Amanda's Reviews > The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
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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. Ashala, and friends Georgie and Ember, have worked hard to provide a place for Illeglas to live. But Ashala has been captured and taken to Detention Centre 3 where Neville has plans to use the machine on her to extract her thoughts and bring about the capture of The Tribe.

The story opens with sixteen year old Ashala Jane Ambrose, better known as Ashala Wolf, being escorted down a long hallway inside Detention Centre 3 by guard Justin Connor. Once we get to know Ashala, it’s clear that she is a fierce leader as well as brave, selfless, intelligent and passionate. She will do anything to protect The Tribe and is determined to fight Neville and his machine which could potentially lead to him trapping her friends.

I also liked the secondary characters, especially Georgie, Ember, Jaz and Justin. They are all so unique but function together so well and Jaz was especially entertaining with his cheeky wit and optimism.

The world building was fantastic, Ambelin has created a dystopian Australian YA novel featuring elements of The Dreamtime, such as The Serpent, and I could picture this world so clearly. Three hundred years ago The Reckoning occurred due to the world becoming unbalanced, this came about because of the way humans ruined the earth and their over-reliance on technology. During The Reckoning the tectonic plates shifted resulting in one large landmass to emerge from the flood waters. This landmass is divided into cities and is heavily governed to keep The Balance in order. It’s not explained how the new abilities came about but there are a variety of Illegals: Sleepwalkers, Rumblers, Chirpers, Firestarters, Skychangers, Leafers, Menders and many more. Ashala’s ability means that when asleep, she can do things that she cannot do in real life, meaning she can do almost anything she wants to, as long as she dreams it. Each person with an ability will also find a strong connection with a type of animal, in Ashala’s case it is wolves, in Georgie’s it is spiders.

I appreciated the message this book has to share with us, that we should be taking better care of our world. Ashala obtains permission from the tuart trees in order to live in the Firstwood and the trees share with her images of the past, of nature being destroyed. She promises they will not kill or eat any animal and will protect the forest from anyone who comes to destroy it. So essentially we have a vegan, or at least vegetarian, tribe which I thought was a brilliant idea as you really can’t be an environmentalist and consume animal products, they contradict each other. And I feel very strongly about the natural environment and at the rate we’re going, we’re going to keep on destroying it to suit our needs which is sad.

I want to talk more about the plot but there’s a big twist and it would spoil the surprise. I found the way everything came together was really clever and I couldn’t put this book down, wondering how it would play out. Towards the end I could feel Ash’s anxiety and was worried about her and the rest of The Tribe, so I was happy when the ending came because it resolved everything, there was no cliffhanger! Even without a cliffhanger, I am still very keen to read book two and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ashala and the Tribe.

A lot of the characters are Aboriginal Australians, including Ashala, so I was really pleased to see this reflected on the cover. The girl’s eye really stands out and reels you in and it suits the tone of the book perfectly.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a unique Australian dystopian with a thrilling plot and a cast of realistic and loveable characters. I’d recommend this to all fans of dystopian and paranormal YA.

Thank you to the amazing people at Walker Books Australia for organising this blog tour and for sending me a copy to review.

Giveaway on the blog until Sept 9
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Reading Progress

July 12, 2012 – Shelved
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: walker-books
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: ya-lit
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: for-review
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: aussie
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: paranormal
August 21, 2012 – Started Reading
August 21, 2012 – Shelved as: blog-tour
August 21, 2012 –
page 239
60.51% "Really enjoying this"
August 22, 2012 –
page 271
68.61% "Ah! Love how this is all coming together, just over 20 pages to go!!"
August 22, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 31, 2012 – Shelved as: review-on-the-blog
August 31, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopian
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: 2012-release
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: aussie-ya-read-in-2012
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: aww-2012
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: cultural
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: female-pov
December 23, 2016 – Shelved as: aussie-indigenous
December 23, 2016 – Shelved as: want-to-re-read
December 25, 2016 – Shelved as: must-buy
December 25, 2016 – Shelved as: wishlist

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily I just bought this one. It looks really good! Can't wait for your review :)

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