Review: The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden

The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden 

New Publish Date: June 25, 2013
New Publisher: Pintail

Format: E-book, Paperback
Pages: 288

Genre: Advanture,Thriller, Fiction

Source: From the publisher for a review

Purchase*: Barnes and NobleAmazon
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Rating: 4.0

Originally Published: January 25th, 2011
Original Publisher: Penguin Canada

Book Description:

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.

My Review:

   "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 more. 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 more 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."


  1. This sounds interesting! I love anything to do with Alaska, and well, an epidemic plot is always great!

  2. This books sounds like a pretty great story I loved your review It made me want to read it even more Thank you & Happy Reading

  3. Thanks for the incredible review! Folks can read the first chapter on Amazon or my website.



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