Cover Image: Cold


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3.5 stars rounded up. i liked the characters a lot. found the plot slightly predictable, but enjoyable. the humor was well-placed and very funny.

Was this review helpful?

A mix of different genres, "Cold" was alternately funny, horrifying, mysterious and sad. It opens with a plane carrying three people to northern Canada:
-Anishnawbe pilot Merle Thompson
-Black, former refugee from the Caribbean, now successful journalist Fabiola Halan, on the hunt for a new story
-An indigenous teen returning home from surgery

The plane crashes and a storm arrives; the teen is dead, Fabiola is immobilized due to a broken leg, and Merle is injured but mobile. Having a bad feeling about the storm, and their chances of being found, Merle decides to go for help, leaving Fabiola behind.

A year later, the story picks up again in Toronto, where we meet:
-Elmore Trent is a survivor of a residential school and has no connections to his heritage. He's a middle-aged professor teaching indigenous literature. He's separated from his wife, a successful white realtor, and having an affair with one of his students, Katie Fiddler, a young Cree woman.
-Paul North, a thirty-five-year-old Anishnawbe hockey player in the Indigenous Hockey League. He's a former star looking at retirement in the face, doesn't have the stamina or drive of his much younger teammates, has no other training, and does not know what he'll do next.

Author Drew Hayden Taylor brings these people together through a book.

Elmore reluctantly attends a book signing with Katie for a new book by a journalist who survived a plane crash in the north--yup, it's Fabiola, who's already been to several cities for her book tour. After, Kate bumps into Paul at a restaurant, and the two bond over being Anishnawbe. Paul later meets Fabiola, who attends one of his games out of curiosity.

Meanwhile, two women are murdered, and Detective Ruby Birch begins investigating, gradually making her way to both Elmore and Paul. Both look pretty good as suspects to the detective, for the Toronto murders and for others across Canada, so Elmore and Paul get together on their own investigation to find out who really killed the women, culminating in a totally Canadian ending at a hockey rink.

The novel's's opening drew me in immediately, and all the characterizations were vivid and compelling. The author's tone is often wry, describing Trent's and North's experiences or impressions. And there is humour sprinkled throughout the story, which is often dark, with moments both horrific and graphic. But Taylor manages to take the many tonal changes and weave them into an engaging, entertaining whole, blending indigenous stories, shameful Canadian history, the complexities of identity, a murder mystery and hockey.

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for this ARC in exchange for my review.

Was this review helpful?

This was enjoyable! It’s not my favourite, but it was a great mystery/thriller.

I found that the pacing in the beginning was much slower than the last 30%, but overall, the mystery was good.

If you don’t know anything about Wendigo’s, it might be a little confusing. If you aren’t familiar with what a Wendigo is, I suggest googling it to understand it more!

I loved this take on the Wendigo, though! It kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the mystery of the plot. What is hunting and killing these people? Is it human? Is it not? Read to find out!

Was this review helpful?

I went into this without knowing there would be so much indigenous content and it was such a great surprise. There are multiple points of view but nothing was confusing. There is drama and tension and some humor. (I saw some reviews of it being hilarious, which wasn't my take, but there was a lightness to the mood in parts that made it feel less like a thriller- not a bad thing)
And in the end, I loved the wend1go mystery and the twist.

Was this review helpful?

A twisty story about what we are willing to do to survive, combining Native folklore, trauma, and police procedurals/mystery elements. The story, while having its dark moments, also has its funny ones, and Taylor’s ability to misdirect readers is strong and keeps the story entertaining. Excellent to read inside on a cold, cold winter’s night.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with the opportunity to review this book by the wonderful Drew Hayden Taylor. Below is a review I will be posting later this week:

Premise: One year after a bush plane crashes in a brutal storm, the only survivor arrives in Toronto, but something horrifying has followed her there -- something only the unlikely pair of a middle aged Indigenous Studies professor and a washed-up semi-pro hockey player can stop.

Review: I was very excited to read this one, as Drew Hayden Taylor has become a go-to author for me over the past two years. Overall, I'd say this lived up to my expectations. But, it did take a while to get there. While from the start, the wide cast of characters are all well-crafted and compelling, the pacing was a bit strange in the first half of the book and I was concerned whether he'd be able to tie all the disparate threads of the story together. Thankfully, those issues are rectified and the second half of the book provides an interesting, insightful, and satisfying conclusion to both the story and the book's themes. So I'd heartily encourage anyone to pick this up, but just be prepared for it to be a bit of a slow burn.

Rating: 4.5/5

Was this review helpful?

I found the writing somewhat clunky at times and I wanted a little more depth to these characters, but this is undeniably a propulsive, fast-paced narrative that combines urban Indigenous experiences with traditional knowledge. The big reveal brought this one together for me at the end. I enjoyed discovering how all these characters fit together, and the references to other Indigenous novels were fun to reflect on. I think a lot of people will enjoy this one, especially people who tend to like thrillers, mysteries, and horror.

Was this review helpful?

In Drew Hayden Taylor's "Cold", we are immersed in the frigid atmosphere of Canada as the author, an indigenous Canadian, weaves a narrative around the legend of the Wendigo. The story begins with a plane crash in a cold Canadian landscape, but a year later, the plot shifts to a survivor and other seemingly unconnected characters. The book takes a shocking turn when brutal murders trigger a series of events.
The book's title, "Cold," fits the plot perfectly, palpably conveying the chill that envelops the story. The characters are ably developed, undergoing a remarkable evolution throughout the plot, with the exception perhaps of the police investigator, whose role could have been more prominent.
As we progress, the author plays with our expectations, but the plot reveals a predictable twist at least for me, which did not deceive me at any point. Despite this predictability, the novel offers an atmospheric and enjoyable read. The careful setting and character development compensate for any predictability, creating an immersive experience in the mysterious and icy Canadian setting.
In summary, "Cold" is a work that stands out for its setting, intriguing characters and the blending of indigenous mythology with a mystery plot. Although some aspects could have been enhanced, the narrative manages to captivate, offering an immersive and memorable reading experience.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a digital copy of this book for review.

En "Cold" de Drew Hayden Taylor, nos sumergimos en la gélida atmósfera del Canadá mientras el autor, un indígena canadiense, teje una narrativa alrededor de la leyenda del Wendigo. La historia comienza con un accidente de avión en un frío paisaje canadiense, pero un año después, la trama se desplaza hacia una superviviente y otros personajes en apariencia desconectados. La obra toma un giro impactante cuando brutales asesinatos desencadenan una serie de eventos.
El título del libro, "Cold," se ajusta perfectamente a la trama, transmitiendo de manera palpable el frío que envuelve la historia. Los personajes están hábilmente desarrollados, experimentando una evolución notable a lo largo de la trama, con la excepción quizás de la investigadora policial, cuyo papel podría haber sido más destacado.
A medida que avanzamos, el autor juega con nuestras expectativas, pero la trama revela un giro predecible al menos para mí, que no me engañó en ningún momento. A pesar de esta previsibilidad, la novela ofrece una lectura atmosférica y disfrutable. La ambientación cuidadosa y el desarrollo de personajes compensan cualquier previsibilidad, creando una experiencia inmersiva en el misterioso y helado escenario canadiense.
En resumen, "Cold" es una obra que se destaca por su ambientación, personajes intrigantes y la mezcla de mitología indígena con una trama de misterio. Aunque algunos aspectos podrían haberse potenciado, la narrativa logra cautivar, ofreciendo una experiencia de lectura envolvente y memorable.
Muchas gracias a Netgalley y Penguin Random House Canada por facilitarme un copia digital de este libro para su reseña.

Was this review helpful?

This book was a twisty ride, but I loved it! You begin with a flashback (but you don't know its a flashback) of a plane crashing and two women surviving. One vanishes and one lives to write a book about her story. Then horrible murders start and include missing body parts. Add in a hunk of a hockey player at the end of his career, a love triangle between a professor, his wife a successful real estate agent and his student and this book has a little bit of everything. I loved all the history, the setting of Toronto and the various food that they ate. The descriptions in this book made you feel like you were right there with them. Now it does take some leaps in believability towards the conclusion, but I was not put off by it in the least. If you like something a little different than every other thriller you are reading then you will love this!

Was this review helpful?

What could be more Canadian than a wendigo killer and an Indigenous hockey player hero? Wry, amusing, and so entertaining -- this isn't the usual description for a larger-than-life-horror-thriller but it fits Drew Hayden Taylor's Cold perfectly. I loved the tight writing and the tension of this page-turning thriller. I also appreciated the homage to so many great Indigenous Canadian writers. This refreshing and entertaining novel will amuse every reader who is willing to suspend their disbelief for just a few hundred pages.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me a free eARC of this book to read in exchange for my review!

Was this review helpful?

I have to admit that the novel was quite entertaining, but I did not really like the parts where indigenous legends and real crime are mixed up.

Was this review helpful?

A wild ride in Canada: an aging hockey player, an adulterous professor, a plane crash, Indigenous traditional stories. Fun and entertaining thriller.

Was this review helpful?

Cold is a twisty thriller, set in modern-day Toronto and overlaid with Indigenous mythology, and while it was consistently entertaining — and very often funny — I didn’t find this to be particularly deep or meaningful. Still, an engaging read that I took with me on a plane, despite knowing that it starts with a crash; I do enjoy Drew Hayden Taylor’s voice and I look forward to reading his work again in the future.

Was this review helpful?

I wish to thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada (McClelland & Stewart) for this much-appreciated ARC in return for an honest review. This was a unique story that kept me reading far into the night. It was a thriller, a mystery, a police procedural, a character story that morphed into a tale of menace and gruesome horror. It brings creatures from traditional indigenous folklore into the modern world, making their presence chilling and believable. There are touches of humour. The cover is eye-catching. Whenever I felt I knew where it was heading and had figured out the solution to the mystery, I was not even close.

The author, Drew Hayden Taylor, is an Ojibway from Curve Lake First Nations, Ontario. He expands the boundaries of what is considered indigenous literature. He writes that it usually focuses on historical or victim themes and the resulting post-contact stress disorders.

The book opens with a plane crash in the cold, desolate wilderness of the Canadian North. A young Cree boy, returning home from a hospital is killed in the accident. Fabiola is a beautiful, fashionable black woman who is a journalist. She lost her family at sea when they were refugees from a Caribbean nation. She and the native female pilot are the lone survivors. With little hope of rescue, their survival is doubtful. What happens?

The story quickly veers off in a surprising and unexpected direction. We now meet several characters a year later in Toronto. The new characters seem to lack connection with the plane crash story and each other. The narrative becomes a compelling character study reflecting race and displacement and a gory murder mystery that escalates to a ghastly horror story.

Elmore Trent is a popular professor who attended a residential school for native children and lost his parents in a fire. He teaches indigenous literature and folklore and is happy in that role. His wife, Sarah, is a white real estate agent who resents what she believes is Trent's lack of drive and ambition. He keeps a rundown family cabin in the north, and his wife is pressing him to sell it. Their marriage is heading toward divorce. He has been having an affair with Kate, a young, bright Cree student who is also his teacher's aide. He loves both women.

Paul North's life consists of his obsession with hockey. He plays in the Indigenous Hockey League. He was once their brightest star but is a decade older than his teammates and is slowing down. He worries about being cut from the team. With little education or other training, he feels unprepared for any different role in life. These two men would unlikely know each other except under extraordinary circumstances and a growing feeling of menace.

Two women have been murdered and dismembered in Toronto. Clues and circumstantial evidence have led Detective Ruby Birch to question both Trent and Paul. They have little in common but must band together to clear any suspicion pointing to them and discover who is committing the deranged murders. Detective Birch has learned that similar murders are occurring in cities across Canada.

Meanwhile, Fabiola has written a book describing her version of events following the plane crash. She is travelling on book tours to promote her story.

There is a deadly, pulse-pounding confrontation at the hockey arena. Trent and Paul team up with an unexpected third person who fears the killer is stalking them. This is a twisty plot, and I doubt if any will predict its conclusion. Put aside any sense of disbelief!

The publication date is January 02, 2024.

Was this review helpful?