“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?
(via Goodreads )
My rating: 4/5 stars
Pros: Good characters, exciting plot, good/unique worldbuilding, good writing
Cons: Some slow moments
I am no stranger to dystopian worlds. I’ve read The Hunger Games. I’ve read Divergent. I thought I knew what a dystopian world was like. But my preconceived notions of what a dystopian world is like were blown out of the water by The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf. Though this book does have many of the typical dystopian elements, it also has unique elements all its own, which made me enjoy the book even more than I already did.
Why did I enjoy it so much, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
Firstly, the characters. As always, characters are important to me. Ashala herself is an amazing character to follow. I love her bravery, her intelligence, her loyalty, her caring nature, and her badass side. I like Connor. I like his loyalty, his caring nature, his intelligence, and his kindness. I like Ember. I like her intelligence, her kindness, her loyalty, her bravery, and her badass side. I like Georgie. I like her caring nature, her loyalty, her bravery, and her childlike wonder.
In addition to the characters, I enjoy the plot. The plot of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is one that constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even if you think you know what is going to happen next, you don’t. The author manages to keep you guessing and I like that. It’s not often that a book truly surprises me like that and it’s a pleasant change from the normal predictability. The plot isn’t the typical dystopian one either of taking down the government. Sure, there’s elements of rebellion in the end (which I won’t talk about since I don’t want to give away any spoilers), but the way the rebellion is carried out is different from the typical dystopian story. It’s again a pleasant surprise and I really appreciate the author’s originality.
Speaking of originality, the world created in The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is beautiful and unique. I really love the connection to nature that so many of the characters have. Nature isn’t often mentioned so prominently in books, especially dystopian ones. Often dystopian stories show a world in which humanity has destroyed nature far too much. I prefer this version where there’s at least an attempt to work with nature. Where the main characters are connected to nature and do their best to protect it. I also like the Grandfather character (not going to give away too much here either) and His role in the story. I like how stories have their own role in this book. I like everything about the world created in this book. I love the explanation of The Balance and how that concept (which is a good one, I believe) is misused, as good concepts often are in the real world, to harm others. I love the tuarts. I love the saurs. I love the explanations of the old world, which all of us should take care to avoid fitting as much as we can. I could go on and on but let me just end by saying that Ambelin Kwaymullina has created an amazing and unique world in this amazing book.
Speaking of amazing, the writing in this book is wonderful. The descriptions are beautiful and poetic. There are many quotes that I love but for now I will only post a few.
“I walk among my enemies. But I carry my friends with me.”
I like this quote because it shows that Ashala never truly feels alone. She is still connected to her friends, to her “pack.” To The Tribe. I just love the idea of being connected to those you care about even when they’re not physically present.
“You have to let her love. Because it’s the only thing more powerful than hate.”
I think we could all use a reminder that love is more powerful than hate right now. It may not always seem like it, but it’s true. Love always wins in the end. It may take time. We may not always see it or notice it. But it’s there. Love wins. Hate loses. Love survives, no matter what.
“People, animals, trees–everything grieves, and regrets, and mourns what’s passed. But nothing is ever truly gone forever. This is the place where life began again, where I began again. Whatever we were before, whoever we were before–it doesn’t matter. Because we’re all made new here. We live. We survive. We belong.”
I think these lines right here get across one of the messages of the book (at least for me). That no matter what, nothing is ever really destroyed. It is simply changed into a new form. That it’s never too late to begin again. That everyone can find a place to belong. And it’s a rather hopeful theme, especially for a dystopian novel. Yet another reason why I appreciate this amazing book.
“Advances in technology could never compensate for failures in empathy.”
Another timely and very true message. No matter how much we may become desensitized to the world around us, we must not allow it to happen fully. We can’t lose our empathy. We have to stay connected to the world around us. To other people. To nature. To ourselves. To remain empathetic, no matter what.
Now that I’ve gone into why I love this book, I have to say why I didn’t. To be honest, I can’t think of anything except that there were some slow moments in this book. However, no book is perfect. Every book has its flaws. And the only flaw I can think of for this book is that there were some slow moments. Not bad at all.
Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone, even those who don’t usually like dystopian books. If you like stories with good, well-developed characters, exciting plots, unique and well-described worlds, and beautiful writing then this is the book for you.
Have you ever read a book that stood out from the usual books in its genre? Tell me about it in the comments below!
I read this book for #DiversityBingo2017.