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Moon of the Crusted Snow

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  120 reviews
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 ...more
218 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by ECW Press
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Angela M
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
"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.

Jessica Woodbury
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, can-con, indigenous
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
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
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 ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Andy Weston
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-galley
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
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Lauren Davis
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indigenious
The book has a chilling ominous feeling from about chapter 3 onward. The story moves fast and doesn't get bogged down. The sense of dread gets heavier with each chapter. The ambiguous outcome for a character in the end only heightens the darkness of the book.

The writing was smooth and did not drag. It's a short book but the story does not suffer for the lack of extra pages.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Moon of the Crusted Snow' is a beautiful trade paperback book that's only about 200 pages long. If enjoying books as physical objects is important to you, this book is like a tasteful wine bottle design that you want to keep looking at as you drink it.

As for the story, this is about a young Anishinaabe man living in an Ontario reservation who helps lead his community through a crisis: electrical power, landlines, radio, and satellite all go dark as snow season begins. What sets it apart from ma
Friederike Knabe
Thoughts to follow.
Hilary Carter
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love reading about an apocalyptic event in a unique setting. These are self-reliant people that are used to getting by and using the land. That being said, many had become complacent with the influx of modern society. When the modern world isn’t available anymore, how do people react? This is the story that is laid out here, the characters are relatable and interesting and the story moves at steady pace. The conclusion was satisfying for the type of situation they are forced to live with. All ...more
Joy Clark
This is a unique story about a remote Canadian First Nation tribe that finds itself suddently without power, water, internet, or telephones. With this backdrop, the author subtly explores the themes of self-sufficiency, family, friendship, community, survival, and racism. I loved the inclusion of the Ojibwe language and native traditions, and there a few reminders that the Americas are not that far removed from some pretty harrowing atrocities toward native tribes. It's a great, quick read that ...more
StarlightBook Reviewsxo
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hello, what's poppin' my reader family? Starlight Books here ready to tell you about my current adventures with a book I've had the pleasure of reviewing called "Moon of the Crusted Snow" by Waubgeshig Rice. Let's dig into this juicy review, shall we?

In this novel Rice paints a terrifying picture of possible repercussions due to over-dependence on technology and collapsing of societies to later begin anew.

I say "over-dependence of technology"when main character Evan Whitesky loses cell phone s
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2018
The friend who recommended this book to me said that much of it is implicit. Rice doesn't waste time on tangents. That is certainly true. This isn't a novel about an apocalypse. It doesn't go into detail about how civilization falls apart or delve into the causes like The Stand or The Passage. This is a book about a community.

The Anishinaabe have faced hardships before. And incursions seeking their resources. During the Moon of the Crusted Snow, as the deep winter surrounds them and the band
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canlit, btb-2019
This excellent novel is a slow burn, it builds gradually and Rice is clever in that he lets your imagination fill in a lot of the scarier elements. He gives you just enough information for your thoughts to go wild with.

The setting of the novel is perfect for a dystopian novel, set in a Northern Anishinaabe community, it is already a remote and removed location. Rice explores what it means for a small community like this to be 100% cut off from even the basic comforts they had come to enjoy. Trad
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Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in October 2018. He currentl ...more
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