Readings from a book lover, teacher, teacher-librarian-in-training.
Des lectures d'un bibliophile, enseignante, enseignante-bibliothécaire en formation.
In terms of story, I liked the narrative and characters. I liked both Aisling and Eric, though I think their characterisation skewed older than stated. Eric's reaction to his mom struck me as authentic though. Lots of kids at that age will make a decision and, from a mistaken attempt to seem 'grown up' will refuse (or not understand how) to admit a mistake.
It was obvious to me that Cor was going to be bad given his name (Cor->Corvid/Corbeau->Raven->trickster) and the circumstances of his appearance, and understandable that Eric, being only 12 wouldn't really question his motives. It was much less believable, however, that no one, even the adults really questioned Jake's presence or motives, especially given the history of relations between city/rez and the apparent danger for the family's secrets. I wouldn't have thought them so welcome to a stranger in such circumstances. Eric, yes, because he's vulnerable, but as soon as Aisling is surrounded by her family, she's no longer a good victim. I kept waiting for him to have some important narrative role. There really wasn't any foreshadowing of his evil and I'm not decided if that was because of the naivete of the narrative voice, or a weakness of the writing.
Most of the mythological elements worked with what I already knew of First Nations mythology with the exception of Raven as a destroyer. Trickster, certainly, and creator of the earth in some versions, but I've never come across him as an apocalyptic character. To me that sounds closer to the Eurocentric symbolism of ravens as harbingers of death, so I wonder how much of that portion of the story was 'fanatsy' and how much was based on the mythologies Paquette knows from his elders.
I have to point out some deficiencies with the actual book layout/design. When I was breaking in the spine, I noticed there was something off about the pages, but had to really look to figure out what it was. The paragraphing isn't standard and the extra spacing between dialogue and narrative was really distracting. I eventually got over it as I just started reading faster, but I have to say it's a big strike against the book being used in classrooms where we struggle to teach students how standard paragraphing works. If the formatting were consistent, I could use it and discuss it with students as a comparative to standard style, but it doesn't even seen to follow its own conventions and I can't see it being a stylistic choice that mirrors any aspect of the narrative either like the oral style of Wagamese's Keeper N' Me, for instance.