Author // Amberlin Kwaymullina
Publication Month // 2012
Publisher // Walker Books
Genre // Young Adult, Dystopian
“There will come a day when a thousand Illegals descend on your detention centres. 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 who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe — the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind.
And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move.
Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is an Australian young adult, dystopian novel with Aboriginal culture and mythology woven throughout it in a very beautiful way. It was such a fun and easy read, with enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages to find out exactly what was going on.
In this world, there are individuals with abilities; most people with abilities are registered and the government either keeps an eye on them or puts them in detention centres if their abilities are deemed too dangerous. This is the result of the world previously been destroyed by some unknown force, with society remaining untrusting of abilities they just don’t understand.
Ashala’s abilities are rooted in her dreaming, a skill she’s unable to call on for the first part of the story after she’s captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. Ashala is a strong, capable female character, and Kwaymullina has avoided the trap of centering her dystopian novel solely around a solitary female character. Ashala has allies that are just as strong and fascinating as she is.
I loved the Dreamtime elements in the story, especially the role of The Rainbow Serpent. I also loved how Kwaymullina had a major plot twist in the middle of the book that made me go back everything I’d read previously and have to re-examine where I missed the revelations!
If you like dystopian novels, but are sick of the same old thing, give this book a try. The characters, world building and history are very unique and make this stand out amongst the more hyped books.
I gave The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf 4 out of 5 stars.