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Moon of the Crusted Snow

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  67 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.

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
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.
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.
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
Josee Sigouin
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actually, 4.5 stars
List of Ingredients
• An isolated Anishinaabe community
• Proud, industrious people
• Disenchanted people
• Winter coming
• Rug pulled from under them
• Agent provocateur

It takes more than the right ingredients to make a story rich and deep, and this is exactly what author Waubgeshig Rice accomplishes with Moon of the Crusted Snow. The situations feel imminently plausible while the main protagonist, Evan Whitesky, stands for the ordinary Jo who tries to do his best for his loved one
Penny Ramirez
Very powerful. This is the second apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel I've read in the past year that is told from a non-standard point of view: the first was a Mennonite community outside of Pittsburgh, and this book was a First Nations tribe in far northern Ontario. In both books, the communities themselves were peripherally affected by whatever had happened in the outside world, but mostly had the means to survive, using their strong sense of community and respect for family and the land. Then ...more
Jane Mulkewich
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A modern story of the "apocalypse" in Ontario, written from an Anishinaabe viewpoint and from the location of a northern Anishinaabe community, and therefore mindful of what it means to survive in the brutally cold Northern Ontario winter, and also of what it means to survive the long historical sweep of white settler colonialism. It is not a long book, and it is a quick read, and just enough of the chaos and violence seeps in and leaves the rest to the imagination.
Craig Werner
Interesting comparison with Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning, also a post-apocalyptic story grounded in the culture of a specific Native American nation. Where Roanhorse is dramatic, Rice is understated. Where Roanhorse is definitely "fantastic" (if your standard's any sort of basic realism), there's nothing in Rice that couldn't happen. My preference is for Moon of the Crusted Snow, but it's basically a matter of taste.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rice is definitely a storyteller, and the book is quite captivating. I found myself thinking about it and looking for moments in my day to sneak in a page or two. In it, we see a different perspective on an apocalyptic event and are confronted with our lack of preparedness. How far we’ve strayed from living close to the natural cycle of the earth. Would we band together to survive or turn on one another? Moon of the Crusted Snow explores the possibilities of each.
Mark Singh
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant. A short read, but one where every page is chock full of odes to and insights into Anishinaabe culture. The author has a wonderful way of capturing detail and a great, simple approach to story telling that made this book Hard to put down.
Alexander Kosoris
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, speculative
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 ...more
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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 forthcoming novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, will be published in October 2018. He curr ...more