The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina.

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Paperback, 395 pages

Published July, 2012 by Walker Books Australia

IBSN: 9781921720086

“There’s a word,” she told me, her pale face serious, “to describe people who believe so fervently that illegals are a threat to the Balance that they can do the kinds of appalling things to us Neville is supposed to have done.”

“There’s two words,” I said. “Nasty. Bastards.”

She smiled and shook her head. “No. Mad.”

It’s a future where the Earth has been broken by our abuse and all the continents have become one. No one cares about race or skin colour anymore. People with ‘abilities’ – supernatural powers – have emerged, but they are deemed a danger to society. If you have an Ability, you are either put into a detention centre, or you run away.

Ashala Wolf is the leader of a group of children with Abilities who have run away to avoid life as a detainee. They are illegals, living as a tribe in the forest. Using their abilities to help make life easier, they have a pretty good set up.

But Ashala has trusted the wrong guy and he – Justin Connor – has betrayed her to the authorities. Now she is being held against her will at a detention centre where the Chief Administrator, Neville Rose, and his team subject her to the Machine – a device designed to seek out and display its victims memories on a screen.

Neville is set on breaking Ashala and finding the information that he needs. Is she strong enough to resist? Can she save her Tribe?

First up, the cover looks great. It’s hard not to be drawn in by that eye. But every book has an awesome cover these days, right? That old saying about not judging a book by it’s cover has never been more true than now, with young adult books that look amazing and yet don’t read so well, all over the place. Thankfully, Ashala Wolf suits the cover nicely.

The world building was quite enjoyable, with little bits of information being fed to you here and there amongst the current goings on. People as a whole – and the Illegals especially – seem to have more of a oneness with the Earth and it’s creatures than we do now. Like a native tribe, I suppose. I was reminded a little of Avatar and the Chaos Walking trilogy at times. Even the Abilities seem to be more an extension of the Earth and/or it’s elements than anything else.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is easy to get into and pretty quick to read, with a nice plot flow throughout. If you are still stuck under the supernatural umbrella, but want something fresh, check this out.

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