I'm kind of torn on my opinions of Donners. I liked it, but it was just an average addition to the works of an author that I love. It was good, but it lacked the depth that I have grown to expect from Ms. Halle's books. Maybe that's because it is a standalone, and a short one at that. Who knows. Anyway.
This may come across a little rambling for a while, but I've been in a slightly introspective mood about the books I've read lately. If you aren't in the mood for that, just stop here.
The one thing that I do like about a majority of Karina's books in that her heroines all come across as real to me. I've read a lot of reviews lately (just in general) about being unhappy with not having the strong heroine figures in the book. I'm not knocking those who like that at all, I like them too, but I like the ones that are still trying to find themselves in life more. The ones that are unsure about themselves, the ones that haven't figured out what they want in life or in a partner. The ones that haven't learned to stand up for themselves completely. The ones that are still growing up, despite their age. That is real to me. I don't read a book with a super strong heroine and think, that is who I want to be when I grow up. I read a book about one that hasn't figured it out and think, thank god I'm not the only one. I'm confident in myself now. Some would say probably way too much. I'm happy with who I am as a person and who I surround myself with in my life now. I haven't always been like that though. I have been people like Perry, Eve, Ellie, Dawn, Keira, Eliza, Olivia, Penny Lane (watching Almost Famous. So she's not in a book. Sue me.), etc. The girls who most people want to slap and tell them to get their shit together. Me included. There were also many times in my life that I can look back on now and wish I would have had someone to slap me and tell me to get my shit together too. I have life relatively together now, but I'll never fully get there. I'm not that type of person. I'm always going to be growing up and I'm always going to wonder what else is out there is for life to offer. I've learned to love that about myself now, after decades of questioning it and myself. So, no I don't have to read about strong heroines. If someone hasn't learned that about themselves and doesn't have the ability to be comfortable standing up for themselves, I'm okay with that. They'll get there, just like I did. That is real to me. Those are the heroines that I want to read about.
Okay, that's done. On to Donners of the Dead.
I loved the new spin on the Donner Party. It changes an already creepy and disturbing event into something even worse. I was really curious how this was going to spin into a zombie tale, and I love how it happened. It made sense for the era. The aspect of Donners that I didn't care about was Jake McGraw. I didn't get enough to really give a shit about him. He's an ass (and for good reason. I'd be an ass if that happened to my family too), but he never gave me anything about him that made me get over the fact that he was an ass. The turn around happened so abruptly and so close to the end of the book that I didn't have the time to get over everything else. Yes, racism was rampant during the time the book was set. It was needed, imo, to make it true to the time. I won't say that I liked it, but I liked that it was included because it was what would have happened. All of that said, there just was not enough book for me to believe that Jake would have learned to get the hell over himself and love Eve despite being half Paiute.
So I guess all of that means that I just didn't have enough book for everything to pan out for me. It was definitely creepy as hell and definitely a good idea, it just wasn't quite fleshed out enough for me to be completely in love with it.