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Moon of the Crusted Snow

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  10,034 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews
A daring post-apocalyptic thriller from a powerful rising literary voice

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling societ
Paperback, 213 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by ECW Press
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  10,034 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Slow and ominous, haunting and powerful. Fans of The Marrow Thieves- make this your next read.
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
Richard Derus
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed, returned
Real Rating: 3.25* of five

COVID-19 UPDATE this weirdly prophetic tale of collapse is getting a sequel; and Waub Rice offers reading ideas on CBC with some old Canadian lady called Atwood (?) and a doctor who writes novels, Daniel Kalla.

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 Waubg
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
I'm sad to say I enjoyed this one much less than I thought I would. The plot was decent enough -- a crisis that shuts down power supplies, electric grids, etc has people fleeing to a Native American reservation where the residents are better able to fend for themselves.

The story was dialogue-driven without much character development and the writing was surface level. I like stories that dig deep and give me something to think about (and don't we all need something else to think about right now!
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely, brief glimpse into the life of Canadian Indians, Moon of the Crusted Snow shows a people who have been pushed to the frozen North by the white man in their not so distant past. In the modern world, they have the right stuff to survive when the power grid crashes. This is a post-apocalyptic tale, but also a story of how individuals, families and communities are strengthened by their culture and by their knowledge of survival when times are tough. The story is a quiet one that takes on mor ...more
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 ...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.

Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a suspenseful, atmospheric story. This is not a thriller in the traditional sense, but it's certainly thrilling. It's a slow burn as you feel the tensions rise and the stakes get higher. But it never loses sight of its humanity and the characters as people for the sake of a good story. It's the fact that you so quickly become concerned for these characters that makes everything more alarming when it does happen. Will definitely keep an eye out for more from Rice in the future. ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

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
Diana | Book of Secrets
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a haunting cautionary tale! Set in northern Canada, MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW is a character-driven, slow-burn thriller about what happens in a remote Anishinaabe community when the unthinkable happens. Their power goes out, their phones quit working, and suddenly they're cut off from the rest of the world. Winter is setting in, food supplies are low, and word from the south is that the chaos is widespread. When an outsider arrives seeking shelter, their precarious situation gets worse.

Jenny (Reading Envy)
It feels weird to say I enjoyed a novel about apocalypse and disaster, but I really did! I'd been circling this one for a while and didn't get to it in my year of focusing on Canada, so it got back burnered a bit. It tells the story of an Anishinaabe community (in what could also be northern Ontario), already pretty isolated, and what happens when the power goes out. The author and the audiobook narrator are both from Indigenous Canadian backgrounds - Waubgeshig Rice is an Anishinaabe writer and ...more
Alexander Kosoris
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: speculative, fiction
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 th ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 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 dystopian/apocalyptic stories and, to me, more often than not feel empty. Without these things filling up the book, t ...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 Stars
This was an intimate piece of fiction that provided an honest and well balanced account of life on an indigenous reservation. Told through the lens of a mystery apocalyptic event, this story offered very little explanation of the larger situation and instead chose to tell the story from a very specific, narrow perspective. I thought this storytelling choice was very unique and well executed. The narrative was fairly slow with only little spurts of action, yet I found myself completely i
2020-12, 4 stars: I enjoyed this story all over again, and actually found my reading deepened by having also recently read Sheila Watt Cloutier's The Right to be Cold, which brought home how important are things like one's language and stories, the knowledge and ways of elders about the land and the animals in it, and even something as simple as one's culture's food, and the sharing of it and other resources within the community. Waubgeshig Rice's story really drove home the point that those mor ...more
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
This felt like an A24 film in book form. It has a desolate winter landscape, a group of people trying their best to survive, a stranger with ulterior motives coming in to stir the pot of normalcy, and a tension that brews like a kettle over a fire.
Absolutely fabulous.

• Quiet, ambiguous apocalyptic novel set during a harsh winter
• Indigenous-Canadian fiction
• A quick, tense read that will leave you wondering what will happen next
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: indigenous, can-con, 2018
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
Oct 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-club-read
3.5 stars rounded down for a couple of reasons. First, why I enjoyed it. This was a very believable apocalypse story based in a northern part of Canada. The village with its new reliance on stable electricity, water and packaged food was easy to buy into as well as the struggles blending old traditions with the ease of new technology.

The struggles with the environment were easy to feel, the struggle for the identity of the community was also well done and the portrayal of a native village and c
Interesting setting, but features bland and inert prose

I was looking forward to reading this book, as it promised a rare portrait of life in a Canadian First Nations community, which was a setting that was new to me. Sadly, the prose in this book is relentlessly bland and inert, and the author has almost no ability to modulate rising and falling action or create any sense of tension or payoff. It’s a shame, because the depiction of a small, struggling community in the depths of the frozen north
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Who is likely to survive the collapse of the world as we know it? Perhaps First Nation people in the northern reserves of Canada who are not that many generations away from living off the land?

Evan Whitesky had been hunting moose that autumn day. When he returns home, he finds it strangely quiet; his partner Nicole tells him the satellite had gone out earlier. With no TV, what are they going to do to entertain themselves? (wink, wink)

In the morning, they find they have no cell phone service ei
Carolyn Walsh
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
"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
Dawn C
When the internet, power and any connection to the bigger cities surrounding this indigenous people reservation, they take it in stride and do what they’ve always done, hunt and prepare themselves for winter like the old days. But strangers come to their town, supplies are dwindling, and something sinister is going on...

A short, interesting premise with a refreshingly unusual setting. The story lacked meat, though - no pun intended -, I was never really gripped by the various emotional states th
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of the way some of the descriptions and scenes have stuck with me. There were many parts I really, really liked - I loved the idea and the detailed description of life in the small community, and the audiobook narrator was great. The slowly building feeling of dread in the first part of the book was beautifully developed. However, the main antagonist didn't feel as strongly written, and I felt that this took away from the immediacy and realism of the rest of the ...more
Matt Tandy
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who grew up in northern Ontario, I do have some sense about life in far north residential communities, however it's still somewhat of an abstract and fading by the day as I live in the Toronto area. Moon Of The Crusted Snow brings these communities to life in a very human way, painting a very clear picture of both the good and the bad with the backdrop of technological collapse and the legend of the Wendigo. Nominally a post-Apocalyptic tale, Rice's skill as community builder is immed ...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
I expected to like this book based on the synopsis, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

This author takes basic, relatable human fears — loss of electricity, lack of communication, total isolation — and injects them into a taut, brooding thriller I couldn’t put down. The more I read, the more knots got twisted in my stomach! This story is populated with people I grew to care about, all trapped together—that usually makes for good, creepy reading.

Fans of Stephen King classics like “
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice as a severe cold front settled over Manitoba, allowing me to sink into the story of an isolated Anishinaabe community’s fight for survival after losing their connection to the outside world; food supplies and sanity dwindle as outsiders threaten to send the community into further despair.

Ripe with dreams, Anishinaabemowin and traditional stories, we are able to witness the resiliency of the First Nations spirit.
With storytelling as strong and d
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Moon of the Crusted Snow' by Waubgeshig Rice left me feeling sad and thoughtful. It's about a mysterious and sudden crash of modern society and technology which affects a small community. However, unlike most dystopic apocalyptic literature, this novel is set in Canada in a village on an indigenous "rez" where Anishinaabe live.

Evan Whitesky lives with Nicole McCloud and their two children, five-year-old Maiingan and three-year-old Nangohns. Their communi
Oleksandr Zholud
This is an unusual apocalypse story set in the reservation place in Northern Canada and a community of Anishinaabe First Nation people. I read is as a part of monthly reading for November 2020 at SciFi and Fantasy Book Club group.

The story is told in the third person by a man from the First Nation Evan Whitesky, who lives with his family in the reservation territory in Northern Canada. He tries to return to traditions of his people, forced long ago from their land to the North, which includes le
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
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
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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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“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.” 16 likes
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