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They Hunger Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Horror novelist Nicholson (The Farm) offers in his latest a thrilling, romance-free twist on the ever-more-popular subject of vampires, bringing to mind the tagline from Robert Rodriguez's neo-camp bloodsucker flick From Dusk Till Dawn: "Vampires. No Interviews." Far up in the Appalachian Mountains, fanatical antiabortion bomber Ace Goodall and his female accomplice are fleeing the FBI on a path along the Unegama River. Not far away, a group of white water rafters is looking to take on the Unegama, a dangerous run, as part of a publicity stunt for a high-end camping gear company. But it isn't long before class V rapids are the least of their worries, as they're set upon by subhuman, leather-winged, bloodthirsty creatures who seem impervious to the panicked humans' efforts to kill them. Amid the bloodletting, Nicholson dregs up some genuinely dark, creepy moments; his unnamed vampires inspire visceral horror each time they sweep down from the sky. Unfortunately, Nicholson's human characters are less inspiring; though perfectly functional, they never rise above stereotypical monster fodder: the former navy SEAL, the lonely widower with nothing to lose, the single-minded religious maniac, the duplicitous company shill. That said, this vampiric Deliverance moves quickly and assuredly, offering some fine scares along the way. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; 1st edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786017139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786017133
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,363,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't do plot reviews (where's the fun in spoiling the fun?), so I'll approach this in terms of elements that worked for me. I'll start by saying that I've read perhaps 300 horror novels, and twice as many thrillers of various names and styles and genres. Lotta good, lotta bad. And most novels featuring vampires, werewolves, or haunted houses don't do it for me anymore. It's just so rare that an author working in these genre-proven subjects breaks new ground.

But I went with this book because Scott Nicholson is a consistent writer who dispenses with the b.s. and just writes fun books that go to dark places in new and unusual ways. He is reliable, and that's saying something in a field where even the masters like King, Straub, and Koontz sometimes stumble.

Don't be fooled by vampires, or put off by them, as I almost was. In any good vampire novel, hell, in any good horror novel, the suspense and the real horror is never about the vampires. Or monster type monsters. It's about the people. And the majority of THEY HUNGER is all about the people. This is Nicholson's finest cast of characters. You've got FBI, you've got macho outdoor-adventure type celebs and non celebs. You've got a Native American trying to reconnect with his ancestors in unusual modern ways. You've got an extremist abortion clinic bomber and his equally odd and almost as disturbing girlfriend. And many others along the way.

As he did in THE FARM, Nicholson creates interesting characters and worms his way into their fears. He's got a nice touch, never showing his hand too early about who's good and who's bad, who's gonna get it first, etc.

In THEY HUNGER, there is a nice variety of moods and emotional rapids to match his white-water adventure.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When he released The Home several years ago, Scott Nicholson proved to me that he can write a darn good horror novel. I've been hanging on his every written word ever since, and what he's proven with his last few releases is that he's a versatile author who's capable of writing a completely different novel with each release.

Here Nicholson presents a character-driven rollercoaster (er... white water rapid) ride that goes intellectually beyond most of what is being released in the horror genre today. He masterfully introduces characters first to the reader, then to one another, in such a way that the characters creep off of the page. Rarely in a novel do we meet such a wide array of characters driven by such a vastly different (yet equally dark) array of motivations.

First, we meet the fantically religious terrorist, guilty of several abortion clinic bombings. Eluding a manhunt in the Appalachain wilderness, he eagerly awaits God's next message for him. Accompanying him is his female companion, who's psychological scars of past rapes and abuses run deeper than the unexpected child she holds in her womb. On their trail are a pair of federal agents, one of whom meets a gruesome fate early on, the other haunted by the overbearing presence of his deceased partner.

Nearby we find a group of whitewater rafters lead by an overzealous corporate promoter. Among their ranks we find characters driven by greed, guilt, lust, career, and chemical addiction.

Their paths will cross when an explosion rips a hole in the Appalacian earth, unleashing an ancient breed of vampiric horror. Soon they will be forced to learn which threat is greater; the wilderness, the beasts who hunt them, the threat they pose to one another, or the hungers inside that drive them. This is a tale of man vs. nature vs. beast, told in such a way that will no doubt leave you hungering for Nicholson's next tale.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Nicholson experience and judging by the other reviewers, I am in the minority. For the past four decades, I have read a great deal of horror but this effort fell flat in my estimation.

A group of six disparate individuals (with every imaginable kind of personal "baggage") participate in a publicity stunt for Proventure, an outdoor supply company that is promising a newer, better raft for white water rafting. Bowie Whitlock is the guide for each of the six "adventurers" who fit almost any stereotype that you can imagine from novels of groups in peril. This group takes 2 rafts down the treacherous Unegama River in the Unegama Gorge Wilderness Area of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Elsewhere along the river are two FBI agents trailing "Ace" Goodall, an anti-abortionist bomber and killer, and his current (but not totally convinced) girlfriend, Clara Bannister. Two other totally unsuspecting tourists are also in the area and as you might have guessed, all these individuals inexorably come into contact with one another at some point or another.

Being a novel of horror, we need a person or thing to bring the horror into our protagonists' lives and in this case, Nicholson introduces us to vampires. Not just any vampires but a gray, leathery, "animalistic" vampire more akin to humanlike bats than the vampires we are used to in current fiction. Although this is an opportunity to develop a unique horror perspective, no effort at all is expended to let the reader know from whence these creatures came nor how they have gone unnoticed for decades. Certainly, the rockslide caused by a bomb in the early pages of the novel cannot explain away these questions.
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