Review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves
Cherie Dimaline
Dancing Cat Books
Published May 22, 2017

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Marrow Thieves

In a futuristic 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 people, 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 fifteen-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.”

The Marrow Thieves on Goodreads

My Review

I picked up this book without reading the back cover copy, so I was not prepared for the story at all. In a way, I think that was really good because it allowed me to feel the full force of my shock as I took in what was happening in those opening scenes. THE MARROW THIEVES isn’t an easy read, and it’s not supposed to be.

The writing is really beautiful though, if that makes sense. It’s not overly poetic or lyrical necessarily, though it does drift that direction especially in its descriptions of nature and the natural world. It’s raw and gripping and there’s a desperateness about it that made me feel like I needed to keep reading.

The characters are really well-crafted. I felt like I knew them and could picture them, and sometimes even predict what they were going to do. I loved Miig so much. And Rose, Wab, and Minerva! Such great characters.

I think the only thing that felt weird to me was how little French thinks about his brother, who’d been captured. At first he thinks of him a lot, but then not so much for the rest of the story. I didn’t expect that, especially with how much the story focused on family and those left behind.

Besides that, though, this book totally gripped me. It’s dark and a bit grim, but also threaded with hope and strength and courage. I think readers who liked THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy or maybe THE FEVER KING by Victoria Lee would definitely enjoy this one.

The Marrow Thieves on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
All central characters are Indigenous.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. One scene shows some intimate touching. References to sex. Kissing between two men. Two men in the story are married.

Spiritual Content
Shows some beliefs and traditions of Indigenous people.

Violent Content – Trigger warning for gun violence and violence against women and children.
Situations of peril. Multiple scenes showing violent capture or fighting. More than one woman shares her story which involves brutality against her. A child is murdered. Those who’ve escaped the schools or recruiters often have horrible scars.

Drug Content
A couple characters smoke tobacco. One character gets high on some kind of pills.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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