Sakima, New York, a sleepy, idyllic city nestled in the Hudson Valley, a place where everyone knows each other, families look after the highly prized community garden, and the crime rate is so low that Dr. Laura Powell, the police department’s medical examiner, spends most of her time tending to her own private medical practice.
That changes drastically the day a local high school student is found dead, an apparent suicide. Called in to perform the autopsy, Laura uncovers a strange growth inside the body, composed of a mysterious substance she can’t identify. Enlisting the aid of her scientist ex-boyfriend, Booker Coates, Laura launches an investigation that leads to a horrifying discovery.
Something deadly has taken root in Sakima, an organism whose toxic influence spreads like a disease through the population, dangerously altering minds and dominating wills, a ruthless intelligence that demands obedience. As more and more townspeople fall under its control, forming violent mobs to seek out those who remain uninfected, Laura and Booker must find a way to stop it before they become its next victims. But how can they stop something they don’t understand?
With The Hungry Earth, Nicholas Kaufmann, co-author of the bestselling horror novel 100 Fathoms Below with Steven L. Kent, launches a chilling new series of science thrillers featuring Medical Examiner Laura Powell.
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Average rating from 13 members
If I had to sum up the plot in a snazzy tagline, to a degree I'd say it's Kay Scarpetta meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The small town of Sakima, NY, thought its biggest problem was the developer who wanted to tear up their park and build expensive condos. But the beloved community garden in the park has something worse in it - a virulent fungus whose spores are taking over those who breath it in. What starts with a teen girl inexplicably leaping to her death, town doctor/medical examiner Laura Powell is called in for the autopsy. When she finds strange fibrous growths inside the body, she calls in her ex, recently returned to town botany expert Booker Coates for help. They soon discover evidence of some strange fungus, its brown spores showing up everywhere. Before long it's up to them to stop the spread before the whole town is taken over. When the spores begin to spread and more townspeople become infected the pace quickens more and more. As Laura and Booker race to find the truth behind the outbreak, danger closes in on them from every side as the threat of infection spreading everywhere increases. While it starts more scientific-ish, it eventually becomes like a popcorn action flick. From about the midpoint of the book forward, the action ramps up, the story becomes more tense, albeit somewhat ridiculous. And you learn more about fungi than you probably ever planned. In the end, it's intense and crazy and a reasonably fun read. 3.5/5*
This was a fun, kind of icky, blast of a horror read! The book feels like old-school horror in all the right ways – great characters, dangerous situations, and just a touch of squelch. It’s a popcorn read, but an adrenaline-filled one as you join our characters on a race to survive. While there weren’t a lot of surprises when it came to the fate of our characters or the who or what that was responsible for everything, I really didn’t care. I just raced through the book until the satisfying ending. Happy with this one and would love to read the author in the future! *ARC provided via Net Galley
Something deadly has taken root in Sakima, an organism whose toxic influence spreads like a disease through the population, dangerously altering minds and dominating wills, a ruthless intelligence that demands obedience. As more and more townspeople fall under its control, forming violent mobs to seek out those who remain uninfected, Laura and Booker must find a way to stop it before they become its next victims. But how can they stop something they don’t understand? It’s been a while since I have read a horror novel in one sitting just because it is sooooo good and I have to know how it turns out but this is exactly what happened with this novel. Kaufmann is the master of tension and suspense and in The Hungry Earth has created a slow burner that ends with a ‘bang’ at the end! I loved the characters, from Laura the local ME battling with her unrequited love for Booker, the eccentric academic who’s recently returned to town to Victor the crazy ex barmy army man with a penchant for the hard stuff and even Adam the nasty ex who can’t take no for an answer. Kaufmann has taken a very simple concept and made it absolutely terrifying, not only because of the way he develops his story of terror but because it feels so visceral and full of potential that it could actually happen. Bravo my man… I will def be checking out some more of your work. #bookreviewsbymrsc #thehungryearth #nicholaskaufmann
I really enjoyed this. The Hungry Earth follows the town of Sakima, New York as the land are people are taken over by a parasitic strain of fungus. The characters are interesting and fully-realized. They have thoughts, emotions, and drive that makes sense individually. The star of the book is the fungus though and the information associated with it. I felt like I learned a lot while reading this, which I always find fun. I highly recommend this. **I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher!
I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley for a review. A very good horror novel, will never look at mushrooms the same again, loved it
This title will be featured in Fangoria magazine's October 2021 issue. Please contact this reviewer for a PDF copy of the write up. It will be sent to the appropriate party, once it is available.
D. Laura Powell has been called in todo an autopsy on teenage girl. She. Discovers a strange growth in her boy. She calls her scientist ex-boyfriend Booker for his opinion on he strange material. She finds evidence that this strange material is really an organism whose toxic influence spreads like a disease that spreads quickly throughout the population. It causes hallucinations and strict obedience from the master known as “God o Dirt.” Dr. Powell and Booker evidently to leave town in order to get help stopping the spread the disease. Will they leave? Will they get help in time? N exquisitely thought out and well written horror novel by the horror. There is pleanty action ad adventure in the story. I couldn’t stop reading it. I wbbas fascinated with the “God of Dirt.” Somehow this god was able to communicate with his followers.h. The followers did whatever he told them to do. It’s book ha has me wondering if something like this could happen. I hope not.
What is a fungal-pocalypse you ask? 'The Hungry Earth' is a walk through a mutant spore outbreak in the Hudson Valley, complete with psychedelic internal growths and radical deaths. This is the third eco-horror this year alone with a plotline involving bizarre plant/fungal infection of some sort. (Sorrowland being one of them. The other I sadly didn't finish. This book was by far my favorite of the three.) At 186 pgs, it's a quick but interest grabbing read. I liked the characters and the pacing. I'll definitely be looking up Nicholas Kaufmann's other books. This cover is also eye-catching. Bravo to the artist. People are acting strange in Sakima NY. Dr. Laura Powell is the town doctor who doubles as a medical examiner. When bodies start turning up with strange organic filaments inside and people start behaving oddly, she's forced to call in ex-boyfriend Booker Coates for help. Paleozoic Era God fungus is plaguing their community and can it be stopped? Thanks to Crossroad Press for my egalley copy. "Cicadas spend seventeen years underground when they’re in their pre-adult form. When they finally burrow to the surface as adults, some of them encounter Massospora spores in the soil... About a week after the cicada’s initial infection, things turn gruesome. The bottom half of the cicada falls off, including its genitals. In its place is a white plug of fungal spores , which the cicada proceeds to sprinkle on other cicadas like a salt shaker, repeating the cycle of infection. The fungus also forces adult male cicadas to try to mate with everything they encounter, whether it’s another cicada or not, whether it’s female or not, but since their genitalia are gone, all they do is shake more deadly spores onto their unwilling partners.” What a great premise for a book. "The future is fungus" The Hungry Earth by Nicholas Kaufmann releases October 5th. Be sure to put it on your tbr list.
Do you like plants/fungus run amok? Do you like some gross body horror? Do you like a cast of varied, interesting characters? Do you like a simple, yet well done and very entertaining, story? Well, if you answered "yes" to most of those questions, do I have a book for you! The Hungry Earth by Nicholas Kaufmann tells the story of a small town in New York that finds itself suddenly in the strange, violent throes of hysteria. Townspeople are turning crazed, violent, and quite fond of the community garden. I won't say more, although I think the summary of the book says more anyway. As I've said, if you love plant horror, this one does a body good! That amazing cover, of a skull growing mushrooms out of it, immediately caught my eye. It also does a great job of explaining the basic premise of the book. I'm a fan of Kaufmann's from his enthralling and scary "100 Fathoms Below", that I read a few years ago. I knew I was getting into a book I would enjoy, and boy did I! It had some tense moments, some moments of scary discovery, some moments of grossness, and some nice, tender character moments. I'm not the best at writing book reviews (and for a very long time, I never did), and I typically have a tough time articulating my thoughts and getting pure emotion down into words. But I will say, this is a horror book that all fans of horror (and ESPECIALLY those of the subgenres listed above) will really like. This is my first Netgalley review, so please excuse it if it isn't quite so academic and scholarly. Big thanks to Netgalley and the author for an opportunity to read this wonderful book in advance.
ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review OK so this book took me completely by surprise. It was such a great sci-fi read with a little lost lovers reuniting and saving the day thrown in. The overall plot isn't all that original but the author certainly went a long way with details and making it their own. A lot of the science went over my head but it all seemed rather legit and plausible to me. A small New York town is facing losing their beloved park to an overpriced condominium complex. The mayor sells the land under the towns nose and is led by some rich city investors. Only losing their park is not the only concern as something that's been lying in wait underground is re-awoken when chemicals are added to the soil. At first it only affects a few young teens but in no time (days) the dangers from the fungus become known and the whole town is either in danger or already infected. The story was fairly up beat and rather exciting from start to finish. Sci-fi fans will really appreciate this, especially the way the book ends. The spores and fungus have been eradicated..... right?!?!?
The Hungry Earth [Blurb goes here] This one was interesting, mostly in a 'what if I group a bunch of different stories in one book?' Way. The story lifts up and becomes a page turner about half into it. It is -sort of- a zombie story. One where a fungi takes over a small town's population. The people wrecking havoc left and right, trying to spread the dominion of the fungi. As with some reviews, there's a big BUT here. BUT the characters where carbon copies from other stories. The town's bully that ends up working in the sheriff's department. The long lost love interest that suddenly returns to town. The bad guy you instantly know is going to screw the rest of the characters and then does. I could go on, with every character in the story. All of them cardboard thin, reacting to what's happening and not doing much about it. Even the story, a cliché. Still, when the action starts, you soon forgive the author, and enjoy the thrill ride. Thank you for the advanced copy!
Enjoyed this book by Nicholas Kaufmann. Scientific horror story are hard to write, and this one was great. Enjoyed and cared for the characters, and the story had great pacing. Can't wait for more from Nicholas Kaufmann. #TheHungryEarth #NetGalley
First a story to show how this book affected me. While taking pictures for my review, a mushroom touched the bottom right of my Kindle. I went to snap the pic and the pages on my Kindle started flipping. Quite rapidly. It was like the mushroom was trying to absorb the information within the story. Trying to learn, and plan. So if I start hallucinating, talking about the voices in my head, and saying that The God of Dirt is calling me, please join me. Inhale the spores, your pains will go away and all of your dreams can come true. This book takes off quickly and soon has you engaged with the characters and the story. There is good scientific explanations and gore throughout. Dr. Laura Powell has found herself treating a small town for multiple odd cases of psilocybin (magic mushroom) use. All of the cases have the people saying that “it was calling them” and “they have to go to it.” I don’t want to get into too much more because of spoilers. What is causing this? How is it spreading so quickly? Is anybody safe? Or are we all doomed to be controlled by The God of Dirt?