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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).

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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.

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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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Chilling

Worth listening both reading this book. Beauty mixed with a slow build of horror.

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Fantastic short read.

Recommended to everyone. the narrator was fantastic and added to the story. the story itself was short and sweet, conveyed a great atmosphere throughout that kept me engaged. the characters were wonderful. really great little package all around.

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Brilliantly crafted, I couldn’t stop listening


Waubgeshig Rice’s “winter psychological-environmental horror” is one of the most riveting listens I’ve come across. It pulses with a survivalist minded intensity, brought about by a remotely located Anishinaabe communities’s sudden severance from the outside world, and is imbued throughout with a sensitive and poetic eloquence to details of life, native stories and nature. Merasty’s narration of this story is excellent. It’s brought me through an emotional and psychological journey of this communities’ experience while focusing on the inner and external worlds of a select and intriguing few. Rices words and phrases in Anishinaabemowin / Ojibwe within the storyline enriches the novel further and brings a greater depth of understanding of Anishinaabe culture to the listener. Gritting survival against the elements, and processing grief intertwine into an emotional and thrilling listen. After ordering the book as part of a required reading from a class on Native Literature taught by Gage Karahkwí:io Diabo, I am both grateful to this brilliant teacher and to the writing of Waubgeshig Rice that holds nothing back.

I will never forget this book.

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Beautifully told, has stayed with me

Rice draws you into the setting, the community, immediately. I cared about the characters, shared their frustration, fear and suspicions. The plot was well-paced and the key plot points were revealed carefully, leaving a bit of mystery at times. The land was a beautiful place and the people a real, meaningful community.

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Moon of the Crusted Snow

The dystopian thriller, Moon of the Crusted Snow, is a multi-layered intoxicating read. Anishinabe resurgence - toxic masculinity - societal bonds – TEK - there is just so much in this novel.

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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.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-02-09

Not for me

If it weren't for the swearing, I would have thought this was a children's book.

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cameron Catanzano
  • 2022-04-09

Started off strong, but I wasn’t satisfied with the last half. 3.5.

The world building and set up gripped me from the first pages. I loved the context and their perspective. As a whole, the book has a lot to say to the “apocalypse” genre. The events of the book is certainly devastating, but their relationship with the world that was lost is far more complicated than someone living in Toronto. For an incredibly short read, this premise is worth picking the book up.

However, the strong beginning and gripping premise aren’t enough for a 4 of 5 stars. At the end of the day, I just found the last half of this book to be a bit rushed and the antagonist a bit out of place.

First half of this book was a slow burn and I was in it, but after a certain point, the story begins making time jumps later and later into winter. If the book was longer, I think they could have developed the middle and end much letter. Particularly, I felt there was a need to flush out the antagonist. Otherwise, he just felt a little rushed and a bit flat.

Performance, on the other hand, was an easy 5/5. I was completely engaged. Zero complaints.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-01-21

Chii Migwetch!!

As a fellow Shinob I always wonder what this kind of story would look like from the voice of my Anishinaabe people. Waub tells a gripping story that really takes you to that place. Some major themes like family, community, disaster preparation, and looking within ourselves really came out. There’s a lot to learn from this story.

I hope there is a sequel on the way but I also believe this story is fine as-is. I can really imagine what happens next.

This was my first time listening to something from Waub and I look forward to reading more from this excellent author!

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  • Marc Guillotte
  • 2022-01-13

wow.

this is so much more than a post apocalypse sf horror tale set in a native american community. this is the story of this native community which is so beautifully told, so richly laid out you were rooting for the survival of their culture. well done. such an enjoyable read and listen.

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  • Jeff Koeppen
  • 2022-01-04

A Unique Dystopian Tale

Moon of the Crusted Snow is a unique spin on dystopian fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The novel is set in northern Ontario, in a Anishinaabe First Nation community. Already pretty isolated from the rest of civilization, the village wakes up one day to find that the power is out and all methods of communication to the rest of society is cut off. Two tribe members who happened to be in a city to the south return to the tribe with tales of societal collapse. Winter is approaching and the tribe's council has to decide how to take care of its citizens and manage food reserves and fuel supplies over the impending long Canadian winter. And what happens if people arrive from the south?

In the first third of the novel there are some interesting developments which drive the plot and introduce conflict and tension. And life becomes increasingly harder for the tribe as winter takes hold and snow falls relentlessly. The focus of the story is 100% on the Anishinaabe people and we never learn how others are coping or how widespread the crisis is, which adds and eerie tone to the narrative.

The narration by Billy Merasty, an aboriginal Canadian himself, was perfect. Also adding to the experience was the fact that I listened to much of this while walking in crusted snow myself, while on solo night walks (too cold for the pups). It was hard to hit the stop button. Five stars for this low key and intriguing dystopian winter read.

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  • LegoBlocksAreFun
  • 2021-12-06

it was... okay?

helped pass the time...

the story was very predictable, even the "emergency food" in the end and as always "the white man" comes "in peace" and shows himself to be capable and even supportive and defensive of the native people that adopt him, only to do what "all white people do all the time, especially in winter", and it just got boring.

the characters are not that interesting on their own nor are their relationships with each other all that interesting either. this story read less like that of an excitement filled survival at the end of the world during winter time story and felt more like I was reading the Wednesday news stories... and not even page 1 or 2! more like the middle or backpacks, like the stories were trying to be kept hidden.

the voice although I'm assuming is authentic to the story being read aloud, was basically a flat monotone voice regardless of what excitement ir anger or joy was being shared by the characters within the story.

I was disappointed.

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  • david mitchell
  • 2021-10-11

exquisite writing

it is a story that wraps around you, beautiful characters and packs so much meanimg into 6 word sentences. I loved it.

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  • Paul
  • 2021-08-29

Good read

I enjoyed this book because it wove Anishinaabe traditions into a story built on colonialist themes.