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With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community loses communication. Days later, it goes dark. Cut off from the urban realm of the south, many of its people become passive and confused. They eventually descend into panic as the food supply dwindles, with few hunters left in the First Nation. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to m With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community loses communication. Days later, it goes dark. Cut off from the urban realm of the south, many of its people become passive and confused. They eventually descend into panic as the food supply dwindles, with few hunters left in the First Nation. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives from a city in the south to escape a crumbling society. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership is faced with the dilemma of allowing the urban refugees to live with them on their territory. 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 tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again, while they grapple with a grave decision.


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With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community loses communication. Days later, it goes dark. Cut off from the urban realm of the south, many of its people become passive and confused. They eventually descend into panic as the food supply dwindles, with few hunters left in the First Nation. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to m With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community loses communication. Days later, it goes dark. Cut off from the urban realm of the south, many of its people become passive and confused. They eventually descend into panic as the food supply dwindles, with few hunters left in the First Nation. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives from a city in the south to escape a crumbling society. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership is faced with the dilemma of allowing the urban refugees to live with them on their territory. 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 tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again, while they grapple with a grave decision.

30 review for Moon of the Crusted Snow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    Once in a while I read a post apocalyptic novel, as a change from my usual fare of contemporary fiction and historical fictional and the occasional memoir. They are almost always thought provoking and this one was as well. This is not a complicated book to read. It’s short and the writing is sparse, but it is complex and haunting. On the Rez in this community of Anishinaabe in northern Canada, away from the cities, the people seem to manage to live their lives, feed their families and in some wa Once in a while I read a post apocalyptic novel, as a change from my usual fare of contemporary fiction and historical fictional and the occasional memoir. They are almost always thought provoking and this one was as well. This is not a complicated book to read. It’s short and the writing is sparse, but it is complex and haunting. On the Rez in this community of Anishinaabe in northern Canada, away from the cities, the people seem to manage to live their lives, feed their families and in some ways keep some of the things from the old ways, some of the language, some of the rituals surrounding hunting and looking out for the elderly. Things are not always perfect and they have had their share of tragedies, but life goes on here until the power goes out and cell phone service dies. All that is left is the emergency generator, but there is only so much gas to keep them going as winter is upon them. People are beginning to panic and the store shelves are pretty much empty. They hunt and tap into the food reserves and share with neighbors. With no means of communicating, they don’t have any idea of what has happened or why. The circumstances are dire and get worse as intruders from the south, come there to survive, seeking refuge, bringing their own desperation as they attempt the unthinkable means of survival. Even though the book is not long, there is quite a cast of characters, mainly focusing on Evan and Nicole and their family. Auntie Aileen, the oldest in the community was perhaps the wisest and my favorite with her knowledge and hope. “The world isn’t ending,” she went on. “Our world isn’t ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash came into our original home down south on that bay and took it from us. That was our world. When the Zhaagnaash cut down all the trees and fished all the fish and forced us out of there, that’s when our world ended. They made us come all the way up here. This is not our homeland! But we had to adapt and luckily we already knew how to hunt and live on the land. We learned to live here... But then they followed us up here and started taking our children away from us! That’s when our world ended again. And that wasn’t the last time. We’ve seen what this . . . what’s the word again?” “Apocalpyse.” “Yes, apocalypse. We’ve had that over and over. But we always survived. We’re still here. And we’ll still be here, even if the power and the radios don’t come back on and we never see any white people ever again.” After a time, Evan and Nicole make a decision on how to move forward. After reading the beautifully written, sad epilogue, I was left with perhaps a drop of hope, but still not knowing what their fate would be. A novel of perhaps warning, but also one that made me reflect on the past. I received an advanced copy of this book from ECW Press.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Real Rating: 3.25* of five A tale of the end of the world as we know it. The twist of the tail: The storytellers are those left out of the world that's ending. Evan and Nicole live on the rez all the way north in Ontario, ever so close to the Inuit lands surrounding Hudson Bay. Author Waubgeshig Rice is a First Nations native from a less-northerly band than Evan and Nicole's, so I was ready to believe him when he told me the details of his novel's land. I needn't even have considered it. I felt I Real Rating: 3.25* of five A tale of the end of the world as we know it. The twist of the tail: The storytellers are those left out of the world that's ending. Evan and Nicole live on the rez all the way north in Ontario, ever so close to the Inuit lands surrounding Hudson Bay. Author Waubgeshig Rice is a First Nations native from a less-northerly band than Evan and Nicole's, so I was ready to believe him when he told me the details of his novel's land. I needn't even have considered it. I felt I could go to Thunder Bay, Ontario, get in a car or on a snowmobile, and I'd find the Whitesky clan soon enough. We meet Evan Whitesky as he's butchering his last moose of the season, field dressing the huge bull because it's too much for him to handle alone. He's lucky, he feels, to have grown up more in tune with the old hunting ways; he'd've been sad and guilty if he'd had to abandon this huge meat source from inability to move it to a truck by himself. He offers sacred tobacco...the store-bought kind, dammit, he forgot the uncured stash!...in thanks for the life he was allowed to take that he may feed his family, his citified little brother and his aging parents and the members of the band whose hunting luck wasn't as good as his. And that's how we meet the main PoV character in a post-apocalyptic story. Yes indeed, this'll be a good read! It was, it was...I particularly approve of the extremely limited sense we're given of just exactly *what* happened to the world of the white people. The difference between before and after is really a matter of degree for the characters in Author Rice's tender care. /irony Much happens. Two young men come back from college in white people-land with a harrowing report of what happened when things changed, but they had no clue as to what had actually occurred. White people show up on the rez looking for safety. Several conflicting voices are heard regarding the advisability of helping strangers in the Brave New World. Shots are fired, bodies are disposed of, things get very upsetting. But...and this is why I'm not giving the book more stars...the collapse of outer Canada and the fractures of inner reservationland aren't made much of. That means I see characters responding to...to...stress, bad people's bad actions, the atavistic pummeling of the need to protect and guard and hoard who and what you love. Great. Not enough. I, as a jaundiced old party of one, want the responses to require balancing what's lost by responding not being in any way proactive against what's gained by acting at last. I was not as invested, therefore, as I'd need to be to give this a four on up-star rating. But don't let that put you off getting this book. I'm very glad I read it. I am deeply convinced of Rice's rightness in creating the world of the rez. The words used that're not translated will get in some readers' way. I am not one of those. At every turn the meaning of the words is made clear by context or by the English response of another character to what was said. Treat yourself to a trip to the northern forest. You and I should probably limit our stay to a book's length. This is hard country with hard living for its people. Apocalypses really only hurt those with a lot to lose, and Evan's family has more to gain than to lose from the end of the world as white folks know it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    "Evan grabbed his sunglasses that lay beside his useless cellphone on the table and perched them on top of his mesh fishing hat. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the television on the wall across the room. It had been off for almost two days now. He thought of how much he had paid for both the phone and the TV on a trip to the city back in the spring, and he was annoyed that he currently could use neither. 'Think it's the weather?' Evan had asked Isaiah while they worked on the moose. 'Do "Evan grabbed his sunglasses that lay beside his useless cellphone on the table and perched them on top of his mesh fishing hat. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the television on the wall across the room. It had been off for almost two days now. He thought of how much he had paid for both the phone and the TV on a trip to the city back in the spring, and he was annoyed that he currently could use neither. 'Think it's the weather?' Evan had asked Isaiah while they worked on the moose. 'Doubt it. Probably just bad receivers. We can never have nice things on the rez!'" Moon of the Crusted Snow is a fascinating look at what happens in a post-apocalyptic world for the people who are so isolated from everyone else that it takes them weeks to realize something has seriously gone wrong. Just as the first snow of the winter starts to fall, the small Anishinaabe community in the far north of Ontario is cut off from the rest of the world when their power lines go down and the communication lines stop transmitting. Used to power outages, dropped communication lines, and delayed food shipments, the community has some back up plans in place: an old generator that can power the community, wood furnaces to supplement the electric heat, and plenty of food stores that have been put up through hunting and fishing to prepare for the long winter. It's not until some family members manage to return home from the south that the community realizes something has gone terribly wrong in the outside world. This story is not the typical high-action-thriller that I've grown to expect from anything described as post-apocalyptic. Instead, it's more of an examination of a Native community struggling to figure out its identity in a modern world. Being cut off from the everyday conveniences most of us take for granted affects some of the people in the community more than others. There is some tension built when some outsiders make their way to the community, but for me it resolves in a kind of anticlimactic way. The true beauty of this story is in the quiet and unassuming way author Waubgeshig Rice portrays day-to-day life on the reserve, and how those who embrace a more traditional life still struggled, but seemed to be more at peace. I loved being introduced to Anishinaabe phrases and traditions, and I can imagine that this would be a powerful listen as an audiobook. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who'd like to have a glimpse into the lives of those living in the far north without having to wear a parka and toque. Thanks so much to NetGalley and ECW Press for providing me with a DRC of this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    Books about a present-day apocalypse are usually about the crumbling of societal structures and social orders, read a few and the beats start to feel familiar. But Rice approaches the apocalypse with a different kind of view, a stellar example of how a non-white point of view can expand and add to a genre. In Moon of the Crusted Snow the apocalypse comes on slowly and things fall apart differently because the Anishinaabe community it takes place among has been exiled from traditional society. As Books about a present-day apocalypse are usually about the crumbling of societal structures and social orders, read a few and the beats start to feel familiar. But Rice approaches the apocalypse with a different kind of view, a stellar example of how a non-white point of view can expand and add to a genre. In Moon of the Crusted Snow the apocalypse comes on slowly and things fall apart differently because the Anishinaabe community it takes place among has been exiled from traditional society. As an elder says late in the book, "Our world isn't ending. It already ended." They have already lost their home and their homeland, they have already had to learn to survive in the new world of the reservation, cut off from society. Here, losing power and phone service doesn't incite mass chaos because utilities to the reservation are so poor that outages are common, with services still a new thing not everyone is used to yet. The book follows Evan, a young man with a young family. When things start to go wrong he doesn't worry for his own family, he has been brought up in the community traditions, he still hunts to help provide for his family. His job in public works keeps him informed and involved with keeping the reservation running, but winter is starting and life much farther north than their homeland is very different than the life their ancestors had. For the first half of the book, we follow the community as they slowly learn their predicament and slowly adjust. But it doesn't stay as idyllic as it starts. With the rest of the world in chaos, it is inevitable that the same people who removed them from their land are now going to try to benefit from the ways of the First Nations people when their own ways have failed. And the community must decide whether they will take in outsiders or keep to themselves. The rhythms of this book will feel different than most thrillers, but some portions were incredibly tense and I sped through it in two sittings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moon Of The Crusted Snow is a very different sort of apocalyptic novel, with the characters being First Nations, and the setting being a Northern Ontario reserve. Because of this, it kind of flips the 'genre' (if you want to call it that) on its head. It's less outrageous and aggressive in the usual sense, and stripped of the usual cliches, the token characters, and the action packed scenes that often come with these stories and, to me, more often than not feel empty. Without these things fillin Moon Of The Crusted Snow is a very different sort of apocalyptic novel, with the characters being First Nations, and the setting being a Northern Ontario reserve. Because of this, it kind of flips the 'genre' (if you want to call it that) on its head. It's less outrageous and aggressive in the usual sense, and stripped of the usual cliches, the token characters, and the action packed scenes that often come with these stories and, to me, more often than not feel empty. Without these things filling up the book, there's more room for what I personally find interesting: the practical day-to-day realities of a community who are now faced with what comes next in an apocalyptic existence. The writing is incredibly evocative and it comes so naturally. Every time I picked the book up to read, it was so easy for me to fall into the story and feel like I was right there with the characters, especially the main character Evan (who reminded me so much of my father as a young man). I could hear the deep cold breaths the characters took in and let out, the snow crunching under their snowshoed feet; that very particular sound of the wind whistling through bare but snow-covered trees in the silence of the harsh Northern winter. The villain of the novel is more restrained than I thought he'd be, through some excellent writing, which actually made him even more terrifying to me than he may have been otherwise. He was real - quietly mischievous and relying heavily on a charm that at first glance can lend him the benefit of harmlessness and misunderstanding, but is nothing less than pure ugly once you get a view of what's underneath even the tiniest of cracks. The slow-burning aspects of the plot coupled with the low-key but distinct vileness of this character's presence was genuinely chilling - again, because of how realistic it all seemed through the tender touch of some truly refined writing. It doesn't seem enough to just say that Waubgeshig Rice is one of our best storytellers today, but, he really is. There's so much more I'd love to gush about over this book, but often I find that the ones I love the most are actually the hardest to articulate my feelings about.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    I thought this was excellent. It is suspenseful and atmospheric; the ordinariness of the characters making it feel all the more real and true. This is an apocalypse story in the same vein as Good Morning, Midnight, personal and insular. Rice captured so many things that felt honest in his fictional community. The living conditions on reserve, the community attitudes, the weather and the way geographical placement so far north lends itself to a singular experience and feel. I thought Rice did an e I thought this was excellent. It is suspenseful and atmospheric; the ordinariness of the characters making it feel all the more real and true. This is an apocalypse story in the same vein as Good Morning, Midnight, personal and insular. Rice captured so many things that felt honest in his fictional community. The living conditions on reserve, the community attitudes, the weather and the way geographical placement so far north lends itself to a singular experience and feel. I thought Rice did an exceptional job capturing the complicated relationship that indigenous people have with alcohol, and how it affects both individuals and the community as a whole. I also see in the story a recognition and admiration for the enduring spirit of indigenous communities and their ultimate ability to adapt and survive. The world isn't ending...Our world isn't ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash came into our original home down south on that bay and took it from us. That was our world. When the Zhaagnaash cut down all the trees and fished all the fish and forced us out of there, that's when our world ended...Yes, apocalypse. We've had that over and over. But we always survived. We're still here. And we'll still be here, even if the power and the radios don't come back on and we never see any white people again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    In a small northern First Nations community, all lines of communication, as well as the power, have been disconnected without explanation. Winter has arrived and panic has set in. Has something happened down south? Is help on the way? And who is this mysterious survivalist, Jason Scott, who has arrived in town? I thought Waubgeshig Rice did a great job showing how panic slowly made its way into the heads of the community leaders as well as townsfolk. Not allowing the reader to be aware of what ca In a small northern First Nations community, all lines of communication, as well as the power, have been disconnected without explanation. Winter has arrived and panic has set in. Has something happened down south? Is help on the way? And who is this mysterious survivalist, Jason Scott, who has arrived in town? I thought Waubgeshig Rice did a great job showing how panic slowly made its way into the heads of the community leaders as well as townsfolk. Not allowing the reader to be aware of what caused the communication and utility disruption down South helped put the audience in the same mindset as the characters, so you’re less likely to trust anyone who would arrive looking for food and shelter. As the novel progresses, it comes off as an allegory for colonialism, which I would be shocked if that wasn’t the author’s intention. I felt this was extremely effective as the novel itself seems to be about distrust, isolation and perseverance – all common themes that can easily be found in the early days of European arrival. The novel’s main protagonist, Evan Whitesky, is a very grounded and relatable character. He’s admirable in his attempt to keep the community’s situation from exploding, but also isn’t presented as its saviour either, although he has several dreams during the story that help to point him in the right direction. These were my favorite scenes. One in particular near the novel’s climax involving Jason spooked me! My only complaint is that I had wished the writing was a little stronger. A lot of the depictions of characters, clothing, locations were pretty bare bones with basic descriptors, being so noticeable, that they often took me out of the story. With Moon of the Crusted Snow, Waubgeshig Rice has written a novel laced with anxiety. He asks the question, “what would you do if the comforts of modern life were suddenly stripped away?”

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    "Apocalypse?" "What a silly world. I can tell you there's no word like that in Ojibwe. Well, I never heard a word like that from my elders anyway... [] Our world isn't ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash came into our original home down south on that bay and took it from us. That was our world." "This is not our homeland! But we had to adapt and luckily we already knew how to hunt and live on the land. We learned to live here." "Yes, apocalypse. We've had that over and over. But "Apocalypse?" "What a silly world. I can tell you there's no word like that in Ojibwe. Well, I never heard a word like that from my elders anyway... [] Our world isn't ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash came into our original home down south on that bay and took it from us. That was our world." "This is not our homeland! But we had to adapt and luckily we already knew how to hunt and live on the land. We learned to live here." "Yes, apocalypse. We've had that over and over. But we always survived. We're still here. And we'll still be here even if the power and the radios don't come back on..." ... An Anishinaabe First Nations community in northern Ontario loses their connection to the outside world at the beginning of a harsh winter. With little to no contact with the outside world (where presumably things are much worse), we follow Evan Whitesky, a young man with a young family, and other community members who are attempting to keep peace and order while surviving each day. Through his narration, we see the food shortages, the in-fighting, and the eventual "knock" of the outside world, coming to their [remote] door. This book shines in its dialogue and interactions among the characters. I loved the tenderness that Evan shares for his children, his partner, and his community members. I also enjoyed the extended storytelling and use of indigenous language. The characters' sarcastic and lovingly playful banter was a meaningful anecdote to the suffering around them. The quiet, rural apocalyptic novel - there's only a few out there like this. I read something similar a few years ago, When the English Fall by David Williams, about the apocalypse coming to an Amish community. Read and listened to this one 🎧 Moon of the Crusted Snow audiobook note: The narrator Billy Merasty was great. His voice cadence, tone, and pronunciations really added to the experience of this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    He kicked up frozen shrapnel each time he raised a foot. A fine powder lay underneath. The conditions made him think of the specific time of year. There's a word for this, he thought, trying to remember with each high step across the hard snow. His knees raised as if to rev his mind into higher gear. He looked up to the lumpy clouds in the hope that the word would emerge like a ray of sunlight through overcast sky. “Onaabenii Giizis,” he proudly proclaimed out loud. “The moon of the crusted snow He kicked up frozen shrapnel each time he raised a foot. A fine powder lay underneath. The conditions made him think of the specific time of year. There's a word for this, he thought, trying to remember with each high step across the hard snow. His knees raised as if to rev his mind into higher gear. He looked up to the lumpy clouds in the hope that the word would emerge like a ray of sunlight through overcast sky. “Onaabenii Giizis,” he proudly proclaimed out loud. “The moon of the crusted snow.” His words fell flat on the white ground in front of him and he wondered which month that actually was. Moon of the Crusted Snow is the third book I've read in the past year that looks at the collapse of Western society from a First Nations' perspective (along with Future Home of the Living God and The Marrow Thieves), with the difference this time being that we're watching a remote northern community grapple with the immediate aftermath of the phones and power going out, with no information getting through about what might be happening elsewhere. Inured to infrastructure failures on their reserve, at first folks are more annoyed than worried; but as news – and refugees – find their way into the community, these people need to start making decisions about the future. Told in rather unadorned prose, author Waubgeshig Rice has crafted a story more interesting than literary, but it does pose an intriguing question: If the lights all went out tomorrow, who would be better prepared for survival than those who have preserved some traditional knowledge? The corollary to that is, of course: And if the white people all started starving, where would they go to demand resources? Nick and Kevin looked at each other. They were both nineteen years old, barely men. They had grown up in families that believed in teaching their kids how to live on the land and they knew how to hunt, fish, and trap. They knew the basics of winter survival. Those experiences had hardened their bodies and helped them mature, but they looked at each other now, fragile as small children. All that training could not have prepared them for what had happened. What I liked best about this view of post-apocalypse reserve life is that there's a believable range of personality types. The main character, Evan, is a young father who had long ago determined to learn traditional knowledge from his Anishinaabe elders and pass it on to his own children. By contrast, his younger brother, Cam, has been content to collect welfare and spend his days smoking dope and playing video games. When the crisis becomes known, there are wise tribal counselors and hotheads, caregivers and deadbeats; and when a white survivalist finds his way to the reserve with an arsenal of guns and a secret cache of booze, he is able to attract some followers with his promises of easy living. For a community that was long ago stripped of its soul – forced to move off their traditional lands and then compelled to assimilate their children in the deplorable Residential School system – the collapse of the settlers' society just might be an opportunity for the Anishinaabe to rediscover their own ways. Apocalypse. We’ve had that over and over. But we always survived. We’re still here. And we’ll still be here, even if the power and the radios don’t come back on and we never see any white people ever again. Moon of the Crusted Snow has the heft of a YA novel – and for that reason, I think it would make an excellent teaching resource – and I was intrigued enough by the concept to spend the few hours it took to read this slim book. Ultimately, I think that the questions that Rice raised are more interesting than how he answered them, but I don't regret the time I spent in his world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    5 brilliant stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐for MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW by Waubgeshig Rice. With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off from power and communication with no foreseeable resolution , only very few residents realize the community's shortfalls. When unexpected visitors arise, escaping the crumbling society to the south, tensions rise and allegiances are divided. The harsh winter months pass slowly, and the food supply dwindles as the death toll and panic rise, but the 5 brilliant stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️for MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW by Waubgeshig Rice. With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off from power and communication with no foreseeable resolution , only very few residents realize the community's shortfalls. When unexpected visitors arise, escaping the crumbling society to the south, tensions rise and allegiances are divided. The harsh winter months pass slowly, and the food supply dwindles as the death toll and panic rise, but the greatest threat to the survival of the reserve might come from within the community itself. The author uses a few bits of basic Anishinaabemowin scattered throughout the novel. Rather than detracting from the story, I feel that it shows Evan and Nicole want Maiingan and Nangohns to learn about the ways of the elders and their history. These few words are translated for the reader or the meaning is easy to understand from the sentence. "Moozoo" is Anishinaabemowin for "moose". Mandaamin is "corn" "Piniik" is "potato" "Maiingan" is "wolf" "Nangohns" is "little star" "Dagwaagin" is "autumn" "Biboon" is "winter" "Ziigwaan" is "spring" "Onasbenii Giizis" is "The moon of the crusted snow". I am glad that Waubgeshig Rice wrote the epilogue because it ties in the words of Elder Aileen giving hope for Evan and Nicole and their family. As one society collapses, another is reborn. This is the only book by Rice that I have read, and I look forward to reading more by this talented author. "Moon of the Crusted Snow" asks how do we live in a good way during the collapse of the infrastructure that supports modern life? As the tensions between those surviving the end of modern civilization build to a harrowing conclusion, Rice deftly weaves tender family moments with his brutal survival scenes in the unforgiving Northern Ontario winter." - Eden Robinson, award-winning author of MONKEY BEACH and SON OF A TRICKSTER

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Babcock

    For a while now I’ve been morbidly fascinated by Doomsday Preppers. I’ll stick an episode on in the background (it’s on Netflix, at least here in Canada) while eating dinner or doing something else. While it’s good to be prepared for emergencies, the preppers and survivalists featured in the show take this idea to extremes that are equal parts fascinating and horrifying (especially when this obsession ultimately affects a loved one or children). And, of course, their disaster scenario of choice For a while now I’ve been morbidly fascinated by Doomsday Preppers. I’ll stick an episode on in the background (it’s on Netflix, at least here in Canada) while eating dinner or doing something else. While it’s good to be prepared for emergencies, the preppers and survivalists featured in the show take this idea to extremes that are equal parts fascinating and horrifying (especially when this obsession ultimately affects a loved one or children). And, of course, their disaster scenario of choice is usually so far-fetched as to be unbelievable … yet there is always that lingering question of, if such a breakdown of society occurred, would they really fare as well as they believe? I know I’d be screwed…. Moon of the Crusted Snow is technically a post-apocalyptic novel, but only in the same sense that Trail of Lightning , by Rebecca Roanhorse, is post-apocalyptic. Waubgeshig Rice makes this point clear when an elder explains, “Our world isn’t ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash [white people] came into our original home down south on that bay and took it from us.” This is a key point to remember in reading this novel: yes, this is a survival story, but within the wider context in that the story of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island has been a survival story ever since Contact. Set in a fictional Anishnaabe community in northern Ontario, Moon of the Crusted Snow chronicles the community’s response to the loss of hydro and food deliveries following an unspecified event in the south. The main character, Evan Whitesky, is a fairly solid member of the community. He has been stockpiling meat for the winter, for he prefers it to the expensive Northern store food, and he does well during the crisis. He keeps his head on the shoulders and helps the councillors and chief maintain order and keep people safe, at least at first. But as the cold winter continues, and a disruptive element from the south arrives, Evan’s dreams become more troubling, and he wonders if his community can keep it together until the spring thaw. Look, I’m a settler, so it’s not my lane to comment on the portrayal of the Anishnaabe characters or their community in this book. This is Rice’s own people/heritage here, bolstered by his conversations with elders and with people who have lived in even more remote communities. I’ve been to a remote community, and I’m familiar with some of the conditions described here from those visits and from what I hear in media and my students who come from those places. Nevertheless, it’s not what I know. It’s not, indeed, what most Canadians know. For settler readers, this book will hopefully be somewhat eye-opening to the realities of life on a reserve. What can I comment on? I would say this is a very well-crafted suspense novel. Rice starts with the quiet seclusion of Gaawaandagkoong First Nation: the book opens with Evan hunting by himself in the bush, quietly killing and then butchering a bull moose. This quiet shades into the quiet that comes when the hum of power lines and the buzz of telecommunications falls silent. Then the quiet of a winter backed by people desperately trying to conserve food and power, even as the dead begin to mount. Then, atop all of this, looms the spectre of the wendigo and the white man hungry not just for food, but for power…. The question isn’t just who survives this winter but how and whether or not they can live with themselves and their decisions. I really like the protagonist. I can’t identify much with him: I’m not a parent, not a hunter or outdoorsman of any kind, definitely not as practical as him. Nevertheless, like I said above, he’s solid. He makes decisions based on necessity but also compassion. He’s somewhat of a leader but also happy to back up others—and one of the ways in which Evan grows in this novel is discovering that capacity for leadership. I love the depiction of his loving relationship with his partner, Nicole, and the way they are raising a family together, keeping their traditions alive and contributing to their community. For a novel that is ultimately about survival in extremes, Moon of the Crusted Snow has many positive depictions of everyday Indigenous success and resilience. I don’t have any complaints about the length (which is fairly short for a novel). It works well; the pacing is great. My enjoyment of the ending is marred only by the context of reading it in an emergency room (I wasn’t the one ill), so I was tired and not in a great mood, and this book is not a mood-lifter by any means. My other main criticism would be that Rice’s prose tends towards purple at times; I’m not a huge fan of his descriptive or narrative style. This is largely what prevents me from cheering on the book as much as others might: I liked the story, the plot, the characters, but the writing itself leaves me lukewarm. Overall, definitely recommended, especially if these types of survival stories are more your thing. You want to be in the right mindset to read this one. I loved it for what it is, and it’s a powerful story. But I’m curious to see if Rice’s other work, or future work, might be even better for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    4.5 stars. As someone who has read many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, I enjoyed the change in pace with this one. Rather than taking place after society has crumbled, this one takes place as it is just beginning and focuses on an Anishinaabe community. It is a slow-burn, but from the very first page I could tell that there was something sinister lurking. I love that the author included snippets of the Ojibwe language and culture, and that he subtly included First Nations history and current 4.5 stars. As someone who has read many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels, I enjoyed the change in pace with this one. Rather than taking place after society has crumbled, this one takes place as it is just beginning and focuses on an Anishinaabe community. It is a slow-burn, but from the very first page I could tell that there was something sinister lurking. I love that the author included snippets of the Ojibwe language and culture, and that he subtly included First Nations history and current wrongdoings against First Nations communities (such as the exorbitant prices of food in Northern communities). This is a story of family and community, a story of self-reliance and a connection to the land, and a story of racism and the outcomes of colonialism. “And when it became clear that they were never supposed to last in this situation on this land in the first place, they decided to take control of their own destiny. Their ancestors were displaced from their original homeland in the south and the white people who forced them here had never intended for them to survive. The collapse of the white man’s modern system further withered the Anishinaabeg here. But they refused to wither completely…” Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press for a copy of Moon of the Crusted Snow in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    jo

    i read this book in two sittings, which is not what i do, like, ever. it's a compelling post(-possible)-end-of-the-world (we never learn what happens, which reminded me a little of Station Eleven) story set in an indigenous community in northern canada, i.e. freezing coldland. it's paced well and suspenseful and always a bit ominous. the most powerful theme, treaded on intelligently and delicately, is that indigenous folks are not new to apocalypse. so, as the younger people go into understandab i read this book in two sittings, which is not what i do, like, ever. it's a compelling post(-possible)-end-of-the-world (we never learn what happens, which reminded me a little of Station Eleven) story set in an indigenous community in northern canada, i.e. freezing coldland. it's paced well and suspenseful and always a bit ominous. the most powerful theme, treaded on intelligently and delicately, is that indigenous folks are not new to apocalypse. so, as the younger people go into understandable freakout, the most elder serenely survive through yet another phase of their history of loss and expropriation. of course, those among the reserve people who have made a point of learning how to live off the land do well, and those who haven't do less well, but the author makes a point of reminding us that that land is not these people's native land. they were relocated here at gunpoints. and then their children were ripped from them and brought to residential schools. so, yeah, apocalypse schmapocalypse. all of this is gently buried in lovely storytelling, with lots of snow and ice and cold and wood cutting and moose hunting and all that roughing it up that is so pleasurable to read about when it's still the height of summer in miami and you are lying on your bed with the a/c cranked up and a tropical storm is raging outside.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This is a beautiful, sensitive dystopian novel set in an Anishinaabe First Nations community in northern Ontario. They have become used to poor communication services and delayed food shipments. The people are so isolated that it takes them some time to realize that something has gone very wrong in the outside world. We enter a haunting post-apocalyptic world on the Rez(reservation). Many of the members of the community have been striving to keep some of their native traditions, hunting rituals, This is a beautiful, sensitive dystopian novel set in an Anishinaabe First Nations community in northern Ontario. They have become used to poor communication services and delayed food shipments. The people are so isolated that it takes them some time to realize that something has gone very wrong in the outside world. We enter a haunting post-apocalyptic world on the Rez(reservation). Many of the members of the community have been striving to keep some of their native traditions, hunting rituals, stories, and language, but others have no regard for the ancient ways, or in learning to fish and hunt. Some like Evan manage to hunt to feed their families and to assure other community members are fed and safe. The first sign of trouble is when TV and cell phone reception fails. Gradually they learn computers and land lines are down, and then electricity goes out. Evan looks at his now useless Cell phone and TV which has been out for two days. He is annoyed as they were purchased at some expense on a trip south. He asks a friend if they think the weather has caused the outage. “Doubt it. Probably just bad receivers. We can never have nice things on the Rez”. There is an emergency power generator which will not last the winter. With a severe winter with frequent blizzards and deep snow they cannot expect supplies to reach them on scheduled truck runs from the south. The hunters obtain extra food and start to tap into emergency food reserves to distribute to the community. Two young men return to the community from a city further south. They had left the reservation to study and have made the trip on stolen snowmobiles. They describe how they fled due to chaos, violence and panic in the city. People now realize that their loss of power and communication is not a normal glitch to which they have become accustomed. Something has gone terribly wrong in the outside world. Soon a fearsome white man follows the boy’s’ snowmobile tracks. He considers himself an expert survivalist and his own methods regardless of the community morals and traditions. Soon several more white people arrive, describing dreadful conditions even further south. They are desperate and hungry. People are describing this as the Apocalypse. Auntie Aileen is the oldest and wisest person in the community and remembers the old ways before modern inventions and luxuries arrived. To paraphrase, she tells the group that the world hasn’t ended. It ended when the white men came and took our original land from us. They cut down the forests, destroyed fishing and forced us here. Our world ended again when they followed us to take our children to residential schools, forcing them to forget our language and culture. The Apocalypse has happened to us over and over. We have survived and will in the future, even if the power never comes back on and we never see a white man again. This is a sad story. There have been deaths from illness, disease and suicide. The new arrivals, after they have been allowed to join the community, disrupt the well-organized leadership. They have shocking plans which brings about violence. The story ends with an uncertain future, but with a glimmer of hope.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This short novel packed quite a punch! It was incredibly suspenseful and kept me up late last night because I had to finish. The mood was ominous as I knew something very bad was coming for these nice people but I didn't know exactly what or how bad it would get. I can't imagine any group is more equipped to deal with an end of modern conveniences than the First Nations but how would they deal with refugees from outside the reservation? It was a real nail-biter! The ending was satisfying and not This short novel packed quite a punch! It was incredibly suspenseful and kept me up late last night because I had to finish. The mood was ominous as I knew something very bad was coming for these nice people but I didn't know exactly what or how bad it would get. I can't imagine any group is more equipped to deal with an end of modern conveniences than the First Nations but how would they deal with refugees from outside the reservation? It was a real nail-biter! The ending was satisfying and not without hope for the future. I never really thought about it before but if the apocalypse involves all electricity and communications going down then we wouldn't know what was happening or why. I think that lack of access to information is the scariest thing! If this is how the world ends we will be in the dark in every way. This is real life horror!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    I love it when Canada figures in a speculative fiction story. And rather than situate this post- apocalyptic tale in a city, Waubgeshig Rice places his protagonists in a Anishnaabe reservation in northern Ontario. None of the aboriginal characters has special powers, or hidden abilities. Everyone is ordinary, and is faced with an extraordinary, steadily worsening situation. How the people of the reservation cope with the fallout of some unnamed disaster elsewhere is fascinating. The loss of thei I love it when Canada figures in a speculative fiction story. And rather than situate this post- apocalyptic tale in a city, Waubgeshig Rice places his protagonists in a Anishnaabe reservation in northern Ontario. None of the aboriginal characters has special powers, or hidden abilities. Everyone is ordinary, and is faced with an extraordinary, steadily worsening situation. How the people of the reservation cope with the fallout of some unnamed disaster elsewhere is fascinating. The loss of their electricity, phones and various other amenities is not the overwhelming disaster for the people of the reservation that it would be for a typical city dweller. The people in this story, particularly the elders, remember the time when the Canadian government forcibly moved them from their former lands to their current location. This traumatic event, along with many other incidents created by the inimical interactions for hundreds of years with western culture, resulting in forcible displacement, successive broken treaties, the 'reeducation' and physical and sexual abuse of their young in residential schools, and the addictions, abuse and suicides arising for generations afterwards, has the people of the reservation managing the transition away from some of their 21st century comforts somewhat more calmly than I've typically encountered in post-apocalyptic fiction. That's not to say that there isn't hardship and hopelessness amongst the reservation population. Rice gives us the emotional toll upon people from the crisis, and how they cope with the introduction of outsiders in this quiet story. (view spoiler)[The chief outsider and his increasingly dangerous and disruptive behaviour to the reservation is reminiscent of the indigenous windigo, which is a unexpected and welcome change from the usual. (hide spoiler)] I really liked this simple, well-told story of people in a terrible situation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy Weston

    Set in a remote First Nation Northern Ontario community there’s irony about Rice’s story of how the community disintegrates after the loss of power. At the start of a particularly rough winter this means the reservation is cut off from the rest of the world. When two of their young folk return from the nearest town by snowmobile not long in to the piece they bring news that the power is out there also. A people that were once proficient in thriving in the Arctic with just basics begin to fall ap Set in a remote First Nation Northern Ontario community there’s irony about Rice’s story of how the community disintegrates after the loss of power. At the start of a particularly rough winter this means the reservation is cut off from the rest of the world. When two of their young folk return from the nearest town by snowmobile not long in to the piece they bring news that the power is out there also. A people that were once proficient in thriving in the Arctic with just basics begin to fall apart. You can almost detect an anger in Rice’s writing, who is from the Wasauksing First Nation himself. It is a while into the first half of the book until the question of whether this is an apocalyptic event arises; but soon winter takes a grip, food supplies run low, and the elders argue. It is cleverly written and also a thrilling read, with plenty of action. Rice chooses to introduce an outsider, a mysterious white stranger who arrives with his own views on how to deal with the crisis. Though I think the book would have worked fine without his arrival, there is no dispute that the novel works. Is the society headed for dystopia, or indeed, a kind of utopia, a return to their old ways. It was a fascinating and compelling read, and whether it’s a good thing or not, has Netflix mini-series written all over it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    3.5 Stars Moon of the Crusted Snow is an interesting take on the apocalypse. A remote Anishinaabe reservation in Northern Canada tries to survive its first winter of an apocalypse. The book is a slow burn but it kind of works with the bleak winter landscape that the story takes place. I like that the story takes place in a remote area and communication to the southern cities is difficult even when there is electricity. Although the reader is given enough information to understand the community dy 3.5 Stars Moon of the Crusted Snow is an interesting take on the apocalypse. A remote Anishinaabe reservation in Northern Canada tries to survive its first winter of an apocalypse. The book is a slow burn but it kind of works with the bleak winter landscape that the story takes place. I like that the story takes place in a remote area and communication to the southern cities is difficult even when there is electricity. Although the reader is given enough information to understand the community dynamics and diversity, I wish there was more interaction between characters and more character development. Overall, I think this is a good addition for fans and non fans of apocalypse fiction. I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    If you look on the back cover, you'll see what I had to say about this novel in part. But I'm gonna put the whole quote I sent to ECW here, in its entirety: Moon of the Crusted Snow is a harrowing, vital novel of survival and fortitude. Akin to Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this book speculates a catastrophic, changing world while telling a riveting story that is as potent as anything in modern fiction. Like those books, the story reads like historical fictio If you look on the back cover, you'll see what I had to say about this novel in part. But I'm gonna put the whole quote I sent to ECW here, in its entirety: Moon of the Crusted Snow is a harrowing, vital novel of survival and fortitude. Akin to Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this book speculates a catastrophic, changing world while telling a riveting story that is as potent as anything in modern fiction. Like those books, the story reads like historical fiction, because events like these have happened before, and before that, and this grounds the novel in something elemental and profound. Using spare prose and careful detail, Rice does his part here to rewrite a section of popular literature that underrepresents or flat-out ignores rural, northern, and Indigenous people, and their stories. He gives us fully-lived in, authentic characters that demand our attention and empathy. Because of that, there is hope in this long and bleak winter, and a surging power at the heart of this book that cannot be smothered.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Davis

    I wrote this review (see below), but on reflection, I must revise it. When I was describing this novel to a friend, I realized I was discussing important aspects I had overlooked in my first review. Well, color me an idiot. Here's what really matters about this (obviously) thought-provoking novel. At a certain point in the narrative, an Elder talks about this strange word 'apocalypse' for which there is no equivalent in Anishinaabe. She talks about all the times the 'end of a world' has occurred I wrote this review (see below), but on reflection, I must revise it. When I was describing this novel to a friend, I realized I was discussing important aspects I had overlooked in my first review. Well, color me an idiot. Here's what really matters about this (obviously) thought-provoking novel. At a certain point in the narrative, an Elder talks about this strange word 'apocalypse' for which there is no equivalent in Anishinaabe. She talks about all the times the 'end of a world' has occurred: when settlers first came to the land and drove the people out. And the world ended. But the Anishnaabe survived. And then white people came and took the children away.. and the world ended. But the Anishnaabe survived. And now, in this novel... well... crap. I missed the point when, a few hours ago, I wrote the following review.... An engaging first novel. The writing is spare and unsentimental and the use of symbols is very good indeed. The plot, while by no means surprising, is structured with a great eye for pacing, which makes it a pleasure to read. I look forward to more by Waubgeshig Rice. Okay, while these things are true, they miss the point. And I'm an ass, and read the damn book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)

    I read this in a day! It's juuuuust slightly too long to count as a novellas, but it reads like one. Short chapters and not much messing around. This was kind of like Station Eleven in that I loved reading it and read it really fast, but once I was done, I saw some issues, the main one being the amount of telling vs showing. This is tricky, because some (a lot?) of readers probably *do* need to be told about colonialism in Canada, and residential schools, and displacement, and so on. I just thin I read this in a day! It's juuuuust slightly too long to count as a novellas, but it reads like one. Short chapters and not much messing around. This was kind of like Station Eleven in that I loved reading it and read it really fast, but once I was done, I saw some issues, the main one being the amount of telling vs showing. This is tricky, because some (a lot?) of readers probably *do* need to be told about colonialism in Canada, and residential schools, and displacement, and so on. I just think there are more elegant ways to do it than randomly placed paragraphs that read like excerpts from a textbook (again - irony being that most adults in Canada did *not* learn this in school). This was very disruptive to my reading in the early chapters but the plot took over and I was able to look past it towards the end. I'm also not a fan of the drawn out suspense of "is this character dead or not", especially when it doesn't fit with the previous 200 pages of straightforward narration. All that said, this is probably the most realistic and non-sensational post-apocalyptic story I've ever read and I appreciate that.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emmkay

    A good winter read! I had to put it down for a few days as I was on a warm weather vacation, where it wouldn’t have had the same strength. One day the power goes out on a remote northwestern Ontario reserve. No one is too worried at first - modern infrastructure was late in arriving to the community and is notoriously unreliable anyway. Slowly, community members realize that the blackout extends outside their reserve, and that there’s no end in sight. Will they make it through the first winter, A good winter read! I had to put it down for a few days as I was on a warm weather vacation, where it wouldn’t have had the same strength. One day the power goes out on a remote northwestern Ontario reserve. No one is too worried at first - modern infrastructure was late in arriving to the community and is notoriously unreliable anyway. Slowly, community members realize that the blackout extends outside their reserve, and that there’s no end in sight. Will they make it through the first winter, and beyond? The writing is pedestrian but the story is a good one, and chock full of stuff to think about. 3.5.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    This book, about the seeming end of the technological age in a remote northern Anishnaabe reserve community, and what rears its head in times of crisis and change had a pervading sense of spookiness, while also being very tender and hopeful. This book, while being very present in the ruins of colonialism both real and speculated into the near future, was also old in resilience and teachings. It wasn’t sneaky, it wasn’t drawn out, and it put me as a reader, a mother of two in love with family abo This book, about the seeming end of the technological age in a remote northern Anishnaabe reserve community, and what rears its head in times of crisis and change had a pervading sense of spookiness, while also being very tender and hopeful. This book, while being very present in the ruins of colonialism both real and speculated into the near future, was also old in resilience and teachings. It wasn’t sneaky, it wasn’t drawn out, and it put me as a reader, a mother of two in love with family above all else, easily in Evan and Nicole’s shoes, and left me feeling grounded. It’s a good read, be sure to check it out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chessa

    HOLY CATS the amount of dread that is woven through this WHOLE NOVEL is so finely wrought that I have to go take a shower to wash off my stress-sweat.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    I am always fascinated and interested in reading about Canada’s First Nations communities. I read so many books when in the country and visited as many places as i could to find about their way of life,culture and to learn from them. This book does that and more by blending a really tense story, with great characters and a text peppered with Ashinaabe words. It all makes for one interesting tapestry of a story and I was enthralled throughout.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    This story is a quiet and sensitive take on the post-apocalyptic novel, set in northern Canada in an Anishinaabe community. As one elder notes, the world of the Anishinaabe has already ended twice — first when the settlers took their homeland and second when the government took their children to residential schools — and yet the Anishinaabe had endured, so the notion of an “apocalypse” is not so daunting. The way the community fails and succeeds as it seeks to survive the loss of power and outsi This story is a quiet and sensitive take on the post-apocalyptic novel, set in northern Canada in an Anishinaabe community. As one elder notes, the world of the Anishinaabe has already ended twice — first when the settlers took their homeland and second when the government took their children to residential schools — and yet the Anishinaabe had endured, so the notion of an “apocalypse” is not so daunting. The way the community fails and succeeds as it seeks to survive the loss of power and outside contact provides sheds light on Anishinaabe worldviews and larger Indigenous issues, and delicate hints of the wendigo (as character or as metaphor, you choose) add poetry and menace to the tale. What makes this novel so compelling and successful, however, are the deeply believable characters and their daily struggles. This is a big-idea novel that nonetheless feels very personal and intimate. I will be thinking about it for a long time, and I look forward to introducing it to my students.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    4.5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Kosoris

    Moon of the Crusted Snow explores an apocalypse from the viewpoint of a secluded Anishinaabe community in Northern Ontario. As it’s already only loosely attached to metropolitan Canada in the south – cell and internet service is relatively new and patchy, at best; the recent connection to the Hydro grid is just as reliable, causing the community to lean heavily on their old, diesel generators for power in the harsh winter months – the pace at which the problem reveals itself is much slower, and Moon of the Crusted Snow explores an apocalypse from the viewpoint of a secluded Anishinaabe community in Northern Ontario. As it’s already only loosely attached to metropolitan Canada in the south – cell and internet service is relatively new and patchy, at best; the recent connection to the Hydro grid is just as reliable, causing the community to lean heavily on their old, diesel generators for power in the harsh winter months – the pace at which the problem reveals itself is much slower, and the response is much different, than what a reader may expect within an urban centre, especially since the band council already had some contingencies in place in case of less widespread disasters. Most of the story follows Evan Whitesky as he and those connected with governance and infrastructure maintenance on the reserve work to keep order and ensure the community’s most vulnerable members have what they need to survive to the spring. But, when a massive white man arrives on snowmobile along with a veritable arsenal, the fragile stability they found becomes jeopardized. In the face of dwindling food supplies, desperation divides an increasingly frightened populace. I quite honestly had a hard time with this one. Rice seems to understand the need to establish a sort of normal to make a disaster more strongly felt, but any narrative requires even a hint of conflict, even so small to seem inconsequential next to the eventual chaos, in order to cultivate interest. Because the long lead up to the crumbling of society lacked this, that it read like a cast of wooden characters happily living unexciting lives, it sure dragged. Throughout the book, the author spent too much time and too many words explaining things unimportant to plot or character development. This effectively causes details about the setting and the culture that could have been small touches of flavour to make the world come alive instead feel forced and insincere. Exposition is also a major problem within the book, and this is likely a measure of inexperience, that the author worried things would otherwise go unnoticed or misunderstood by his readers unless he overtly explained everything. We don’t get to witness characters and the community changing, but we’re rather told that Evan noticed these changes after they happened. Similarly, we’re overtly told what characters’ tone or non-verbal hints mean instead of allowing us to judge characters’ emotions or intentions on our own, and Rice has characters tell us about harrowing experiences they had rather than bringing us there and letting us see them play out. This comes off as a big problem within Moon of the Crusted Snow, being hugely detrimental to the personality of the characters, cutting into the story’s suspense, and hurting the overall readability of the book. With Moon of the Crusted Snow, I was hit with the notion, much as I have with at least a couple of recent books, that telling a good story wasn’t the point. What came across instead was that the author wanted to showcase a culture he cares about in a positive light and also to criticize colonialism for causing the problems afflicting these people – both through direct meddling and a reliance the people increasingly have on colonial ways not suited to their values or their environment. Because he attempted to accomplish this through an allegory, the effectiveness of his message is closely linked to the strength of the narrative, and this is where things fell apart for me. But keep in mind that, at the time of writing this, at least, Rice’s book is highly rated on Goodreads, which means that most readers who have checked it out didn’t agree with my assessment. As such, it’s probably best to treat this review as bit of a cautionary tale, nothing more.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice, is a book about the collapse of civilization from the point of view of an Anishinaabe community in Northern Canada. The book follows Evan and his family, as the power goes out, food begins to run low, and strangers come to the rez. The book also follows the family as they begin to recover their traditions and learn how to survive again. Most of the book takes place in the weeks and months following the general collapse of society. This is an interesti Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice, is a book about the collapse of civilization from the point of view of an Anishinaabe community in Northern Canada. The book follows Evan and his family, as the power goes out, food begins to run low, and strangers come to the rez. The book also follows the family as they begin to recover their traditions and learn how to survive again. Most of the book takes place in the weeks and months following the general collapse of society. This is an interesting book. It has a dark and gritty tone, matching the cold and snowy setting. The Moon of the Crusted Snow is the late winter, when the snow is deep and wind blown. Rice has approached a number of interesting topics. Life and death in a residential community in Canada is discussed, and the deep winter and its trials are laid bare. The traditions of the community, and there need to return to them when the hydro and food run out is present. The book features a number of dreams and omens as well. Struggles within the community, and from those without is present as well. And the difficulty Evan and the others have in maintaining order, and just trying to survive day to day in a situation where no outside assistance is coming is interesting. This was a very interesting perspective for an apocalyptic story. A community already on edge, even in the best of times, with close connections, struggles between tradition and outside culture, that is slowly forgetting its traditions, is thrust back into a situation where those traditions are needed for survival. The book has a wonderful, bleak, and gritty setting. The tone of the book hearkens to other post apocalyptic titles, such as Cormac McCarthy's The Road. This is an excellent read for fans of apocalyptic literature, as well as a read I would recommend to Canadians or fans of Canadian literature.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    Moon of the Crusted Snow, an apocalyptic tale by author Waubgeshig Rice, is divided into three sections based on seasons: Autumn - the beginning as a northern Anishinaabe reserve in Canada loses all communication with the outside world Winter - band struggles to survive as it becomes clear there will be no new supplies and what foodstuffs they have are dwindling - some members become passive while others including Evan Whitesley do their best to keep the community together and safe - a stranger ar Moon of the Crusted Snow, an apocalyptic tale by author Waubgeshig Rice, is divided into three sections based on seasons: Autumn - the beginning as a northern Anishinaabe reserve in Canada loses all communication with the outside world Winter - band struggles to survive as it becomes clear there will be no new supplies and what foodstuffs they have are dwindling - some members become passive while others including Evan Whitesley do their best to keep the community together and safe - a stranger arrives and quickly unsettles and divides the band - deaths begin to mount Spring - the remaining members of the band make plans to leave the reserve and seek a new safe home hopefully far away from whatever urban civilization if any still survives Moon of the Crusted Snow is as much an allegory for colonization as it is an apocalyptic tale. As one elder of the band who still knows their history and keeps their culture alive says when the issue of apocalypse is raised: Our world isn't ending. It already ended. It ended when the Zhaagnaash* came into our original home...and took it from us...[A]pocalypse. We've had that over and over. But we always survived. We're still here. And we'll still be here, even if the power and the radios don't come back on and we never see any white people again This is a well-written story full of action, suspense, and tragedy. It also gives a different perspective on what apocalypse means to people who have experienced colonization and, as such, it ends on a surprisingly hopeful note. A definite high recommendation from me. *white people Thanks to Edelweiss+ and ECW Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

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