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Moon of the Crusted Snow

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,918 ratings  ·  699 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
Paperback, 218 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by ECW Press
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Peter I took it to mean that white civilisation had collapsed, so why have a white society wedding? It doesn't seem like the kind of book to not say if a…moreI took it to mean that white civilisation had collapsed, so why have a white society wedding? It doesn't seem like the kind of book to not say if a major character had died.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  3,918 ratings  ·  699 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 ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed, returned
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
"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.

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 ...more
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
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
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, ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: can-con, indigenous, 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
"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
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
Bri | bribooks
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 “
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
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
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
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
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
Anne ✨
Oooh, this was really good storytelling! The slow, haunting reveal of the early stages of an apocalypse unfolding in a remote first nation village was atmospheric and chilling.

Be prepared this is NOT a fast-paced story full of plot and action, but it's an excellent portrayal of life in a small, remote, northern Canada first nations community in winter, and the imagining of the beginnings of a post-apocalyptic scenario when all communications and then power goes dark.

The whole experience of this
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a little bit conflicted about this book, at one hand I really enjoyed it. It's a post apocalyptic short novel with respect to first nations traditions. But I'm not sure I liked the ending, I didn't see it coming or in other words it should have happened a lot earlier...
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Decided to get the audio. The narrator is an Aboriginal Canadian, same as the author. The first few chapters were odd, as he has an unusual way to emphasize his sentences.

The story starts slowly... No power in the reservation, the male MCs talking about hunting, slow build-up... I really wanted to try some moose meat one hour into the audio!

The plot is pretty straight forward and not terribly suspenseful. It’s about the community and how it deals with the lack of power and the issues following
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 ...more
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
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.
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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 ...more
“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.” 0 likes
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