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Publisher's Summary

A daring post-apocalyptic novel 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 society to the south. Soon after, others follow. 

The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. 

Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn. 

©2018 Waubgeshig Rice (P)2018 ECW Press

What the critics say

“Perfect for those who read Iain Reid’s Foe this summer and are looking for something in the same vein.” (The Globe and Mail)

“The creeping tension and vividly drawn landscapes make Waubgeshig Rice’s characters’ choices all the more real.” (Toronto Star

Moon of the Crusted Snow asks how do we live in a good way during the collapse of the infrastructure that supports modern life? For Evan Whitesky, the answer lies in rekindling Ojibwe, the old ways, language and culture. For other characters, when the food runs out, all options are on the table, no matter how gruesome. As the tensions between those surviving the end of modern civilization build to a harrowing conclusion, Rice deftly weaves tender family moments with his brutal survival scenes in the unforgiving northern Ontario winter. Chilling in the best way possible." (Eden Robinson, award-winning author of Monkey Beach and Son of a Trickster)

Go Behind the Scenes of Moon of the Crusted Snow

''What I hope people take away from Moon of the Crusted Snow is that there is hope,'' author Waubgeshig Rice shared with Audible in a conversation held at the 2019 Festival of Literary Diversity in Brampton, Ontario. ''Despite all the darkness that we endure even in modern society, there are things to be hopeful for.''
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What listeners say about Moon of the Crusted Snow

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Enjoyable for ALL Canadians

As a Cree from Northern Saskatchewan I knew almost every character he described making it hit close to home. It's nice to have Waub Rice and now many other Indigenous authors out there to choose from; their perspective is much needed in the literary world. Nitiniki (from my heart).

5 people found this helpful

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Hoping for a sequel

I really enjoyed this novel. It is an interesting peek into a community very different from my own, and yet similar in many ways as well. I appreciated the epilogue, but I still want more and hope for a sequel in future.

4 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

Loved this story. Enjoyed learning a First Nations perspective on surviving their second apocalypse.The first happened when white men arrived. Narrator was excellent.

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Highly recommended

I enjoyed this novel. it is rooted in indigenous storytelling with deeper meaning and understanding

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Genuinely enjoyed this, inspiring

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Having worked in and around First Nations for decades I can admit to holding a hopeful curiosity for how these communities would react under a scenario like this. This book brought me so close to this community that I am now seriously considering booking a week or two on a First Nations Territory up in Northerm Ontario to learn and use my trade skills to help my friend build something on his land there.

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Apocalyptic New

The language off the novel is clean and lean. The story is suspenseful and credible. I’m no expert in the authenticity sweepstakes for indigenous fiction, but I felt like I might have learned something about Rez life in the North. Makes me want to read more Waubgeshig Rice. And Billy Merasty reads it with warmth and artistry.

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Enjoyed the story

I struggled with the narration at the beginning but once I adjusted to the rhythm I ended really enjoying the performance. The story moves fast and I very much enjoy learning and listening to traditions and perspectives through the lens of our first nations. A great first novel from one of my favorite CBC journalists.

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10/10 would recommend

Beautifully written, heartfelt, and deeply unsettling. I look forward to reading more of Rice’s books!

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A horror story that is a reality for many

A community that focuses on the needs of their members are tested when communication is cut off, food deliveries cease, and people start to panic. Traditional food systems and governance must be relied upon while the community deals with outsiders seeking help, students fighting to find their way home, while leaders struggling to keep the peace. This story showcases the issues of food security in Canadian small towns/communities and how some indigenous people have had the opportunity to be taught traditional ways of food gathering/hunting while others have lost a multitude of teaching(s) due systemic racism/outside influences.

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Hidden gem

Never heard of this book prior to it being one of the choices for class and after the synopsis it immediately seemed the most interesting of the list. And I am not disappointed. It’s easily one of the best “post-apocalyptic” stories I’ve ever experienced as it is the same kind of apocalypse setting, yet from the fresh and interesting perspective of Canadian First Nations Aboriginals who are much more equipped for the incident than other communities thanks to their culture and heritage, (which is displayed effectively in an accurate, beautiful and understandable way) yet not at all prepared for the mass hysteria, fear, and even outsiders. Overall, it’s a fresh, gripping, suspenseful thriller that turns into an intense, action, sci-fi horror at some points with even some culturally specific monsters. I consider this book a hidden gem and pray that it gets picked up and turned into a faithful TV series because if done right, it would be AWESOME!

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  • Malia
  • 2019-04-23

Really great book!!!

I heard about this book while listening to CBC. Radio, and wanted to read it as soon as I noticed it was on Audible. I don’t read a lot of post-apocalypse books but I knew I wanted to read this one because it was about Northern Ontario where I used to live. The narrator is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that many others will want to read it and learn more about the Anishinaabe people, and what it is like to live in North Western Ontario Canada.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jessi McCain Owzarski
  • 2019-12-15

excellent

This was a hopeful story with superb naration. I really enjoyed the journey and the detail.

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  • Mal
  • 2020-11-06

Helllofagood book

Every step of the way this story delivers. One of the best books I’ve read! Worth purchasing. The narration was perfect. Highly recommended!1

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  • Gina
  • 2020-03-29

great story!

great story! it was very hard to take any breaks, I wanted to find out what happened next!

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  • RieRie K
  • 2020-01-05

Narration rusty at beginning

This is a slow-burning allegorical tale. Narrator I s rusty at beginning, but is excellent thereafter.