Shelf Control #157: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


A little note for 2019: For the next short while, I think I’ll focus specifically on books I’ve picked up at our library’s fabulous annual sales. With all books $3 or less, it’s so hard to resist! And yet, they pile up, year after year, so it’s a good idea to remind myself that these books are living on my shelves.


Title: The Hunger
Author: Alma Katsu
Published: 2018
Length: 376 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A tense and gripping reimagining of one of America’s most haunting human disasters: the Donner Party with a supernatural twist.

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated travelers to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos, unknowingly propelling them into one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history.

As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if there really is something disturbing, and hungry, waiting for them in the mountains…and whether the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along. Effortlessly combining the supernatural and the historical, The Hunger is an eerie, thrilling look at the volatility of human nature, pushed to its breaking point.

How and when I got it:


Why I want to read it:

I’ve always found the subject of the Donner party pretty fascinating. I read a terrific historical novel about it years ago (Snow Mountain Passage by James D. Houston) , but The Hunger sounds like something new and different, infusing a horror element into a familiar historical event and turning into something else entirely. The story of the Donner party is already so disturbing — can’t wait to see what happens when you add in some sort of supernatural evil.

What do you think? Would you read this book?


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!














7 thoughts on “Shelf Control #157: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

    • My daughter did a research paper on the Donner party when she was in middle school, so we got pretty immersed in the topic at the time. (She drew the most awesome/gruesome cover for the report too!). Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this one!

  1. I read this last year and loved it! I’ve actually read all of Alma’s books, she tends to write very dark stories. I think her next book is going to revolve around the Titanic😊

  2. I have also read this and though it’s out of my usual reading choice I really enjoyed it (got it from Netgalley) also as I am from the UK this was also a really interesting bit of history 😊

    • It’s interesting for me to hear the perspective on this piece of history from people from other places. I live in California, have driven over the Donner Pass many times, and have visited the museum there, so this feels practically local to me. Makes me realize that the Donner party may not be as well known elsewhere as it is for us here. 🙂

      • I had actually never heard of the story before picking up this book first thing I did was google the hell out of it to get the fact behind the fiction. I found it super interesting and also so tragic at the same time. I adore history so this one delivered on the fiction and then had that added bit of extra was glad I took a chance out of my comfort zone 😊

Comments... We love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s