Moon of the Crusted Snow

Moon of the Crusted Snow

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision."--provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, ECW Press,, [2018]
Description: 218 pages ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781770414006
1770414002
Branch Call Number: Rice

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d
DracAthos
Sep 18, 2019

2019 Evergreen Nominated Title

I enjoyed this novel. It was written well enough and the characters were engaging. I enjoyed looking into the life of a Northern First Nations tribe. The character building was fascinating and then blending it into a creepy thriller like Rice did?
Pretty good stuff. He kept you gripped to the page as you wonder how the village would survive and if the characters you liked would survive.

The ending was a bit of a shock and not what I was expecting.
It was a very good debut novel.

p
pmustard
Sep 06, 2019

This is an fairly good book. It's a bit simplistic in writing style and needed some critical editing to get rid of some repetitious bits (the moose hunting rituals for example; we got it the first time!! no need to explain the whole mindfulness thing every time you shoot a moose!).
I'm a bit surprised it's not classified as youth fiction and it is written at a pretty basic level; not a criticism necessarily, but it's a pretty easy, fast read and would be a good read for junior high school students for example.
As for the plot; it's an interesting twist on a oft-told subject, seen from different eyes though. I did like that the narrator wasn't a completely sympathetic figure and admitted to flaws. The "villain" was an almost cartoonishly dastardly dude, not really much nuance there!
Still, an enjoyable and light read.

BPLpicks Aug 23, 2019

In this novel, a remote northern Anishinaabe community loses cell phone reception and power. People’s initial annoyance grows to unease and slowly builds to fear then panic as the days get colder, supplies dwindle, and the community must find a way to survive. Division grows between those who have learned traditional ways and outsiders with their own objectives. The remote setting and First Nations perspective make this book stand out amongst the many apocalyptic stories popular today. Richly atmospheric and unsettling, I will be thinking about it for some time.

Tigard_AnnmarieA Feb 12, 2019

A dystopian tale from the perspective of a member of an indigenous tribe in northern Canada. One day, electrical and telephone services go out, and grocery deliveries don't come. As the harsh winter approaches, the tribal leaders aren't too alarmed since they still have their pre-electrical grid generators and a stockpile of canned goods, but call on the community to pull together to make it through until they get reconnected to the grid. The gradual reveal of the collapse of greater society, set against the tribal relationships, cohesion, and tensions, and the turn of the seasons in the harsh landscape, is quietly breathtaking. Then, white refugees arrive by snowmobile, girls are found dead in the snow, and a new element of tension is introduced. A riveting read and a great new voice.

SCL_Justin Feb 07, 2019

I really liked the slow burn of this story, and the realism and the focus on the community rather than whatever the calamity actually is. But I'd really recommend against reading the summary provided on bibliocommons. That makes the drama seem more direct (and traditional post-apocalyptic) than the book actually depicts. It was a realistic story and ends realistically, but I feel like that's at the expense of the drama you might expect. Which isn't bad, just different. For a story that wasn't very concerned with a consciously artful presentation in favour of straightforward writing and description, I feel like the ending and epilogue's loose ends make for a tonal mismatch, but that doesn't spoil a decent book.

liljables Feb 05, 2019

If you love the idea of an Indigenous apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story, but the fantasy elements of The Marrow Thieves aren't your style, you should pick up The Moon of the Crusted Snow. This novel is terrifyingly realistic - it's not action-packed, but the author's ability to build slow, agonizing tension is incredible. It'll also leave you wondering: how would I survive if I was suddenly without access to store-bought food and electricity?

(Just so we're clear, though, you should still read The Marrow Thieves.)

l
lola_jane
Jan 05, 2019

Thought-provoking, atmospheric and unsettling. A book that will stay with me for some time.

SPL_Shauna Dec 29, 2018

Full review available under Summary

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Bookworm_112
Aug 19, 2019

Bookworm_112 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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SPL_Shauna Jan 02, 2019

Just as late fall is turning to brutal winter, Evan Whitesky's reserve in Northern Ontario begins losing utilities. First, cell phones and satellite service go down, then the power grid fails. While initially unnerving, the community mostly laughs it off; service to the reserve has never been good, and they still have enough backup in food and fuel to make a go of it for a short while.

However, as they get their diesel generators in place and distribute food, it becomes clear something has gone very wrong down south. No one has heard anything from Toronto or any nearby urban centres; and two students return, haunted, from a nearer college to confirm that help is definitely not on its way. Eerily, the students are followed by a very large white man, Justin Scott, who promises he can help the community survive even as he begs assistance from the reserve. They grudgingly give him a place to stay.

As the winter wears on and supplies wear thin, Scott's influence over some in the community grows, along with a general sense of menace. Evan and other community leaders try their best to prevent death and desecration. But, dwindling resources and Scott's manipulation spiral together, and crisis hits just as winter runs deepest, throwing the community's survival into question.

Fast-paced, unsettling in every sense of the word, and grounded in Anishinaabe cultural traditions, *Moon of the Crusted Snow* is highly recommended to any fans of gritty, post-apocalyptic fiction.

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