"Deeply disturbing, hard to put down" - Stephen King
What began as a brave and bold adventure has become a nightmare. They are trapped and must confront each other . . . and a threat that reaches beyond the fury of the elements, something far more primal and deadly.
'Deeply, deeply disturbing' STEPHEN KING
Shortlisted for the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards for Best Horror Novel
'It will scare the pants off you' NEW YORK TIMES
After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads. It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice. They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination. One is well-documented – the other untested, but rumoured to be shorter.
Donner’s decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him. The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations. Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the natural elements, to something more primal and far more deadly.
Based on the true story of The Donner Party, The Hunger is an eerie, shiver-inducing exploration of human nature, pushed to its breaking point.
“Deeply, deeply disturbing. ”
“Katsu adds a rich vein of horror to her imaginative retelling . . . astonishingly atmospheric, with a strong sense of claustrophobia, despite the vast prairies and mountains . . . this is an enthralling and chilling read.”
Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN
“Uneasy, nauseous, slow-burning tale that marries historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural. Great detailing; colourful characterization; some supremely ominous stuff, but always reined in at the final moment to rack up the tension even more. Loved it!”
JOANNE HARRIS, author of Chocolat
“This . . . is supernatural suspense at its finest. It is strangely ethereal, yet gritty, with one eye on the distant skyline and the other on the bloody journey. If historical novels are your thing, The Hunger delivers a believable, fully realized 19th-century America. But the best thing about The Hunger is that it will scare the pants off you.”
Danielle Trussoni, NEW YORK TIMES
“An absorbing thriller that had me digging into the history behind this tale as soon as I’d read the last page . . . Her descriptions of the land are movingly beautiful, but there is danger even here.”
Alison Flood, OBSERVER 'Thrillers of the Month'
“Like The Revenant but with an insistent supernatural whisper. The setting and the story are utterly chilling. And the telling of it is so well done.”
SARAH PINBOROUGH, author of Behind Her Eyes
“Beautiful, lyrical, utterly grounded in the land, and the people, this is the best - and scariest - story I’ve read this year.”
MANDA SCOTT, author of Boudica and Into the Fire
“The story she writes of human failings and despair is so powerful and so well written . . . Her account of the pioneers’ dawning realisation that pressing on, staying still and turning back all mean death is hauntingly good.”
Antonia Senior, THE TIMES
“Alma Katsu's accomplished, engrossing novel weaves a cocoon of supernatural horror around historical tragedy . . . it is a beautifully intense read.”
James Lovegrove, FINANCIAL TIMES
“In an audacious twist, Alma Katsu has made something new and suspenseful from the legendary story of the Donner Party. The Hunger is filled with terror, pity, and grue.”
KEITH DONOHUE, author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters
“Alma Katsu has taken one of the darkest and most chilling episodes in our history, and made the story even darker, even more terrifying. I swear I'm still shuddering. A fantastic read!”
R. L. STINE, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street
“The Hunger is a bold and brilliant novel, heavy with foreboding and dread, and with a rich vein of humanity at its core. I challenge you to read it without experiencing your own hunger pangs.”
TIM LEBBON, author of The Silence
“The Revenant by way of The Walking Dead and it works.”
Paul Connolly, METRO
“A terrific historical novel with a thrilling, bloody twist. Alma Katsu’s brilliant reimagining of the Donner Party’s fate is rich with character, laden with imminent doom, and propelled by chilling mystery. A novel that book clubs and dark fiction fans should devour with equal relish.”
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN, author of Ararat
“Katsu injects the supernatural into this brilliant retelling of the ill-fated Donner Party . . . fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror will find familiar and welcome chills.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
“A riveting drama of power struggles and shifting alliances . . . the tensions [Katsu] creates are thrilling.”
“If you think the story of the Donner Party can’t get more horrific, think again. In this gripping, atmospheric reimagining of that dark tale, Katsu has created a deeply unsettling and truly terrifying masterpiece.”
JENNIFER McMAHON, author of The Winter People and Burntown