#Mx3 Review: The Raven’s Gift by Don Rearden

October 18, 2013 Horror, Murders, Monsters, & Mayhem, Pintail, Review 6

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pintail (June 25, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 014318749X
  • Source: Library copy

John Morgan and his wife, Anna,  are excited to start their next adventure in life as new teachers in a Yup’ik Eskimo village in remote Alaska.  While wary and anxious, they both see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Sure, it will take some time to get used to living in conditions less than what they were used to but the rewards will more make up for their “suffering.”

Not long after their arrival, they hear word of a deadly epidemic striking villages close to them.  Shortly thereafter, villagers, including some of their closest friends, become ill. Due to their remote location, no aid of any sort can reach them.  People are starving around them. John realizes he must make the ultimate sacrifice and make a 1,000 mile trek across the Alaskan tundra to seek help.  On his journey, he meets a blind Eskimo woman and an elderly native who need his protection to survive. In turn, he needs their knowledge of the terrain to survive.  Along the way, John discovers a darker, more disturbing explanation behind this mysterious epidemic.

Told using three different timelines, The Raven’s Gift portrays the village before the epidemic hits, John and Anna’s early attempts to adjust, and John’s attempt to survive the harsh Alaskan elements.  The desolate and bleak setting truly becomes a part of the story, a character in and of itself.   A dark and devastating journey, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Stand,  The Raven’s Gift will capture and engage the reader from the start.  A truly unique post-apocalyptic tale, it portrays a message that is destined to resound in the hearts of readers long after they read it.  What makes it most terrifying is that it is wholly plausible, a nightmare brought to life in our own country.

This title was suggested as part of my “Operation: Scare Me” challenge. I have to admit, when I read the premise I was doubtful. In the end, wow…was I terrified! If you are looking for a unique post-apocalyptic novel, I guarantee that The Raven’s Gift is the perfect book for you. Highly, highly recommended.

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