Wednesday 27 February 2013

Hunger - Melvin Burgess

Pages: 293
Publisher: Hammer
Release Date: 17th January 2013
Edition: UK hardback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Junk, Doing It, Sara’s Face, Nicholas Dane, Kill All Enemies, Bloodtide, Bloodsong, The Hit and many more

When Beth wakes up one morning covered in dirt, she puts it down to an extreme case of sleepwalking.

But when reports of a desecrated grave start to circulate, her night-time wanderings take on a sinister air.

Soon the city is being plagued by strange sightings and sudden disappearances.

Beth knows that something is changing within her.

Something that’s filling her with an urgent, desperate hunger that demands to be satisfied – at any cost...

Hunger is unlike anything I’ve ever read by Melvin Burgess and I’m really not sure what I thought of it.

Right from the get go, Hunger creeped me out. It threw out eerie situations and strange questions: where’s all the dirt come from? Why can’t Beth remember what happened? Why can she smell death? Why is she so hungry all the time? It unnerved me so much that I had to stop reading. The vagueness of the events that kick-started the novel really amped up the tension beautifully.

Although I was glad I stopped jumping out of my skin at every noise surrounding me, I was a little disappointed when the creep-factor trailed off once the story got going. I became a little more like your average supernatural novel for me.

If it wasn’t for the signature Melvin Burgess touches, I don’t know whether I would have liked Hunger. As ever, issues of sex, drinking, death and bad language were tackled head on and not a single punch was pulled. I love the Burgess tells it as it is. The novel also delivered a powerful religious message about Heaven, Hell and the absence of God that many authors void studiously avoid.

I was impressed with the choice of supernatural creature though. Ghouls and demons are encountered so rarely in YA, in fact I think the TV show Supernatural is the only other place I've really come across them! I really enjoyed learning about creatures and mythology that I hadn’t really come across before and my ignorance made it so much more exciting.

Though I was unsure about Hunger, the things I enjoyed definitely outweighed the negatives. I mean, come on, it was written by Melvin Burgess.

Thanks to Arrow/Hammer for providing me with a review copy.



  1. I have just got to the point where it stops being really creepy and understand what you mean. However I do think Melvin Burgess uses every word to his advantage, all carefully thought out.

  2. I love Burgess's writing style and the fact that it was a creepy read sounds really intriguing - although I'm not a big fan of books with supernatural elements :( I might have to check it out, though!

  3. I have this book waiting for me to read it and I really should get to it sooner rather than later! (I'm reading Melvin Burgess' latest book at the moment though!)


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