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
Branch Call Number: FIC Rice
Characteristics: 218 pages


From Library Staff

In an imagined future, a northern Anishinaabe community loses power and cell service right as the seasons change to winter, and they must fight for their survival. While current events aren't quite so dramatic, this book will remind you of the power and strength in community while also keeping y... Read More »

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Nov 16, 2020

Excellent read and well written

Sep 26, 2020

This is an excellent book, especially to be read now, during the coronavirus pandemic. The story moves beautifully, carried along by the wonderfully developed characters. A must read!

Sep 01, 2020

It was a very interesting read about the small re3sevre in northern Ontario the author did a great job of telling an exciting story about a community dealing with survival. The people in the story

ReadingAdviser_Lori Jun 25, 2020

A haunting post-apocalyptic novel written by an Anishinaabe writer and journalist. The story takes place on a reserve in the wilderness of northwestern Ontario. Rice’s vivid descriptions of the land and the eerie presence of a lurking evil make this novel a page-turner.

Jun 10, 2020

If you enjoyed the novel, The Marrow Thieves, you will definitely enjoy this read. This novel focuses on Canadian Indigenous people that have been pushed to the cold side of the world by white men (the unfair treatment of Indigenous people). It's a story based on the shut down of power supplies and the need for survival. To be honest, I found this novel quite haunting. But the reason why I enjoyed this novel was hearing about how powerful cultures can be and how they can help families and communities come together during troubling times. Not only that, but I felt as if I were in the novel and part of the apocalypse! If you prefer novels that put you at the edge of your chair, this one is for you! 4/5 stars
@Bookland of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Mar 07, 2020

I read this book as one of my book club reads. Overall, this wasn’t a read I enjoyed and not one I would recommend. Rice did do a good job of portraying the indigenous people honourably and of bringing light to life on reservations. However, I found the first 80-100 pages to be a lot of preamble. It was a good reminder of how technology has made us so disconnected to nature, and also a good reminder of how unprepared we are in an apocalypse. I appreciated the read, but it isn’t a book I’d purchase and lend out.

Feb 10, 2020

End-of-the-world Wendigo shenanigans. Nicely done.

Nov 27, 2019

Told exclusively from an Anishanaabe perspective, Moon of the Crusted Snow is both a post-apocolyptic novel and a parable of the dangers that can result from being separated from the land. Rice manages to skillfully blend traditional story telling with edge-of-your-seat suspense, leading us through the frightening events occurring on a far-north, isolated reservation when something (we don't ever learn exactly what) happens to the "western infrastructure" the people on the reservation have become accustomed to. What begins as no cell service and no television quickly evolves into no electricity, no fuel, and ultimately no food. Community members are forced to rely on each other for food, housing, fire, etc. Outsiders appear and, like outsiders do, disrespect the local culture and try to take over by force. A clever nod to the mythological wendigo creature builds suspense and creates a villain for the tale. At the end, those who survive through the "apocalypse" do so by their knowledge and reliance on the 'old ways'. Interesting, informative and thought-provoking. This would be a great study novel for high schools.

Sep 18, 2019

2019 Evergreen Nominated Title

I enjoyed this novel. It was written well enough and the characters were engaging. I enjoyed looking into the life of a Northern First Nations tribe. The character building was fascinating and then blending it into a creepy thriller like Rice did?
Pretty good stuff. He kept you gripped to the page as you wonder how the village would survive and if the characters you liked would survive.

The ending was a bit of a shock and not what I was expecting.
It was a very good debut novel.

Sep 06, 2019

This is an fairly good book. It's a bit simplistic in writing style and needed some critical editing to get rid of some repetitious bits (the moose hunting rituals for example; we got it the first time!! no need to explain the whole mindfulness thing every time you shoot a moose!).
I'm a bit surprised it's not classified as youth fiction and it is written at a pretty basic level; not a criticism necessarily, but it's a pretty easy, fast read and would be a good read for junior high school students for example.
As for the plot; it's an interesting twist on a oft-told subject, seen from different eyes though. I did like that the narrator wasn't a completely sympathetic figure and admitted to flaws. The "villain" was an almost cartoonishly dastardly dude, not really much nuance there!
Still, an enjoyable and light read.

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Aug 19, 2019

Bookworm_112 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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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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