Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Review: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get into this, but once I did, *what* a ride!

Ashala Wolf is in Detention Centre 3, watched over by her betrayer, Connor, and interrogated by the Chief Administrator Neville Rose. They want her to give up her family, her Tribe - the group of Illegals, the possessors of rare abilities, who live together in the Firstwood, protected by a Pact they have made with the Saurs who live on the grassy plains between the Firstwood and 'civilisation'.

This is utterly brilliant dystopian spec fic. There's just enough world building to get me wanting so much more about this post-Reckoning world. The novel is structured in three almost-perfect acts, and despite being marketed as part of a series, works absolutely as a stand-alone book.

People have been raving about this book since the ARCs became available, and they're absolutely right to rave. The ideas that run through this book are twisty and fabulous: you can see Kwaymullina's view of the world and the way it has evolved in this 300-years-from-now future. And I have to assume that she knew exactly what she was doing naming the Chief Administrator "Neville Rose". It was that fact that made my gut churn all the way through the first third of this book. That fact that made the interrogation that much worse than if he'd been named, say, Gary. It has *such* a profound effect and surely anyone with an ounce of understanding of WA history would have the same reaction. It's not just me, right?

I am so looking forward to there being another book set in this world. I want to know so much more about it, and the people in it. But in the unlikely event that that doesn't happen, I will still have had *this* book, and that is a really important thing.

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