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The Hungry Ghost

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A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Bosto A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Boston, a mysterious new kitten has just been born who holds the key to understanding what has happened to Sam. Will Sam’s loved ones be able to put things back in their proper place, or will the ghost destroy them first?


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A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Bosto A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Boston, a mysterious new kitten has just been born who holds the key to understanding what has happened to Sam. Will Sam’s loved ones be able to put things back in their proper place, or will the ghost destroy them first?

30 review for The Hungry Ghost

  1. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Hungry Ghost by Dalena Storm is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. I found this to be a unique ghost story! I liked the originality of it! Different levels of beings, lots of twists and turns, a very creative plot, unusual characters, and good creepy vibes! Liked this book a lot! It has a lot going for it if you are looking for something new in the genre!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Gallagher

    Read this review and others on my blog! Thank you to NetGalley and Black Spot Books for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. The Hungry Ghost debuts June 11th. This debut novel from Dalena Storm had my immediate attention with its title. Hungry ghosts are paranormal entities in the Buddhist tradition that emerge only in specific circumstances, such as when someone is violently killed—something I’m sure Storm knows, having graduated from Williams College with Read this review and others on my blog! Thank you to NetGalley and Black Spot Books for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. The Hungry Ghost debuts June 11th. This debut novel from Dalena Storm had my immediate attention with its title. Hungry ghosts are paranormal entities in the Buddhist tradition that emerge only in specific circumstances, such as when someone is violently killed—something I’m sure Storm knows, having graduated from Williams College with a BA in Asian Studies. The marker of a hungry ghost is its bulging, distended belly—the better to eat you with, my dear. 🙂 Anyway, even though there are only a couple mentions of Buddhism in this fast-paced book, nevertheless the reader is presented with a hungry ghost, who drifts upward to the human world from a lower, hellish void and inhabits the body of an American woman in a coma. Spoiler alert that you can probably spot from a mile away: once she inevitably wakes up, the eating commences. I appreciate the swift pace of the story; at two hundred pages, this is a book on the short side, but there’s nothing wrong with that—in fact, I think there’s a conversation to be had in modern publishing about books being too lengthy for the story they’re seeking to tell. I found it to be a nice palate cleanser—something quick to tear through in a couple hours. The prose could use some editing, admittedly. There’s a top-down feel to the writing, where we’re told moment to moment what the characters are feeling and thinking, rather than being fed sensory details and internal thoughts via close third POV. I like a straightforward writing style to an extent, but here it grew to be too much for my tastes, to the point where some sentences felt almost utilitarian. There were also a few leaps of faith in terms of the plot that had me raising my eyebrows, but these were counterbalanced by some genuinely surprising and horror-filled moments where I was fully on board. A couple scenes in particular will probably stick with me a good long while. If you’re looking for a page-turner and are interested in the Buddhist take on ghosts, then maybe give this a shot.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Seven Jane Arriving just in time for Novella Month, with a diverse and LGBTQ cast of characters, is debut-author Dalena Storm’s The Hungry Ghost, a chilling tale of love, lust, and desire and the often blurred line between them. In The Hungry Ghost, a woman named Sam is caught between her alcoholic (and rather pathetic) ex-husband Peter; her young and determined would-be paramour, Madeline; and her own trepidations over letting anyone else inside Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Seven Jane Arriving just in time for Novella Month, with a diverse and LGBTQ cast of characters, is debut-author Dalena Storm’s The Hungry Ghost, a chilling tale of love, lust, and desire and the often blurred line between them. In The Hungry Ghost, a woman named Sam is caught between her alcoholic (and rather pathetic) ex-husband Peter; her young and determined would-be paramour, Madeline; and her own trepidations over letting anyone else inside her heart (or her newly-earned freedom, for that matter, being only six months out from a divorce). She’s been stretched too thin for too long, caught between obligations to her family, lovers, and work that are painfully familiar. The details of Sam’s life are vague and inconsequential, but it’s her condition that’s all too common. Who hasn’t felt bossed around, pushed around, and heaped upon when all they really want is space to breathe? Who hasn’t been faced with the uncomfortable position of having to navigate expectations thrown upon them by someone else—most particularly those who’ve claimed to love us—when they haven’t even fully come to terms with themselves? There is something insidious about that context—a darkness that lingers on the edges of your mind worrying over not only whether we are “good enough?” but “good enough to be desired?” and hints that the consequences of such desire may be more destructive than simply being enough. There is a nagging loneliness that permeates the pages of The Hungry Ghost, beginning in its first chapter as Sam dresses for a date with Madeline and persists in every page of what is a quick, paper cut-like read—sharp, stinging, and unrelenting. When an accident puts Sam in a coma, she is pushed out of her own body by a hungry ghost, a mainstay in Tibetan Buddhism (Storm has a degree in Asian Studies) that represents beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. Sam, meanwhile, finds a new emotional and physical security in the body of a newly-born kitten in a pet shop helmed by an African-American orphan-turned-business owner with a big dose of magical predisposition and a tendency to name his cats after music’s greats—Macy Grey, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson. Those who ‘love’ Sam—Peter, Madeline, and her mother, Bianca—are forced to face the garish reality that the woman who Sam has become is not the woman they desperately wanted her to be—a realisation as literal as it could be figurative, while Sam has to learn to let go of…well, everything. It’s a fight for Sam’s humanity in possibly the most disturbing way possible. With her limited role in her own story, as a protagonist Sam is something of a stand-in for each of us—a mirror reflection that gives us an opportunity to get outside of our own heads and come to terms with the weight of the world around us. At turns chilling and always-haunting, The Hungry Ghost is an essay on modern love and the dark side of desire that gives us the chance to reconsider the balance between our own needs and desire—whether it is “them” who are the hungry ghosts, or if, instead, it is us.

  4. 5 out of 5

    August Is Azathoth The Haunted Reading Room

    I was agreeably surprised by this novel as it proved to have a quite unexpected depth and richness of quality. Not strictly an LGBT narrative, not only metaphysical, not simply a metaphor of love attempted and failed (although it encompasses all and each of these), at heart I found it a treatise on writing and creativity, an exploration of how Imagination creates Reality. I tremendously enjoyed it and I know it will remain in my imagination while I ponder what tulpas I may create.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Drenning

    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was one weird, trippy tale. I enjoyed it immensely. If you are into strange stories that make you think, this one is for you. Loved the cat in the tale. 💕 This was really impressive for a debut novel. Hope the author writes more because I can only imagine how well she will do in the future. This book won't be for everyone as it has a lot of moments that you must interpret for yourself. Including the ending.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    The Hungry Ghost was unlike anything else I've read. Sam is recently divorced and not sure what she's looking for, but decides to go on a date to see an old student she kissed and crushed on just to see how it plays out. Madeline, the student, is absolutely smitten with Sam and is annoyed she's had to wait this long to get a date! Madeline is channeling her feelings into a novel she's writing about a hungry ghost. Sam is her hungry ghost and she wants to be gobbled up by her. The date goes well, The Hungry Ghost was unlike anything else I've read. Sam is recently divorced and not sure what she's looking for, but decides to go on a date to see an old student she kissed and crushed on just to see how it plays out. Madeline, the student, is absolutely smitten with Sam and is annoyed she's had to wait this long to get a date! Madeline is channeling her feelings into a novel she's writing about a hungry ghost. Sam is her hungry ghost and she wants to be gobbled up by her. The date goes well, but then Sam gets a phone call from her ex-husband, Peter, and reluctantly sets off to see if he's okay. This is where the book gets weird as hell! . . . This book was weird and suspenseful, but also fun. I really enjoyed being in the hungry ghost's thoughts and swirling through its feelings as it adjusted to its new body. My favorite parts were all from the ghost's perspective! I actually wanted more time being the hungry ghost than inside Peter's head or Madeline's thoughts. Jimmy and his Used Cat Emporium were fascinating to read about and very magical feeling. I want to go to there and adopt a cat! This review feels a bit disjointed and all over the place, but honestly, that's how I found the book. I liked it and enjoyed reading it, but I was confused about what was what and why things happened the way they did and were never fully explained. Or maybe they were and I just missed it? By the time I read the last page I was fully like, "wtf just happened?! It's over?!" and I do think that's a sign of good writing because I'm intrigued still, even though I'm confused.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    "Why did you get born as you? Why did I get born as...this?" asks the Hungry Ghost. The Hungry Ghost has something for everyone (almost). It is listed under horror, but I would say horror is a small part of this this genre-collage. Dalena Storm has provided us with the Asian myth and legend of the Hungry Ghost itself, mystic and dreamy magic of Sam's conciousness while in her coma, love....straight, lesbian mother/daughter love and the love of animals, the soul and afterlife and reincarnation, a "Why did you get born as you? Why did I get born as...this?" asks the Hungry Ghost. The Hungry Ghost has something for everyone (almost). It is listed under horror, but I would say horror is a small part of this this genre-collage. Dalena Storm has provided us with the Asian myth and legend of the Hungry Ghost itself, mystic and dreamy magic of Sam's conciousness while in her coma, love....straight, lesbian mother/daughter love and the love of animals, the soul and afterlife and reincarnation, and then there certainly is some suspense and a small amount of violence. I enjoyed this book. All in all, I found it to be uplifting due to the overtones of love and soul connections. Though it is fiction, I would recommend this to readers interested in the afterlife, outer-body experiences, reincarnation and soul travel. #Netgalley #TheHungryGhost

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    Storm’s debut novel is a curiosity within itself as it mixes genres and subgenres to become its own characterised genre. On paper or on book, in this case, this shouldn’t work but it remarkably works on so many levels. The book reads like a domestic fiction which leads us to characters who are unhappy with their lives. Failed relationships, new relationships that are having difficulty getting jump started and people trying for a little bit of happiness. The story unfolds in a very realistic mann Storm’s debut novel is a curiosity within itself as it mixes genres and subgenres to become its own characterised genre. On paper or on book, in this case, this shouldn’t work but it remarkably works on so many levels. The book reads like a domestic fiction which leads us to characters who are unhappy with their lives. Failed relationships, new relationships that are having difficulty getting jump started and people trying for a little bit of happiness. The story unfolds in a very realistic manner and not a lot really happens for the first half of the book. Although, not a lot really goes on, Storm shows finesse and style to show an artistic form when writing about really not a lot. She establishes mood and character development but where most authors would have you skimming the pages trying to move the story forward, but this is not the case here. I was so involved that I thoroughly enjoyed these moments. Once the story takes a turn to a more horror based drama, Storm plays a balancing act between the two fractions of the story and as this comes past the half way mark, it sometimes feel the story is pushed hard on the gas pedal and she needs to wind this up quickly. This is where the novel slightly loses some of what made the first half special. It is not a huge or enough to stop the reader in their tracks but think a few more pages to the book would have kept the poetic phrasing and storytelling on gear. I did love the twists and turns that the novel takes and was refreshing to see a novel that takes chances and tries something new. The only small criticism I have as stated above, it would have a total five star rating if the second half of the novel would have been given more room to breathe and would have loved to have more slow and characters driven commentary with Jimmy, Mickey, Peter life changes and Sam’s family. This was a slight miss opportunity. The characters are very strongly written and very likeable on a whole. The characters in first half are stronger than some introduced in the second half but they are very strong. They are very relatable and likeable and thoroughly enjoyed my time with these characters. The plot is definitely unique and works even better because of this. It shows that Storm has a talent to be able to juggle these odd different elements into an overall coherent story. This is a strong first novel from a new author who has made a promising debut that shows guts and originality. As it balances between different genres, this novel may have a slight difficulty of finding its audience as it is not horror enough for the horror audience and not basic fiction for the basic and the thriller or mystery aspects are not quite enough of these either. Saying this, anyone who takes a chance with this book would be presently surprise and find a truly unique experience. I enjoyed this book immensely and I was able to gobble the book up rather quickly to the point that I wish there was some more. Apart from some slight narrative problems that I listed above, this is a charming, fun and exciting debut and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorie

    The Hungry Ghost by Dalena Storm due 6-11-2019 Black Spot Books 4.5/5 0 #TheHungryGhost. #NetGalley Ghosts. Lesbians. Ouija. Kittens. HELL YEAH! Original creative, and diverse characters drive this unique and excellent ghost story. It has twists of eeriness and circumstance made this hard to put down- I read it in one sitting! Sam, a writing teacher in Boston, lays in a coma after a car accident with a semi. Her unconscious body awakens, but is possessed by a hungry ghost that has escaped the dark side The Hungry Ghost by Dalena Storm due 6-11-2019 Black Spot Books 4.5/5 0 #TheHungryGhost. #NetGalley Ghosts. Lesbians. Ouija. Kittens. HELL YEAH! Original creative, and diverse characters drive this unique and excellent ghost story. It has twists of eeriness and circumstance made this hard to put down- I read it in one sitting! Sam, a writing teacher in Boston, lays in a coma after a car accident with a semi. Her unconscious body awakens, but is possessed by a hungry ghost that has escaped the dark side to take host in her body as it looks for others to devour. Sam's alcoholic ex- husband, her lesbian lover and her family all come together to help her battle the ghost controlling her before she comes for them. The answer lies in a mysterious kitten, that can help them realize the secret to helping Sam. I totally enjoyed this story and look forward to more by Dalena Storm and Black Spot Books. A must read. Thanks to Black Spot Books, Dalena Storm and Netgalley for sending this e- book ARC for review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sheela

    Short and well written, this is a great read for a little something different. I really liked the story with its roots in the old chinese legend and the visuals of the ghost and its hunger felt vivid and creepy. I would have liked to get to know Sam a bit more before the accident, I didn't feel much connection between her or the other characters but with a lot of it just revolving around the ghost, I didn't really think about it until afterwards.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bin Blogs Books

    One of the strangest, most alluring tales of possession, regret and horror I've ever read, Dalena Storm offers up a world very similar to ours with a bizarre stretch of the imagination. I'd definitely recommend this book to those of you who'd like to read a good story just outside your comfort zone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I received this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I liked this story quite a bit. The paranormal aspect, ghosts feeding on human spirits, and spirits inhabiting other beings, was a bit farfetched, but all in all a fun summer read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Angela Wallace

    The hungry ghost by Delana Storm. This was a fantastic read with some great characters. I found it unique. Different. I liked Madeline and Sam's characters but I wasn't sure about Peter. Didnt know if I liked him or not. It didn't have the ending I liked but I did like the ending. 5*.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary

    Review to come. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather Bennett

    The Hungry Ghost was a bizarre well written book, that was very entertaining. The author manages to pull off this unique story and characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bunnie Bleaux

    What... what just happened? The Hungry Ghost was one of the most ridiculous books I have ever read. I swear I mean that in the best of ways. . Sam gets into a car accident and falls into a coma. As her loved ones gather around her each day wishing her to wake up, Sam is experiencing some sort of spiritual walkabout. Her “soul” decides to enter the body of an unborn kitten, and a malevolent spirit enters her body. This hungry ghost wants more than just hospital food, it craves flesh. . I seriously What... what just happened? The Hungry Ghost was one of the most ridiculous books I have ever read. I swear I mean that in the best of ways. . Sam gets into a car accident and falls into a coma. As her loved ones gather around her each day wishing her to wake up, Sam is experiencing some sort of spiritual walkabout. Her “soul” decides to enter the body of an unborn kitten, and a malevolent spirit enters her body. This hungry ghost wants more than just hospital food, it craves flesh. . I seriously can’t make this up. I requested this book through NetGalley after reading the synopsis and thinking, “oh this sounds like the campiest 70’s horror meets a LifeTime movie,” AND I WAS NOT DISSATISFIED. If you want some fun, soap opera type horror, pick this up June 11th. . Solid 🌟🌟🌟

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vigasia

    It was the most bizarre book I've read after The Library at Mount Chair some 2 years ago. And the most gender binding. At first I thought it will be a romance novel, but it happened to be more a horror mixed with paranormal thriller. Th story is about a woman - Sam- whose body, after serious accident, was inhabitet by a hungry ghost , while her soul got into a body of a little kitten. Yeah, i know it sounds weird and it is, but tha't not at all bad, because the story is not only about Sam, it's It was the most bizarre book I've read after The Library at Mount Chair some 2 years ago. And the most gender binding. At first I thought it will be a romance novel, but it happened to be more a horror mixed with paranormal thriller. Th story is about a woman - Sam- whose body, after serious accident, was inhabitet by a hungry ghost , while her soul got into a body of a little kitten. Yeah, i know it sounds weird and it is, but tha't not at all bad, because the story is not only about Sam, it's even more about people close to her, ex-husband Peter, mother Bianca and would be lover Madeline. All of the characters are great and reader can easily connect with them and start to care. But the most I liked Jimmy, the owner of Used Cat Emporium who made a home for stray cats. Story about him and Elvis actually broke my heart a little, because I have two cats and they're like family to me, so I know how he must felt. The prose is clear and short chapters makes the story easy to follow. I liked this book, it wasn't without flaws, but it's good read for people who like weird, sometimes scary things, and of course for every cat lover.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Roger Hyttinen

    I'm a sucker for a ghost story, so the title immediately caught my attention. This was not a typical ghost story however; rather, it was a possession story by an entity which is referred to by the narrator as a ghost. The entity here, the "Hungry Ghost" is based on Buddhist, Taoist, and other Eastern texts which describe a demon-like creature that is afflicted with insatiable hunger or thirst as a result of bad deeds or evil intent carried out in their lifetimes. They're typically described as h I'm a sucker for a ghost story, so the title immediately caught my attention. This was not a typical ghost story however; rather, it was a possession story by an entity which is referred to by the narrator as a ghost. The entity here, the "Hungry Ghost" is based on Buddhist, Taoist, and other Eastern texts which describe a demon-like creature that is afflicted with insatiable hunger or thirst as a result of bad deeds or evil intent carried out in their lifetimes. They're typically described as human-like wraiths with long necks and extended stomachs. This was my first exposure to this idea, and I felt that it made for a fascinating premise in this novel. The story follows a young woman named Sam who is in a coma following a car accident. We then follow the point of view of a ghost — a ghost who wanders aimlessly in a hellish purgatory-like world where it hungers and thirst but can never satisfy its cravings. The ghost manages to sneak through to our realm and occupy Sam's unconscious body, and to everyone's surprise, Sam awakens, though it doesn't take long for her loved ones to notice that there's something drastically wrong with her (apart from her incessant eating). She's definitely not the same person she was before her accident. As the ghost grows more powerful, the safety of Sam's loved ones becomes threatened, and it's up to them to somehow stop this hungry ghost from destroying them as well. What I especially enjoyed about this novel is experiencing the ghost's thoughts as it tried to get used to its new body and make sense of the world around it. I thought being in the ghost's thoughts was riveting, especially once it took control of Sam's body and was driven forward by its insatiable and animalistic appetite. Initially, this book had a paranormal thriller sort of vibe to it, but then during the second half, it changed direction and became more of a horror novel. I thought this was such a unique story with some interesting twists and turns and have never read anything like this previously. The premise of the hungry ghost is an entirely new twist on the ghost story genre, and I felt that it worked well in this story, though I wish the author had delved in a little deeper into the ghost's backstory and how it came into existence. This was a short novel - around 200 pages — so a bit more detail wouldn't have been unwelcome. The story is told from multiple POVs: Sam's alcoholic ex-husband Peter, Madeline, one of Sam's students who is smitten with Sam and is attempting to seduce her, and of course, the ghost. It's also worth mentioning that Madeline is writing a novel about a "Hungry Ghost" though I was unclear how Madeline's story related to the entity that occupied Sam's body, though I do believe we were supposed to assume the two were somehow connected. Perhaps Madeline's hunger for Sam allowed the entity to seep into our world? I guess that's for the reader to decide. All in all, I enjoyed this unique and suspenseful ghost story and thought that the blend of human horror and human heart is superb. This chillingly clever and spine-tingling story has compelling characters and an enthralling storyline that kept me turning the page. Horror novels can be hit or miss with me, and though I would have liked a little more backstory, I ended up enjoying this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Seven Jane

    Arriving just in time for Novella Month, with a diverse and LGBTQ cast of characters, is debut-author Dalena Storm’s The Hungry Ghost, a chilling tale of love, lust, and desire and the often blurred line between them. In The Hungry Ghost, a woman named Sam is caught between her alcoholic (and rather pathetic) ex-husband Peter; her young and determined would-be paramour, Madeline; and her own trepidations over letting anyone else inside her heart (or her newly-earned freedom, for that matter, bein Arriving just in time for Novella Month, with a diverse and LGBTQ cast of characters, is debut-author Dalena Storm’s The Hungry Ghost, a chilling tale of love, lust, and desire and the often blurred line between them. In The Hungry Ghost, a woman named Sam is caught between her alcoholic (and rather pathetic) ex-husband Peter; her young and determined would-be paramour, Madeline; and her own trepidations over letting anyone else inside her heart (or her newly-earned freedom, for that matter, being only six months out from a divorce). She’s been stretched too thin for too long, caught between obligations to her family, lovers, and work that are painfully familiar. The details of Sam’s life are vague and inconsequential, but it’s her condition that’s all too common. Who hasn’t felt bossed around, pushed around, and heaped upon when all they really want is space to breathe? Who hasn’t been faced with the uncomfortable position of having to navigate expectations thrown upon them by someone else—most particularly those who’ve claimed to love us—when they haven’t even fully come to terms with themselves? There is something insidious about that context—a darkness that lingers on the edges of your mind worrying over not only whether we are “good enough?” but “good enough to be desired?” and hints that the consequences of such desire may be more destructive than simply being enough. There is a nagging loneliness that permeates the pages of The Hungry Ghost, beginning in its first chapter as Sam dresses for a date with Madeline and persists in every page of what is a quick, paper cut-like read—sharp, stinging, and unrelenting. When an accident puts Sam in a coma, she is pushed out of her own body by a hungry ghost, a mainstay in Tibetan Buddhism (Storm has a degree in Asian Studies) that represents beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. Sam, meanwhile, finds a new emotional and physical security in the body of a newly-born kitten in a pet shop helmed by an African American orphan-turned-business owner with a big dose of magical predisposition and a tendency to name his cats after music’s greats—Macy Grey, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson. Those who ‘love’ Sam—Peter, Madeline, and her mother, Bianca—are forced to face the garish reality that the woman who Sam has become is not the woman they desperately wanted her to be—a realization as literal as it could be figurative, while Sam has to learn to let go of…well, everything. It’s a fight for Sam’s humanity in possibly the most disturbing way possible. With her limited role in her own story, as a protagonist Sam is something of a stand-in for each of us—a mirror reflection that gives us an opportunity to get outside of our own heads and come to terms with the weight of the world around us. At turns chilling and always-haunting, The Hungry Ghost is an essay on modern love and the dark side of desire that gives us the chance to reconsider the balance between our own needs and desire—whether it is “them” who are the hungry ghosts, or if, instead, it is us.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Mcquiston

    The concept of the hungry ghost has been around for centuries, mostly in eastern religions but has sneaked into Christianity as well. The concept is that a demon-like creature inhabits a realm of the living and crave so much that it destroys everything. This concept is prevalent and strongly illustrated in Dalena Storm's debut, "The Hungry Ghost." The story of Sam, a woman who is vulnerable to becoming a vessel for this hungry ghost through a coma, becomes the focus of the hungry ghost, a creatu The concept of the hungry ghost has been around for centuries, mostly in eastern religions but has sneaked into Christianity as well. The concept is that a demon-like creature inhabits a realm of the living and crave so much that it destroys everything. This concept is prevalent and strongly illustrated in Dalena Storm's debut, "The Hungry Ghost." The story of Sam, a woman who is vulnerable to becoming a vessel for this hungry ghost through a coma, becomes the focus of the hungry ghost, a creature that knows no limits around Sam's ex-husband, family, and lesbian love interest. What unfolds in a well written, fast paced novel that makes takes the reader on a trip that is worth taking. Ms. Storm has a novel that works on several different levels. There are questions about the afterlife, reincarnation, identity, and the stress of a family where things are just not quite right. A nuance that is well illustrated and might be missed is the way the family so badly wants Sam to be back after the coma that they are willing to neglect her behavior, say that it is part of her recovery, and the stress of her illness and her returning home in a completely different form is something that many families experience after a loved one has been sick for an extended period of time. I could feel the disappointment in the way they just wanted everything to be better but it was not going to happen. This is a fun novel with good, compelling characters, and a plot that does not get too out of hand considering how it is possible. Even though this is based on hungry ghosts portrayed in many religions (with some very strong ties through descriptions and actions), it is not something that is described in any way. It is as if this is not a story to educate on a religious concept but to use it as a story telling device. I like fiction that does this: fiction that leaves it to the readers to research what a hungry ghost might be, and once the reader finds out, it opens up an entirely new dimension to the story. This makes me like "The Hungry Ghost" even more. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    When Sam ‘s car is hit by a semi in the rain, she ends up in the hospital. She is in a coma. In another realm, a ghost searching for food sees a light and follows it into Sam’s body. Sam ends up being born as a kitten — the cat mother doesn’t want this kitten. Fortunately, Jimmy feeds and loves her. Jimmy is the proud owner of a shop that has second hand cats. Yes, they are cats that he has rescued off the streets. They are loved and fed by him among other cat necessities. Before Sam had her acc When Sam ‘s car is hit by a semi in the rain, she ends up in the hospital. She is in a coma. In another realm, a ghost searching for food sees a light and follows it into Sam’s body. Sam ends up being born as a kitten — the cat mother doesn’t want this kitten. Fortunately, Jimmy feeds and loves her. Jimmy is the proud owner of a shop that has second hand cats. Yes, they are cats that he has rescued off the streets. They are loved and fed by him among other cat necessities. Before Sam had her accident, she had been teaching a writing class where one of her female students have a crush on her. Sam has been kiss by her but Sam resists her. When her student finds out about Sam in a coma, she is upset. When Sam comes out of the coma, Sam acts strangely saying she is hungry. Only her student finds Sam’s new behavior strange. Why? Her ex-husband visits her in the hospital but doesn’t seem to think she is different. Her relatives including her mother doesn’t think she is strange. Will they realize Sam isn’t Sam? Will they find the Sam they knew? A novel that has love, fear and horror mixed together in a story that flows smoothly making the unbelievable believable. All the characters have a purpose in this novel. It’s a novel that kept my interest throughout the story. It was a fun novel to read. I enjoyed seeing how the family and friends responded to Sam. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    I am giving The Hungry Ghost 3/5 stars. The premise of the book is that there is a ghost that enters into the body of an unconscious woman named Sam. The main reason that I give this book a rating that I would consider to be average is due to how obscure this whole story tended to be. There is the definition of obscure that is inevitable when dealing with things like ghosts, comas and dreams because paranormal material can be bizarre. Hungry Ghosts definitely delves into the category of being ob I am giving The Hungry Ghost 3/5 stars. The premise of the book is that there is a ghost that enters into the body of an unconscious woman named Sam. The main reason that I give this book a rating that I would consider to be average is due to how obscure this whole story tended to be. There is the definition of obscure that is inevitable when dealing with things like ghosts, comas and dreams because paranormal material can be bizarre. Hungry Ghosts definitely delves into the category of being obscure for bizarre content. However I read A LOT of horror novels and supernatural horror is one of my absolute favorite subgenres of horror. As a result, my classifying a story as being obscure should be a red flag for how well the story holds together. The reason why I give this book the descriptor of being obscure is due to the constant sense of asking what is the author doing with this particular plot. Mystery and intrigue keeps me reading, however if I am just downright confused about how all of the different components are supposed to tie together it starts to feel like the plot has not developed enough to my satisfaction. The plot was fast paced enough for it to be a quick read that was enjoyable enough to finish and to fill my time. If you are in the mood for a quick read that veers in the direction of obscure this book will be suitable for you. My personal opinion is that it is just okay but can help satisfy the need for an obscure supernatural story.. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gini Rainey

    This is one interesting, spell-binding, ghost-type book that will definitely hold your attention. What happens when a ghost has been a ghost for a very long time and hasn’t had much to eat? Well, apparently it gets very hungry and being a ghost, it can’t eat food on its own. So according to Ms. Storm it does the next best thing. It finds a host body of someone on the way out and makes itself at home. This is what happened to poor Samantha who was in an unfortunate and tragic accident. Her unsuspe This is one interesting, spell-binding, ghost-type book that will definitely hold your attention. What happens when a ghost has been a ghost for a very long time and hasn’t had much to eat? Well, apparently it gets very hungry and being a ghost, it can’t eat food on its own. So according to Ms. Storm it does the next best thing. It finds a host body of someone on the way out and makes itself at home. This is what happened to poor Samantha who was in an unfortunate and tragic accident. Her unsuspecting family, her ex-husband, and her want-to-be new gay lover find out not too long after the invasion that Sam is no longer her old self when she comes out of her coma. Instead, she is now the new Sam with an insatiable hunger for food and other things. While I am not one to usually enjoy ghosty books, I definitely have to admit this was one really good read. In fact, I believe I read it in record time, thanks to the great character-building and intrigue Dalena has created in her recently released, all-consuming novel. This book will keep you on the edge of your chair up to the very interesting and surprising turn of events on the final pages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luise

    I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a fair review. The author bio on the back of the book says she studied fiction but enjoys the space between genres. This book is just that - somewhere between paranormal/thriller/mystical/horror/folklore. For the most part, it works! The story was very slow to start, I thought, but once the ‘hungry ghost’ escapes its purgatory it’s full on to the end! I loved the folklore style element and the inclusion of ‘Jimmy’s Used Cats’ - what I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a fair review. The author bio on the back of the book says she studied fiction but enjoys the space between genres. This book is just that - somewhere between paranormal/thriller/mystical/horror/folklore. For the most part, it works! The story was very slow to start, I thought, but once the ‘hungry ghost’ escapes its purgatory it’s full on to the end! I loved the folklore style element and the inclusion of ‘Jimmy’s Used Cats’ - what a great name for a rehoming centre! Bit of a criticism is that there wasn’t really an explanation for what happened and how it came about, which was frustrating - it was a fairly short read so I don’t think it would have been spoiled with a bit more meat (no pun intended!) - and all of the relationships were dysfunctional which made it hard to root for any particular character! Overall a fun read of a interesting mix of genres, particularly recommend to fans of folklore and paranormal.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Cavanah

    A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Boston, a mysterious new kitten has just been born who holds the key to understanding what has happened to Sam. Will Sam’s loved on A hungry ghost escapes from a dark realm into the human world, where it enters the unconscious body of a woman named Sam. When Sam appears to miraculously awaken from her accident-induced coma, her lesbian lover, alcoholic ex-husband, and well-meaning family must come together to try and stop the ghost from devouring everything Sam once loved. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Boston, a mysterious new kitten has just been born who holds the key to understanding what has happened to Sam. Will Sam’s loved ones be able to put things back in their proper place, or will the ghost destroy them first? Thank you to net galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book it was a first time reading anything from this author and it was interesting

  26. 4 out of 5

    Moreau

    The Hungry Ghost is gorgeous, imaginative, poetical, and a fast read. It dodges all the genre cliches to produce something fresh. The cover is a bit misleading. It is more magical realism than thriller. That is to say it reminded me more of García Márquez or Haruki Murakami than Stephen King. A very promising debut novel from a new writer which bodes well for future work. Plus each character, while flawed, turns out to have something good about them in the end. A book with a real heart. I will b The Hungry Ghost is gorgeous, imaginative, poetical, and a fast read. It dodges all the genre cliches to produce something fresh. The cover is a bit misleading. It is more magical realism than thriller. That is to say it reminded me more of García Márquez or Haruki Murakami than Stephen King. A very promising debut novel from a new writer which bodes well for future work. Plus each character, while flawed, turns out to have something good about them in the end. A book with a real heart. I will be watching this author and looking forward to her future books going forward.

  27. 5 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

    I got an ADC from Netgalley and Black Spot Books for review. This is a very short novel, I read it in a couple of hours yesterday. The protagonist is possessed by a cannibal(?) ghost, after a terrible car accident (semi vs compact car). There's a twist involving a cat. I didn't understand much of anything else that happened. Maybe if I were more familiar with Buddhism or something, it would have made more sense?? IDK...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karlen

    *An ARC of this book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.* This is a creative and creepy little ghost story! The characters are surprisingly complex for as short as the book is and I appreciated that kind of attention from the author. Bianca, the mother, is a real roller-coaster of infuriating and completely sympathetic, as mothers truly can be. The ending was completely satisfying. A quick, weird, and fun debut novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allanah Korin

    I went into this book with the idea that it was going to be a corny horror book that would just be fun to read. While it does have some silly and corny scenes, that just added to the atmosphere of the novel. Dalena Storm has the ability to make you laugh at one part and then gasping in a second as the mood starkly shifts. Frankly, the novel was thrilling and I couldn’t put it down. Every second I wanted to know what happens next. Storm draws readers into the world she has created and it feels li I went into this book with the idea that it was going to be a corny horror book that would just be fun to read. While it does have some silly and corny scenes, that just added to the atmosphere of the novel. Dalena Storm has the ability to make you laugh at one part and then gasping in a second as the mood starkly shifts. Frankly, the novel was thrilling and I couldn’t put it down. Every second I wanted to know what happens next. Storm draws readers into the world she has created and it feels like you are watching what is happening rather than just reading it. The characters are well developed and I loved the story overall. Some scenes had me rolling my eyes at how silly they were but it definitely did not take away from the novel overall. There is so much warmth in the book but also shock. The Hungry Ghost has immediately become one of my favorite novels and I want to reread it immediately.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aida Alberto

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley all opinions are my own. If you are in the mood for something different and off beathe pick this up. The writing is spot on and the story engaging enough to keep you turning the pages. Happy reading! #The Hungry ghosts #Netgalley

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