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Want to try a Karina Halle book for free? Check out the first in her Experiment in Terror series, Darkhouse, on Amazon.com!