The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Tribe Series #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Tribe Series #1)

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Tribe Series #1)

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by Ambelin Kwaymullina
     
 

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A compelling debut novel asks what happens when children develop inexplicable abilities—and the government sees them as a threat.

They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals — children with inexplicable abilities — and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of

Overview

A compelling debut novel asks what happens when children develop inexplicable abilities—and the government sees them as a threat.

They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals — children with inexplicable abilities — and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm’s way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, a forest eerily conscious of its inhabitants, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities. But when Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Injured and vulnerable, with her own Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It’s only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Kwaymullina’s first American publication combines elements of Peter Pan, A Clockwork Orange, and the X-Men in an eco–fairy tale about children with “abilities” who run away to the Firstwood and live as the Tribe, in harmony with the trees and animals. They’re hunted by corrupt and rule-obsessed adults from the cities, who lock the children up and torture them with the goal of stamping out their abilities and bringing all humanity into the Balance, an ideology born out of ecological apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Ashala, leader of the Tribe, is one such captive, betrayed by Conner, the beautiful boy she fell in love with, who becomes her jailer. Something called “the machine” is used to rip memories from Ashala’s mind and force her to betray the Tribe. Much of the story is told in these memory flashbacks, which are often evocative, realistic vignettes. It‘s only the larger moral setup that disappoints: the novel operates within a framework of rigid absolutism, with adult figures morally compromised or unequivocally evil, or both, while only children have the legitimacy of a genuine connection to the Earth. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tara Wynne, Curtis Brown Australia. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Ashala has been captured. She did not expect Justin Connor as her enforcer, bringing her in front of the Bureau of Citizenship. It has been over three hundred years since the Reckoning, since the Skychanger threw the world off balance. Now those with special abilities have to either achieve an exemption or be locked away for the betterment of all. Ashala is a Sleepwalker who can actually travel to the places she dreams about. Her sister Cassie was a Firestarter, and that did not ended well for her family. Ashala has lived as part of a Tribe of illegals, all children, since she was twelve and had escaped being Assessed. Ashala is now sixteen and uses the name Ashala Wolf. She has no Exemption tattoo, making her an illegal. Captured before she can upset the Balance, she faces the inevitable Interrogation in Detention Room Three. Her captors want to take over her memories and use them as weapons to destroy Ashala and her Tribe. Can she withstand Miriam Grey’s machine and Chief Administrator Neville Rose’s questions? She has to protect the others, but whom can she trust? Has she forgotten an important memory? Why does Connor remind her of an angel? How does the Administration know so much about the Tribe? Is there an informant amongst them? Animals, plants, and people all are part of The Balance. Technology threw off The Balance, but it can be fixed with the help of the Saurs, the Tuart trees, and her close friends. Locational twists, environmentalist tie-ins, and relationships between Illegals and Citizens, add interest. Ashala is a strong feminine protagonist who leads others toward a future of which they have only dreamed. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan; Ages 12 up.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Sarah Schmitt
After The Reckoning nearly destroys civilization, children are being born with unexplainable abilities. Fearful that they will create havoc in the still-fragile society, the government requires all children with abilities be turned over to the authorities for evaluation. The death of her sister during an evaluation sends Sleepwalker Ashala fleeing for the refuge of the forest. Soon she is the leader of a rag-tag group of Illegals doing their best to survive. But when someone she loves betrays her, Ashala is captured and sent to a facility where she endures a machine that pulls memories from the deepest corners of her mind to use against her. With her ability suppressed, Ashala fears the machine will uncover the secret of her tribe, putting everything she values in jeopardy. The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf begins like most dystopian novels, but it does not take long for Kwaymullina to take the reader on a very different journey. As the layers of Ashala’s memories are pulled back, the reader is treated to an intense thriller that just happens to take place in a dystopian society. Though it is the first in a series, the novel reads like a stand-alone, tying up enough loose ends to satisfy the reader while still leaving them wanting more. The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf is a good alternative for both public and school patrons who are not comfortable with the more violent tendencies of many dystopian stories. Reviewer: Sarah Schmitt; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—This debut YA novel and series opener by indigenous Australian Kwaymullina is set in a postapocalyptic Australia where humanity's abuse of the environment has caused a societal and environmental chaos called the Reckoning. Ashala Wolf is one of many young people who have developed strange abilities, such as causing earthquakes, manipulating clouds and the weather, and traveling through time and space in dreams. The government fears people with these abilities, who are referred to as Illegals, and rounds them up for detention in facilities rumored to host terrifying experiments. The narrator, a Sleepwalker, is one of the leaders of the Tribe, a group of Illegals who have evaded capture by hiding in a wilderness area that is home to intelligent, carnivorous reptiles and sentient plant life. When the teen is lured into town and seemingly betrayed by fellow Tribe member Justin Connor, she is arrested and forced into the most frightening detention center of all, where she is hooked up to a machine that will reveal her every thought and secret, endangering her organization. But things are not as they seem, and Ashala's Sleepwalking ability may help her save her people and other Illegals. This is a creative take on some well-worn tropes of the genre: repressive government, youth with unusual powers. The world-building is particularly interesting, as the author incorporates elements of the aboriginal creation story of the Dreamtime and Grandfather Serpent into the protagonist's visions. Give this one to dystopia fans who are looking for a unique perspective.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-26
A dystopian adventure from Australia breaks the mold. Betrayed, then captured by Connor, a Detention Center enforcer posing as a sympathizer to the so-called Illegals, Ashala steels herself for harsh questioning. The center is rumored to have a new tool, a machine that can pull and search memories from the minds of prisoners. Ashala's terrified she'll expose the Tribe that depends on her—children born with extraordinary powers into a world that sees them as a threat to the precarious ecological Balance that's endured since a cataclysm nearly ended life on the planet. Most children with these abilities are forced into lifelong detention, their powers muted. Ashala was able to hide her Sleepwalking abilities; her little sister, a Firestarter, wasn't so lucky. The inferno that ensued killed her and their parents and prompted Ashala's escape to the grasslands and forest beyond the city. Ashala has depended on the counsel and friendship of Georgie, who sees possible futures; Ember, whose complex gift involves working with memory; and Connor, whom she trusted. But as the machine does its work, Ashala finds unexpected strength inside what she re-experiences. All is not as it seems as the plot unwinds into the past. The indigenous Australian author draws from a vast, rich cultural tapestry that will be new to many readers. If an "exhilarating dystopia" strikes you as oxymoronic, this vivid, original debut just might change your mind. (Fantasy. 12-18)
From the Publisher
The indigenous Australian author draws from a vast, rich cultural tapestry that will be new to many readers. If an "exhilarating dystopia" strikes you as oxymoronic, this vivid, original debut just might change your mind.
—Kirkus Reviews

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf begins like most dystopian novels, but it does not take long for Kwaymullina to take the reader on a very different journey. As the layers of Ashala’s memories are pulled back, the reader is treated to an intense thriller that just happens to take place in a dystopian society. Though it is the first in a series, the novel reads like a stand-alone, tying up enough loose ends to satisfy the reader while still leaving them wanting more.
—VOYA

Ashala narrates her story with an earnest adolescent voice... This futuristic fantasy offers an admirable heroine and a thought-provoking situation.
—The Horn Book

This genre-blending story will satisfy a wide range of readers. ... The multilayered story will keep teens guessing until the end. ... The author draws upon aboriginal Australian creation stories to bring much needed diversity to the genre.
—Booklist

With plenty of plot twists, ever-present danger, and powerful children, this book is sure to attract readers. ... This is an excellent addition to dystopian literature with grounds for discussion on spiritual, ecological, political, and personal responsibility.
—Library Media Connection

Evocative, realistic...
—Publishers Weekly

A series of flashbacks slowly unravels the intricate setup, working backwards in a way that imbues Ashala’s current situation with more meaning as the past is revealed, raising the stakes and the tension. ... The dystopian world here offers ... more nuance than the traditional fare.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Creative... The world-building is particularly interesting, as the author incorporates elements of the aboriginal creation story of the Dreamtime and Grandfather Serpent into the protagonist’s visions. Give this one to dystopia fans who are looking for a unique perspective.
—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763669881
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Series:
Ambelin Kwaymullina's Tribe Series, #1
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
659,903
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ambelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi and 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 has previously written a number of children’s books, both alone and with other members of her family. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is her first novel. Ambelin Kwaymullina lives in Australia.

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The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf 3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book!!! I haven't read something this good since the hunger games! This book is surprising, refreshing, and and an inventive take on some of my favorite themes. This book is fast paced bot you will want to read it slowly to catch every detail. If you like futuristic dystopias, super powers, rebellion, elaborate schemes, new worlds, and family you will love this book. 
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
<b>2.5 stars </b> (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&rsquo;s about to be interrogated by those who wish to assess and detain those with special abilities. This book just wasn&rsquo;t for me. I had trouble keeping up with what was going on, and I just didn&rsquo;t find the story interesting. This was one of those books where the story seemed fractured and disjointed, and I just wasn&rsquo;t interested enough to be able to work out what was going on and stay interested. The start of the book was basically Ash being questioned, and then being drugged and having some kind of memory machine used on her. Then there was something going on with a girl that she recognised from the wilds where she lived, who turned out to not be exactly who/what Ash thought her to be. We then had this part where Ash had to go back and relive 5 memories or something, and I really just had no clue what was going on. I kept going back and re-reading bits but it just wouldn&rsquo;t go in, and it really didn&rsquo;t interest me. When I got to the end I really had little idea as to what had happened, and couldn&rsquo;t even say that the book was bad, I just didn&rsquo;t get it, and unfortunately I was just glad that I had made it to the end. I&rsquo;m not really sure who I could possibly recommend this to, because it just really didn&rsquo;t work for me. Overall; confusing, and couldn&rsquo;t hold my interest. 5 out of 10.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable book! 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 doubt pick up if I were browsing in a book store. This book is set several hundred years in the future. The world has changed a lot in this future. Land masses have changed after a great flood. The new focus is on balance. To keep everything in balance, individuals with special abilities are called Illegals and are kept away from the rest of society. Ashala is part of a group of Illegals who live in Firstwood where they live to stay out of the detention centers. The book opens with Ashala in a detention center. The administrator of the detention center, Neville Rose, is determined to find out all of Ashala's secrets. To do so, he orders the use of &quot;the machine&quot; on Ashala. The machine has the ability to read the memories of anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in its clutches. The beginning of the book was confusing at times. As things are revealed, everything starts to come together to form a very cohesive story. The cast of characters were well developed, likeable, and more than intriguing. The world building was well done and I can clearly envision world that Ashala and her tribe calls home. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian young adult novels. I would feel completely comfortable with my 13 year old reading this book so I do feel that it is suitable for a younger teen audience and above. This book is supposed to be the first in a series. I definitely plan to read future works by this author.