Moon of the Crusted Snow

Moon of the Crusted Snow

A Novel

Book - 2018
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With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community is cut off from power. Winter months pass slowly and food supple dwindles, but the greatest threat to survival comes from within the community itself.
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, ECW Press,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ♭2018
ISBN: 9781770414006
Characteristics: 218 pages


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SPL_Shauna Dec 29, 2018

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Tigard_AnnmarieA Feb 12, 2019

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

SCL_Justin Feb 07, 2019

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

liljables Feb 05, 2019

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

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

Jan 05, 2019

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

SPL_Shauna Dec 29, 2018

Full review available under Summary


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SPL_Shauna Jan 02, 2019

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

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

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

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

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