The Marrow Thieves

The Marrow Thieves

Book - 2017
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"In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's indigenous population - and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow - and dreams - means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing 'factories.'"--
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Dancing Cat Books,, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781770864863
Characteristics: 234 pages ; 21 cm

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liljables Mar 19, 2018

I'm a big fan of YA, dystopian, and First Nations fiction, so The Marrow Thieves ticked a lot of boxes for me. But this story transcended all of these genres, and it was by far the most emotionally affecting novel I've read so far this year. Much like the depiction of the United States in America... Read More »


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While the writing is somewhat poetic, I do not see any merit to the plot in this book. I wonder if the author was trying and failed to mimic the more successful books in The Hunger Games series? This novel describes an imaginary holocaust of Canadian indigenous in a future dystopian world where an evil white society must suck the dreams out of every innocent metis and indigenous man, woman and child. It feels like reverse racism where all western society is evil and the indigenous is the only pure race. The intended audience appears to be young adults. Certainly there is not enough context or sophistication to appeal to an adult reader.

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ChristineRondeau
Mar 22, 2019

One of the best book I’ve ever read. Gripping, terrifying and yet beautifully written. This book needs to be read slowly and without any distractions so that you can savour each sentence.

b
bansidthe
Dec 07, 2018

Intense and beautifully written. Nicely in your face for mainstream society.....First Nations people need a strong voice like this. She gives us a view into a repressed peoples' world. Well done.

j
johnsankey
Oct 30, 2018

Racist hatred as horrid as any anti-Semitic or Incel vitriol. All indigenous peoples are superior to all other peoples on earth, and all other peoples are out to get them. Nothing but freedom of speech can justify publication of these views.

l
lunablu
Oct 27, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow for me at the beginning but then it picked up quickly. This is a dystopian Native American story full of survival and tragedy. North America is struggling because of global warming and non-Indigenous peoples have stopped dreaming. Indigenous people are on the run to survive with their dreams.

r
Rkbm1103
Jul 24, 2018

If you like this book, you will probably like A Girl Called Echo. A Métis girl leaps between the history of her ancestors past and the present, showing indigenous history as tangible instead of simply word on pages

c
chloesaar
Jul 21, 2018

This book is very moving. Frenchie makes us love his dystopian world. "The Marrow Thieves" is a wonderful book based on the future world, and indigenous peoples. The book is about indigenous peoples and "regular" people. The "regular" people have lost the ability to dream, and now they realize that the indigenous peoples still have that ability. So they set out to have as many indigenous peoples as they can. They build a machine to extract the dreams from their bone marrow. Frenchies adventures with his new friends are both sad and exciting. I really loved the whole book, but if I had to pick a favourite part I would pick the part where Minerva breaks the machine. Minerva is the eldest in Franchise tribe. She was caught, but when she was brought to the machine she sang a song from her heart. The song lyrics and the tune was strong enough to break the machine. I loved reading this book but to be honest it got a little boring at the end. The same things were repeating over and over again. But please read this book!

JessicaGma Jun 19, 2018

This book is a very smart dystopia where Indigenous people hold the secrets to help everyone dream in their bones, quite literally. Frenchie is your narrator taking you through this land where climates have warmed, and most have died of some plague. It's no wonder it's won many awards, and that ending.....Read it!

a
abcDena
Jun 05, 2018

A novel This novel is beautifully written, reminding me of Eden Robinson’s novel, Monkey Beach. The Marrow Thieves is a departure from traditional indigenous lit however, because it's a dystopian (!) novel set in Ontario's near future! It retains some of the same mystical elements found in magical realism, but presents a harsher landscape where Frenchie and his cohorts must learn and re-learn how to survive. It's a sobering comment on the unending struggles of the Canadian Indigenous people, teaching us that a glimpse into the future can reveal yesterday's and today's repeated mistakes.

I'm not a fan of books that focus on climate change and global warming, but it wasn't an aggressive enough theme to turn me off. I enjoyed the book very much and wanted to see Frenchie survive and thrive, and without spoiling the conclusion, I will say that the ending was unsatisfying. I love open-ended endings and books that don't lay out all the answers, but this one feels like it's setting up to turn into a series, and I didn't pick it up with the mindset that I was dipping into a series. I LIKE TO KNOW.

Overall, an enjoyable read, especially for younger readers (YA and teen). It's not a standout amongst Canadian Indigenous fiction, in my opinion, not when you're competing with the likes of Thomas King or someone like Richard Wagamese (RIP), who is the KING of Indigenous fiction in my opinion.

Happy reading!

s
shayshortt
Mar 28, 2018

The Marrow Thieves opens with Frenchie’s coming-to story, a flashback that recounts how he came to be on the run in the northern bush, and who he was before the plague came. The bulk of the story is set in the bush, but several of the characters in the party share their own coming-to stories over the course of the book. Using a futuristic echo of the residential school system, The Marrow Thieves examines how Canada might repeat the horrors of the past by failing to acknowledge or reconcile with them. The science fiction element of extracting dreams from bone marrow is not deeply explored in a technical sense. Rather, the bone marrow becomes a powerful metaphor for what has been taken from Indigenous peoples, as well as the appropriation of their culture by those who have already taken their land, their resources, their homes, and their families, and are still not satisfied by the destruction they have wrought. It is a gut-churning portrayal entitlement. But despite the dark premise, and the threat that Frenchie and his friends are facing, I still found an abundance of hope in The Marrow Thieves.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/03/28/the-marrow-thieves/

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shayshortt
Mar 28, 2018

Everyone tells their own coming-to story. That’s the rule. Everyone’s creation story is their own.

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Lirael
Mar 26, 2018

"Cherie Dimaline uses Indigenous futurism to rewrite the past and reimagine the future. Bottom line, this is a book about hope, sacrifice, survival, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, healing and chosen families." - Jully Black, CBC Books

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DanglingConversations thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 24

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shayshortt
Mar 28, 2018

Fifteen-year-old Frenchie is a survivor, the last remaining member of his family after seeing his brother snatched by the government. In a near-future where the world is falling apart thanks to the results of global warming, society is also plagued by a new problem. People have forgotten how to dream, and this dreamlessness is slowly driving them mad. Only the Indigenous population retains the ability to dream, and it is their bone marrow that seems to hold the key to why they have not succumbed to this new plague. As the madness spreads, the government takes a page from history, and begins herding the remaining First Nations people into facilities modeled on residential schools, where their marrow is harvested at the cost of their lives. The few who remain free push northward into the wilderness, trying outrun the reach of the government. But a confrontation with the Recruiters is inevitable, and one day there will be nowhere left to run.

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