[Reading] ➺ The Ravens Gift By Don Rearden – Dolove.info

The Ravens Gift Don Rearden s novel thrusts you out into the cold, alone, starving, desperate for shelter or some idea where to go for help The tone is as bleak as the frozen tundra landscape, with unspeakable horror just over the horizon But at the heart of the story are several very real people who dared to live on the edge of civilization, and are now struggling to stay alive in the aftermath of catastrophe Don Rearden s fictional apocalypse is attributed to a flu, something similar to the deadly epidemics that swept rural Alaska over the last few centuries Or is it something insidious I think the causes of the epidemic and the details of the gory fallout are less important than the stories of the survivors, and Don chooses the right focus for his story John is haunted by memories of his wife and their short stay together in the village before the plague His companion is a mysterious girl who knows than she lets on Don puts them in contact with other people along the way, but again, he does well to keep the focus narrowly on John and the girl.Don is one of the rare Alaska writers who manage to avoid getting bogged down in landscape painting What he does here seems just about perfect and lends itself perfectly to the ominous and dangerous nature of the plot And the way he unravels the story is unusual and effective He builds tension and sympathy for the characters in short episodes that head mostly in two different directions, sometimes weaving in and out, eventually circling back and landing on the epicenter of the action GO FIND A COPY OF THIS BOOK, READ IT, AND PASS IT ON WELL DONE, DON Such a great book Only couldn t give it a 5 because of issues with the ending which I won t comment on here Truly unable to put this down I was watching a playoff game and thinking about the people in this book.Excellent, excellent book Perhaps not the best read while recovering from the flu as a person who lives alone somewhat outside the town limitsat least I didn t read it while I was getting sick I went into this knowing nothing I simply put it in my own pile of books instead of shelving it at the Library, the cover art is beautiful and I have a thing for Raven s.A frightnening what if story set in a remote village in Alaska before during and after a deadly outbreak of avian flu. I was asked to review this book for my university magazine and I am glad I did Whilst this is not anything overly out of the ordinary or a phenomenon of literature by any means, it is still an incredibly well written story of survival the is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy s The Road or Stephen King s Cell.There are not enough books set in Alaska There are not enough books about government conspiracy and viral pandemics Don Reardon is bridging the gap with The Raven s Gift a simple case of supply and demand has enabled the creation of this gritty and chilling post apocalyptic tale Reardon writes with a neatness that is uncommon in contemporary literature, and even uncommon in thriller writing Set in the harshness of the Alaskan tundra, The Raven s Gift is a story that is becoming and true with every tick of the clock It asks the questions we are all thinking, how will it happen When will it happen Could I survive the end of the world As well as asking the questions, it provides truth, in all of its brutal glory People die, hearts are broken and some people just don t care.The only thing I can fault this book on is the occasional simplistic style of the writing Short chapter length makes reading fast and keeps you in the story, plot wise, Reardon ties everything together, with not a single question left unanswered Full of twists you won t see coming, laced with Alaskan native culture and truly unique in every aspect, I have not enjoyed a book like this in a long time 28 Days Later meets 30 Days of Night, minus the vampires thank god For fans of Stephen King and anyone in between, this book will not disappoint This leaves no questions unanswered and is a very complete story If you are after an easy, quick read without having to buy a chick lit novel about dating and shopping, this is the book for you. This wonderful novel explores both the history and a potential apocalyptic future for the Yup ik people of Southwestern Alaska As a bush teacher myself, I could easily relate to the main character, although his success as a teacher is somewhat idyllic It doesn t quite show the very real challenges teachers face in the bush I recommend reading Harold Napolean s essay, Yuuyaraq the Way of the Human Being, to understand the impact of what he refers to as the Great Death, when the Yup ik population suffered a catastrophic loss from the influenza virus in the early 20th century Revisiting this very real threat to the culture both poses an essential question and draws attention to the fact that this in fact has happened before.I commend Mr Reardan on an excellent novel and hope to do what I can to ensure it is offered as a curriculum option for Yup ik students As a teacher I highly recommend that an electronic version become available on and that an audiobook version be in the works by a skilled actor. Source Received from publicist Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review My rating 5 5John and his wife, Anna, head north to the Alaskan tundra to teach and immerse themselves in the Yup ik community and culture They hope to find adventure along the way, but they could never have expected that they would encounter an epidemic that would decimate the Alaskan communities and ultimately prove fatal With no help coming, the survivors must take things into their own hands if they have any chance of survival An unlikely trio is formed when John meets up with a blind girl and an older woman, but the bonds they form are needed if they are to survive the perilous journey they must undertake I m still at a loss for words to even begin to describe what I think of The Raven s Gift It is definitely one of those books that will stick with you long after it is read I can safely say that this book surprised me with how genuine it is I found it to be a haunting and compelling read, and it honestly had me hooked from the very beginning I couldn t put it down, and found that I savoured every page The Raven s Gift is told in three interwoven timelines, the first being when John and Anna apply to teach in the Yup ik communities The second and third are tied closely together as they both are written after the outbreak and they follow John on his journey with both the blind girl, Rayna, and the older woman, Maggie A community that is already isolated as is, doesn t stand a chance when an epidemic of this stature is unleashed across it With little to no medication, and no immediate connection to the outside world, it is easy to imagine the chaos that would run through the tundra and outer lying communities There is an undercurrent of danger as questions arise as to why no one has come to help, and how are those who have survived the epidemic going to fend for themselves against nature, man and beast The trials that John is put through, and the decisions he has to make are very real They show the conflicted state he is put in and yet, they also show his true character The mystery surrounding the epidemic will also have the reader struggling to figure out just what is happening.A masterful and compelling debut, Rearden is one to watch His representation of Yup ik culture and the sense of isolation throughout ring true as it is coming from one who knows and writes from an insiders point of view The mystery throughout will keep the reader invested in the outcome, as will the premise of the book This is an eye opening, chilling, and haunting tale of love, loss, and discovery Its impact will reverberate long after the the last page has been read Honestly, if you are going to read only one book this year, make it The Raven s Gift. I d rate this book closer to 3.5 stars.Reading this story, I got a vibe similar to that of The Road by Cormac McCarthy While similar, The Raven s Gift is its own story of a man s quest for survival through the harsh and unforgiving remote Alaska Wilderness whose villages and town s have been ravaged by a deadly disease I enjoyed the Alaska historical tidbits I didn t know about nuke testing in Alaska and I thought I had a pretty decent knowledge base on the state and the Yu pik cultural references With a little character and plot development this book could have easily been a 4 star rating. This book drew me in right from the prologue Don t you hear the noise It swishes like the beating of the wings of great birds in the air It is the fear of naked people, it is the flight of naked people The weather spirit is blowing the storm out, the weather spirit is driving the weeping snow away over the earth, and the helpless storm child Don t you hear the weeping of the child in the howling wind Baleen, Copper Eskimo Shaman, 1920s The Raven s Gift is basically an exciting post apocalyptic adventure John and Anna Morgan arrive in a remote Alaskan village to teach school An epidemic wipes out their village And when no help comes, faced with starvation, or perhaps death at the hands of other desperate, hungry survivors, John sets off alone across the windswept Arctic tundra He is joined by two other friendly survivors, a young blind woman, Rayna, who relies on senses other than sight and an older Yup ik woman, Maggie who relies on the old ways They are not the only survivors Out there too is the not friendly white hunter and, Rayna believe and hopes, the surviving children of the village.Just the epic adventure itself is enough to keep you glued to the pages There is mystery and creepiness, good and evil enough For me, it was like what I felt watching that old TV series, The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan.But in addition to the drama itself, The Raven s Gift is a history and culture lesson I delighted in being introduced to the Yup ik people Just as Anna and John had set out on their educational adventure, so did I And while I delighted in it the Russian traditions were particularly surprising to me , I was also troubled by it For some reason I thought that Americans would have respected their northern land and peoples better than we Canadians have Not so apparently Resources are used, people ignored I was in fact heartbroken by the plight of the Alaskan youth that Rearden depicts so similar to that of our own Canadian aboriginal youth with their high suicide rates.Throughout the book I found myself questioning, both in the small and the big picture Could this happen Will it happen Who is responsible How to survive How to thrive The adventure alone is worth the read, the education a bonus. Great book I took the apocalypse as a metaphor for the costs to Yup ik communities of contact with the West Since the author lived in these communities, his descriptions of rural village life are very authentic, and the characters are fully realized people that you might encounter there. The Raven s Gift is a story about survival, hope and finding love when you least expected it This book takes you on a adventure, adventure of life and death This is a dark read, that evolves a lot around death You will find yourselves questioning if something like this can really happen This book is also a lesson You will learn a lot about Yup ik culture, as well as some history of Native people The Plot I was not as excited to read this book at first I never really read a book that involves around illness, but I always wanted to read a book of this genre I was really surprised at how much I liked this book The plot was just so good The story of Anna and John was amazing Its the kind of book that leaves you wanting With every chapter it opens a new view on characters and everything that you thought you knew With this book you just start to question things I loved that the book was set in Alaska, I mean you don t see a lot of books written in Alaska and it feels like a lot of people forgot about Alaska This book really shows you the hardship of people living there and the amazing culture The Characters The characters in The Raven s Gift were so realistic It was really easy to connect to John and Anna and their new experiences As you read it, at times it might feel like you are there with them The way Don Rearden developed his character was amazing John was the main character and a really strong one You can see from the beginning to the end how his character changes and how differently he starts to handle things You observe his growth as a person The other characters, like the blind girl and the old woman that travel with him were also really captivating I just loved reading their stories of their culture and traditions The Writing The writing style to this book was really unique At fist we see John s move with his wife Anna, later in a chapter it jumps to his journey with a blind girl, then it goes to earlier before he met the blind girl So the story just jumps from the beginning of his move and his time with his wife and before the illness broke out to his midway journey with blind girl to the future At first it can be really confusing but it is easier to get used to it, because the writing is a big part of the book that makes the story so much interesting to follow The End Honestly in the end I felt like some of my questions throughout the story wasn t answered and it left me hanging Like I really wanted to know what happens to John after what happened in the end don t want to spoil So I didn t like the end as much as I wanted to Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book Not only it was a wonderful story but it was also an amazing lesson The Raven s Gift is a debut novel by Don Rearden, and I think he did a wonderful job writing his first novel I would definitely recommend it to the people who like reading about disease break out and people fighting and trying to survive hardships A scene from The Raven s Gift His finger traced the route, following the wide river as it slowly narrowed, meandering hundreds of miles toward the little town of Mcgrath He paused at Kalskag, noticing the Yukon River seemed to almost touch the Kuskokwim there He was pondering the trip up that river, toward Fairbanks, when he heard the first shot He closed the book and held still, flat on his back His pistol and rifle within reach.Another shot Then another They sounded close Then distant He listened until his ears rang, waiting for the next The shots continued through the night. John Morgan And His Wife Can Barely Contain Their Excitement Upon Arriving As The New Teachers In A Yup Ik Eskimo Village On The Windswept Alaskan Tundra But Their Move Proves Disastrous When A Deadly Epidemic Strikes And The Isolated Community Descends Into Total Chaos When Outside Aid Fails To Arrive, John S Only Hope Lies In Escaping The Snow Covered Tundra And The Hunger Of The Other Survivors He Must Make The Thousand Mile Trek Across The Alaskan Wilderness For Help He Encounters A Blind Eskimo Girl And An Elderly Woman Who Need His Protection, And He Needs Their Knowledge Of The Terrain To Survive The Harsh Journey Pushes Him Beyond His Limits As He Discovers A New Sense Of Hope And The Possibility Of Loving Again


About the Author: Don Rearden

Called a master of the cliffhanger by the Washington Post, Don Rearden is the co author of Warrior s Creed St Martin s Press 2019 the best selling Never Quit St Martin s Press 2017 , and the award winning novel, The Raven s Gift Published by Pintail and Penguin US, Penguin Canada, Text Publishing Australia 2012, and Fleuve Noir France 2013.Don Rearden grew up on the tundra of


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