Rabu, 26 Februari 2014

Review : Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

Title: Donners of the Dead
Author : Karina Halle
Publisher :Metal Blonde Books

Length :  197 pages  
Published :February 24th, 2014
Format : e-book

Target : Adult
Genre : Historical Western Romance, Horror
Web :Experiment in Terror
Buy Links : AmazonSmashword



Sinopsis


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.


Review



There is no me. There are only monsters inside of angels and angels inside of monsters. Choose wisely

Donners of the Dead is my first foray into Karina Halle's books. Last year, so many Goodreads friend raves about her Artist Trilogy and Experiment in Terrors Series, but I never had a chance to read it. So, become stand alone novel, Donners of the Dead is a perfect choice for me to know her writing and story. Even it's genres is not my favorite. Historical Romance (HR) is a kinda of hit and miss for me, and I admit I'm not too familiar with Western setting for most HR books I'd read were set in English. Add it with horror and zombies, two elements that make me sooo freaked out! But I'm curious with the story. So, I'm not hesitate to request for ARC copy when Ms Halle put announcement on her FB page for any blogger who want to read her new book.

And well, I'm not disappointed :)


Written from 1st POV,  the heroine of this book, Eve Smith, a 18 years old half Injun girl, must make a trip to find the missing Donner party. In her company are five cowboys that appear from nowhere, her childhood friend and a religious woman for her chaperone. One of the cowboys, a harsh and brooding (yet sexy) former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw seems hate her and Eve don't know why. Turn that a trip that seems not dangerous at first, become a matter of life and death when Eve realize what the true purpose of her journey. And she must rely on Jake if she want to survive from all the horror and monsters that surround them.

Frightening yet full of moral compass. Donners of the Dead show us that somehow men can be more savage, evil and sadist than the monsters. It's men who are the real monster. Ms Halle mix history, horror (ugh, zombieeeees!!!), mystery, suspense and Indian custom for her new installment,  make Donners of the Dead a satisfying read. There are so many horror scene that make me stop breathing, because it was scary as hell! A particular scene when Eve met the monster make me almost screaming and yell "OMG!!", then look to my surrounding. Realize that my hubby already go to bed and I'm alone by myself when read this!! X((

These are the "OMGWTFISTHAT" scenes "..


...like the night before, I hadn’t awoken by accident. There was a reason, and while my confused, sleep-deprived brain struggled to figure out what it was, I was hit with the intense aroma of rotting flesh, carried on a hot burst of air.

I opened my eyes.

A pair of pale blue eyes, lit by firelight, were leaning over me. A bloody mouth sneered

and ...
 
I breathed in deep to get a trail, but the smell of human waste was too overpowering. I coughed into my shoulder and through my watering eyes saw a shadow pass outside of the door.

I froze, trying to keep my teeth from chattering. I strained to hear if there was someone out there, but was only picking up the tireless wind and blowing snow.

After a few heavy moments passed and nothing else had happened, I took a step towards the door and put my eye to a small crack and peeked out.

A pale blue eye stared right back.

My reaction :



Oh, forget to say this. I strongly suggest to not read Donners of the Dead when you are eating, because some scenes are gross and sickening. This is a horror novel after all! :D.



Ms Halle did her research well, so I can understand the setting and the culture of that era. Especially about Donners Party, in fact a real event that happen during the winter of 1846-1847 at Sierra Nevada, USA. (for more info, you can Google it, heheheh :P) Readers maybe will wary when knowing that Eve still 18 years old, and Ms Halle already state that this book is not NA or YA novel.  How she will make Eve and Jake, who in his mid-twenties (or maybe thirties) can work? I assure you, it's work, naturally and somehow beautiful. Sometimes I forget that in 19th century, a 18 years old girl can be considered as mature and adult.

Jake McGraw, in the first  seems like a typical of alpha and macho man. Hate Eve with no reason, talk rude to her because she is a half Injun,  but I'm glad that he become a better man in the last. I enjoy Eve and Jake bantering (with Jake called Eve "Pine Nuts". I think it's cute), and love that their relationship is not too rushed, despite what happen to them. Also they make a perfect combo when it's come to survival from all monsters that want to devour them.


“Aren’t we all having a scare?” I squinted at him. “Or are you too bad and brave to be scared?”

“Oh darling,” he said, grinning, “I get scared. Perhaps about different things than you but I do get scared. I ain’t too brave,” he leaned in closer, his breath freezing between us, “or too big to admit that.”


and, ehm, the sex scene is well written and imho, steamy. Yes, I don't mind with Eve being 18 years old in this book. Because in the end of her journey, she become a whole woman. And Jake is a one sexy alpha man.

He could have been the apple that changed Eve’s innocence. He could have been the snake. And I suddenly didn’t care


I have so many favorite quotes and scenes from this book, some already written on top and between of this review. One of my favorites is this :

“Love is a wolf,” he said, the fire dancing in his eyes. “Perhaps that’s why they howl in the dark of night. Love drives them mad like it does to everyone. Fast or slow, whatever way it hits you, love will drive you mad.”

“Does it not seem so silly to be talking about such a thing when we’re out here with the wolves and the monsters in the trees?”

“No, Eve,” he said. “It’s not silly. 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"

My complaint maybe is how Ms Halle using word "reckon" for many times. I just hope because I read the early version, the new version will be well edited. Also for a novel that set in historical era, the writing somehow feel modern for me.

I guess Donners of the Dead is a must read for any Ms Halle's fans and if you want a horror story with  romance as well. Plus, if you also have one or two things for cowboy (bwahaha XD!) or zombies (shudder!!). Better to read this alone, in the middle of the night, when all light out, and prepare yourself to be scared!


My rating for Donners of the Dead is :


*full and plenty of noodles!*

and sensuality level for this book is :


for some kissing scenes and intense sex scene (but not too erotic in my opinion ;))

Note : ARC provided by Publisher for a honest review.

2 komentar:

  1. wedew... templete-nya ganti ya??? hehehe, jadi lebih jelas nih tulisannya ;) eh boleh kasih saran ga? anu, mbok dikasih kotak search gitu, jadi kalo mo cari repiu tertentu ga bingung, hehehe....

    BalasHapus
    Balasan
    1. Udah dikasih tuh kotak searchnya. Paling atas sendiri :)

      Hapus

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