Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If asked to describe Donners of the Dead in three words, these would be them: Unique, Intense and strange.
Allow me to specify how much each word encompasses my thoughts regarding Donners of the Dead:
this story is set in the Old West in 1851, and told from Eve's POV. She is 18 years old. Her father is aboriginal and her mother isn't, thus, she combines her unique traits inherited from both. She has good abilities to track, complemented with hunches and very good instincts. She carries her mixed heritage and she lives with her mother, uncle, aunt, cousin and a friendly helper at her uncle's ranch.
I'm not a very keen fan of the history of the colonization of North America. Furthermore, I keep a healthy distance towards historic colonial settlements and pioneers. Is not for lack of interest in history (I am a sociocultural anthropologist), but these events are really not my cup of tea. As such, I was a tiny bit reluctant to read this story. However, let me tell you how gladly wrong I was. It was strange and awesome. The fact that this was full of tidbits of historical events with the promise of zombies, made it one of a kind for me.
Also, the little shotgun drawings that break each section of the text, did an excellent job in setting that creepy mood:
In this book you get little dwelling time to adjust to its pace, as it starts with a very unsettling scene with a horse, and carries you non-stop in a chilling (both literary and figuratively) cold quest for uncovering a mysterious disappearance.
The relationships between most characters are powerful. They fall between disdainful, compassionate, violent, untrustable, greedy, maddened, hopeful and caring. These emotions are carefully packed and ready to take off on each paragraph. Obviously, I really really really enjoyed certain Texas Ranger's enthusiasm towards our Eve. What can I say? I'm a complete sucker for sexy-swoony-times.
Strange: It's dark, mysterious and very freaky. You've got this remote setting where you know something horrible happened. You can almost taste the uneasiness inside this story's pages. My little reading heart was close to combustion once I started, as I was unable to stop. I read this book in one day. A fantastic way to devote 8 hours of your day. It's was so creepy!
I'm unsure if I'll be able to have egg-soup anytime soon...
This book caught me off guard and I'm so glad it did!
In sum, this book is good for anyone wanting to spend some time in the Old West's 19th century with a very frightening mystery, a very unique heroine and a very sexy Texas Ranger.
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