I was a very lucky girl (again!) and won this book in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. 🙂 Be warned: I plan on using some slightly gruesome gifs in this review!
Dead Hungry is a gruesome, carnivorous, action packed story. Civilization is essentially falling apart as waves of people are developing a strong appetite for human flesh, whether it comes from morgues, graves or simply the injured.
We follow a collection of students and learn how they individually cope with family, friends and loved ones either acquiring a taste for flesh and becoming what are known as Ghouls, or turning out to be someone’s next meal.
After just the first chapter, I was super excited to get stuck in. One chapter and just ten pages in, some poor person’s face had been eaten. If that’s not a great kick start to a gruesome story, I don’t know what is!!
“They didn’t need to convince themselves that the man was dead, given that half his face had been eaten off.”
It was a fantastically written book, thrilling and well-paced, with plenty of ups and downs all the way through. Characters found themselves not knowing who to trust, and as a reader we are left in the dark too. I was often trying to predict who would suddenly turn around and take a bite out of someone. If you enjoy suspense and take pleasure in some gore, this book will have you hooked from the exciting opening right to the grisly end.
“It wasn’t clear who was who anymore, so much blood covered everything. People were wild, either with feeding or terror.”
The interesting thing about the story is the different types of “enemies” we are introduced to. There are Ghouls who are “good” and feast only on those who are already dead. There are cannibals who live as a family and respect both the living and the dead, and they want to build their own culture and eventually be accepted as part of society. There are people who are rounding up bodies and separating them to sell on the black market to others in hopes of remaining safe with the cannibals…
…Then there are cannibals we come to know as Feeders, and this is where the frightening aspect of the book comes in. Feeders want nothing more than to satiate their gruesome hunger, and are happy to work in groups taking down innocent people to do so, creating a heightened sense of fear for both the characters and the reader. I do love a good zombie story, but gangs of fully functional humans who want to rip out throats with no conscience… now that s**t is scary!
There’s a large cast of characters in the book, which can normally result in confusion or make the story hard to keep track of. Not in Dead Hungry. Louis Arata has done a spectacular job of developing numerous characters with distinct and realistic personalities. I found myself loving them, laughing with them, fearing for them and hating them.
Louis Arata also did a fabulous job of making me cringe and squirm with all the gruesomeness and gore throughout the book. If you’ve spoken to me or seen my previous reviews, you’ll know full well that I ADORE SOME GORY GRUESOME DISGUSTINGNESS IN A BOOK!
“She had to pick at the edge, pulling back the flesh with her fingertips until she could get a good purchase. She forced her tongue between the edges until she could worry a piece between her teeth and peel it off.”
Unfortunately I couldn’t give this book a five star rating because I was slightly dissatisfied with the ending. I just felt it wasn’t closed off properly, it was as if an epilogue was missing. What happened to society? How were things further down the line?
Other than that, the book was near on perfect. I was never bored and different emotions were drawn from me as events went on. Obviously, this may not be for the faint hearted, but I would highly recommend this for someone who loves a macabre tale with plenty of horrifying action along the way.