The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1)
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The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  579 ratings  ·  153 reviews
“There will come a day when a thousand Illegals descend on your detention centers. Boomers will breach the walls. Skychangers will send lightning to strike you all down from above, and Rumblers will open the earth to swallow you up from below. . . . And when that day comes, Justin Connor, think of me.”

Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose, a man...more
Paperback, AUS/NZ Edition, 397 pages
Published July 2012 by Walker Books Australia
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Life in Outer Space by Melissa KeilGirl Defective by Simmone HowellMy Life as an Alphabet by Barry JonsbergFriday Brown by Vikki WakefieldThe Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Gold Inkys Longlist 2013
5th out of 10 books — 9 voters
Evermore by Alyson NoelNorth of Beautiful by Justina ChenSelina Penaluna by Jan PageThis Lullaby by Sarah DessenThe Dark Divine by Bree Despain
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331st out of 717 books — 561 voters

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Community Reviews

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Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)


Me, while reading:
I think I like this book. Yup, I really like this book. I totally know what’s going on. Wait, what did I just read? Um…okay. I think I still know what’s going on though, nice try. Wait…what did she just say? Crap, I have no idea what’s going on, do I? WAIT…WUUUUUUT?! FUCK! I have never known what was going on! Damn it.

So touché, Ms Kwaymullina, that doesn’t happen to me very often.

Somehow, going into this, I didn’t realize that it was a YA book. Or that it was a dyst...more
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is the debut novel by Australian author Ambelin Kwaymullina. Set three hundred years in the future, the old world has been destroyed and a new world, much smaller than ours, has risen from the flood water. There are now people with abilities and some people, like Chief Administrator Neville Rose, believe them to be Illegals and want them locked in detention centres. Ashala Wolf is one of these Illegals and is leader of The Tribe that resides in the Firstwood. Ash...more
Reading The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf feels a lot like this.

This book will fuck with your expectations. It’s original, unpredictable and utterly engrossing with its ingenious plot twist, imaginative dreamscapes, nightmares, memory flashbacks and sometimes even the complete loss of reality.

All your expectations and what you thought was true gets turned upside down.

”The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.” Verbal Kint,...more
Ashala Jane Ambrose is being taken to the machine that will break her. It will use her memories against her, ripping into her mind and putting the Tribe in danger.

There is nobody to help Ashala. The boy she trusted, Justin Connor, revealed himself as a traitor and is now her guard in Detention Centre 3. The infamous Chief Administrator, Neville Rose, has Ashala in his sights and will do whatever it takes to find the location of her Tribe in the Firstwood.

But within these walls are more Illegals...more
Carole's Random Life
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Candlewick Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars!

This was one of those books that the more I read, the more I liked it. I find myself gravitating towards YA books right now. I found this to be a great addition to that genre. I was first intrigued by the cover of this book which shows a fierce face of young girl. It is a wonderful cover that I would no...more
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Candlewick Press and Netgalley.)
Ashala has a special ability, and has been on the since she was 12, not wanting to be assessed and detained because of her ability.
Now Ashala has been captured though, and she’s about to be interrogated by those who wish to assess and detain those with special abilities.

This book just wasn’t for me. I had trouble keeping up with what was going on, and I just did...more
Lisa (Badass Bookie)
The Short Story? - This one took me by utter surprise. I still can't believe how much I enjoyed it! The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is definitely one of my favourite YA dystopians that I've read this year! Bringing YA dystopian together with elements of the Dreaming ( aboriginal legends), The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a show of fresh talent with an authentic narrative voice and a intriguing plot! Kwaymullina's debut is absolutely breath-taking!

The Long Story? - To be honest I had no i...more
Another case of "it's not you, it's me."

This book should have been exactly my kind of book. Dystopia, weird mind stuff and "save the planet" kind of kids! YAY!

Instead, it was kind of....boring. Ashala is captured. From there, it's a lot of trying to figure out what on earth was going on. I think it lost me really early on, when the "dog" was leaping in the air in her dream eating "bones."

I don't mind suspense and confusion in a book, but I have to be invested in the character or the story....or...more
I finished this on the fence about whether it was a 2 or 3 for me and whether it was a potential 3/4 for YAs. Ultimately, I am splitting the difference.

I like the Aboriginal flavor of the dystopian post apocalyptic world created here. And there's also lots to like about the environmental message and outlook espoused by the positive characters in the novel. However, it's the baddies who run the government who use the term "balance" to justify their prejudice against those with abilities, those ca...more
Mark Webb
This review forms part of my contribution to theAustralian Women Writers 2013 Reading Challenge. All my 2013 AWWC reviews can be foundhere.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolfis Ambelin Kwaymullina's first novel. It is based inthe far future after a devastating cataclysm has left the world reshaped into a single continent, and the remnants of humanity living in a small number of cities and adhering to a philosophy of Balance to prevent future catastrophes.

Some people are born with special abilities...more
I've heard people talk about this as fantasy, but it felt much more dystopic SF to me. It's probably a solid 3.5, but I round up for Aussie books, particularly debut novels (Kwaymullina has previous publications, but not novel length). I enjoyed the read, thought there were some fabulous ideas and great characters. I wasn't sold on the world-building, and the book suffered a little from the same problem that Veronica Roth's "Divergent" did, in that it was hard to believe the societal structure c...more
John Clark
Ashala lives in a future where the world is recovering from a major disaster that happened 258 years ago and resources are in short supply. Children have also begun to exhibit strange powers that scare the heck out of adults. At first, the government was allegedly taking them for their own protection because there were times when their power created significant problems, but now that many of them have escaped and found freedom in the Firstwood Forest, Chief administrator Neville Ross has sent a...more
This is one of the finest examples of complex, layered world building I've ever had the pleasure to read. The narrative is compelling, the mythology is rich and the characters are believably flawed, strong and vulnerable at the same time. Fantastic. Devoured the first two and cannot wait to see where Kwaymullina takes the rest of the series.
Chief Administrator Neville Rose has had Ashala Wolf captured and is interrogating her. His intentions are not good since he wants to obtain whatever information he can to help him eradicate her Tribe, a group of runaways hiding in the woods. But all is not as it seems as the author reveals in a series of memories and flashbacks. Could it be that Justin Connor is more to her than just a betrayer? There are many parts of this story that I enjoyed such as Ashala herself, the community's strong con...more
Ashala and other kids with special abilities avoid state detention by running away to live free in the forest. But Ashala is betrayed by Justin, a new Tribe member that she was in love with and now has to go to the detention centre to face the infamous machine that exposes your memories and secrets. Can she escape or stay strong enough to beat the machine while her betrayer watches on.

I was browsing in WH Smith's 3 for 2 offer when this book cover caught my eye and I picked it off the shelf. Int...more
This was so much fun. Ashala Wolf explored themes I love - humanity's relationship to nature, describing fellow humans as 'others' so we can lock them up and mistreat them - without being in the least heavy-handed. The characters were rich and interesting, their 'superpowers' unusual and well-thought-out. And I was particularly impressed by the structure, which allowed the story to completely turn on its axis about one-third of the way in. It was clever, and it worked logistically and emotionall...more
This was a fun dystopian YA. Ashala is a teenage Aboriginal girl who leads the mutant...sorry, Illegal rebels and starts the book dealing with being captured by the government. The science was all incredibly fluffy (there are sentient dinosaurs) and the worldbuilding reminded me a lot of Obernewtyn and the Crysalids (and probably other books that have come out since I was a teen) but I still really enjoyed it despite having a very low tolerance for YA tropes. The society and characters are well...more
Saruuh Kelsey
Let me just start by saying I have absolutely no idea what happened in this book, what I was supposed to get from it, or what it was all about.

I started off thinking it was a dystopian society in which people with strange abilities, Illegals, were being hunted and detained in camps for the safety of the greater public. Which was awesome - I LOVED the first few chapters. But then ... things got weird. More and more fantasy elements were added, and while it wasn't how I expected it to go, I just r...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages Read: 231

You guys, I was SO excited about this, because it's Australian and the reviews looked so promising, but it's not really working for me. At best, it's a three star and, the more I think about it, the more I think I'm being too nice saying that.

What it boils down to mostly is that I'm over halfway through the book and I don't care about any of the characters. They could all die and I'd not be bothered. That's not good, at least for me, as a character-focused reader.

It's certainly tw...more
Wow. First of all, why did I wait so long to read this book? It was simply fantastic. It was one of those books that I start and within the first few pages I am already deep in the world of the story and already connected to the characters. And Ashala Wolf was definitely a character that I connected with. I found her brave and loyal and real, she would do anything for anyone that she cared about. The story, set a few hundred years in the future, after the human population has nearly destroyed th...more
Ambelin Kwaymullina has written a truly unique dystopia; The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf sets itself apart as it embeds itself in The Dreaming but branches out to encompass more than just that – to involve the greater world beyond (our) own immediate surroundings, the environment, and the changes that occur upon the lands as years go by and civilisation continues to expand and expend all its resources. Throw in the indomitable, wise, and mature heroine Ashala Wolf, a slew of contrasting side ch...more
Paula Weston
We all know dystopian is the new black in YA - the market is certainly awash with it - so it's refreshing to have a novel like The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf in the mix.

The debut novel from Australian author Ambelin Kwaymullina is fast-paced, intelligent and highly original, with a wonderfully subtle Australian flavour.

I generally avoid comparing novels/writers, but if I were to break my rule on this occasion, I'd say The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf feels like Divergent (Veronica Roth) meets...more
Angela Mare
Firstly, I loved the cover - it grabbed me from the start. How can you resist the secrets hiding behind that eye? Secondly, the blurb had me really going - it was strong, passionate and provocative. I wanted to know more about the Illegals, Boomers, Rumblers, and Skychangers. Who or what are they? And lastly I wanted to know about Ashala – here was no reluctant heroine – but a strong leader.
The novel is set in the future three hundred years after an environmental catastrophe. There is only one...more
Review originally posted in:

Love the girl's fiery look! I like how the girl's hair looks a bit messy to show the looks of a warrior or a tribe leader and I love how the title of the book is set out neatly in the middle of the cover!


My name is Ashala Wolf and this is my 'interrogation'...

Wow, I am absolutely surprised at how much I enjoyed reading The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf. I can't remember the last time I read an Aussie dystopian novel...more
Pamela ☼where's my aspirin☼ Tee
I enjoyed THE INTERROGATION OF ASHALA WOLF. It's a refreshing change from the parade of 'me too' YA dystopias from the last year. The characters and basic premise at first appear very stock, but it's soon evident that the novel is going to unfold in way that gives us some interesting surprises.

The story is set several centuries in the future after the old world is destroyed and a whole new world has evolved. And I use the word evolve because things are very different. There are large carnivorou...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks

”Since a lot of people thought that the Reckoning was a holy judgement on humanity, it’s likely they imagined the angels. Because even if there were any gods, they didn’t cause the Reckoning. Everyone knows it was humanity’s abuse of the environment that made the life-sustaining systems of the Earth collapse.”

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf grabbed me by the nose and positively yanked me in. It has so many elements of some of my favourite books that there is no way I couldn’t love reading it. I...more
Set three hundred years in the future, Ashala Wolf's world is one that is very different from now. There had been an environmental catastrophe that caused the world's geography as we know it to be transformed. The population of the world has in effect scaled back from the reliance on technology all in the hope of maintaining the all important Balance in the world. For the powers that be Balance is quite easy to define. Anyone who is 'normal' is part of the Balance. Anyone who shows any sign of h...more
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
4.5 Stars
The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf can be described in one word, awesome. This is not your average dystopian, a blend of Indigenous Dreamtime and a post apocalyptic world in which man destroyed our environment. Ashala is a tough and feisty heroine, she possesses an inner strength rarely seen in most young adult protagonists. She's socially aware and an environmental warrior, sharing a connection with both fauna and flora alike. She's given a sense o...more
Steven Brandt
Okay, I came across The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf in Brilliance Audio’s monthly email and it looked good. I usually go for this type of young adult, kids with weird powers, dystopian, messed-up-world book. Unfortunately this one didn’t work out so I have to give it a DNF or “did not finish” review.

As far as the plot goes, it seems that some people in this fictional world are born with strange powers and those powers can be just about anything. The government in charge frowns on this so everyo...more
I don’t even remember why I picked this one up, but I got a lot more than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised and I love when that happens with a new book.

The world of the future has survived after the devastation of the Reckoning by keeping everything in Balance. No advanced tech, no one super power, and no wanton destruction of the environment. But occasionally there are people born with extra abilities; people with control over the elements, people with the power to heal, people who can fl...more
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Ambelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi/fantasy books, and has wanted to write a novel since she was six years old. She comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. When not writing or reading she teaches law, illustrates picture books, and hangs out with her dogs. She is currently working on the third book in The Tribe series.

Find out more about Ashala Wolf at:
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“I walk among my enemies. But I carry my friends with me.” 11 likes
“You can't transform a society for the better with violence, Ashala. Only with ideas.” 7 likes
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