Sunday, 2 February 2014

Book Review: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina(The Tribe #1)

The Reckoning destroyed civilisation. Rising from the ashes, some people have developed unique abilities, and society is scared of them. Guided by the ancient spirits of the land, Ashala Wolf will do anything to keep them safe.

When Ashala is captured, she realises she has been betrayed by someone she trusted. When her interrogator starts digging in her memories for information, she doubts she can protect her people forever. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

My Review:
Ashala and other kids with special abilities avoid state detention by running away to live free in the forest. But Ashala is betrayed by Justin, a new Tribe member that she was in love with and now has to go to the detention centre to face the infamous machine that exposes your memories and secrets. Can she escape or stay strong enough to beat the machine while her betrayer watches on.

I was browsing in WH Smith's 3 for 2 offer when this book cover caught my eye and I picked it off the shelf. Intrigued by the blurb I decided to buy it and I read it in one go last night. This was a dystopian novel that was different from what I thought it would be with strong characters, plot twists, action and tension.

Lets start with the characters. Ashala feels responsible for all the kids in The Tribe that she leads, all the mistakes that she has made and the fate of her sister. There are things that she has done in defence of The Tribe that she isn't proud of as well as secrets meetings with rebel leaders-all of which she must conceal from the machine when she faces it. She still feels a connection to Justin despite his betrayal and you get the sense in the beginning that despite doing his job in turning her in, he doesn't like having betrayed her. Add in the sinister Dr Grey, her machine which has a dog spirit(sounds mad but it works!) and the slimy Neville, and you have mad scientists that enjoy torturing children. I LOVED the invention of the saurs, who were full of personality and reappear at regular intervals. I kind of imagined them like dinosaurs lumbering over the fields...

The plot is really good. We join it after Ashala is captured, where she is about to face the machine, Justin and her own past again. It seems like a straightforward story until the park scene where you get the feeling that there is something else going on. I wasn't sure what it was but I felt that something was a bit off in that scene with the way a few characters were behaving-which got me even more intrigued. We also have the perfect mix of dystopian and paranormal elements with love, friendship and betrayal thrown in for good measure.

Then came Day Three, page 157 and the book was totally turned on its head and I never saw this coming! It was a brilliant plot twist and the flashbacks that followed explained everything perfectly without it turning into a big info dump. This was not a boring catch up, it was excellent storytelling. After that, I had no interest in putting the book down and devoured it to the end. Oh how I want to talk about the exciting events but I will not spoil the book for everyone who reads it. But I will say that the rest of the book was a rollercoaster of action and tension as you wondered what was going to happen next and if Ashala was going to survive.

So what can I say about the book without spoilers? This is a dystopian world that is well described without giving you unnecessary information to make your eyes glaze over. It is fresh and different from what I expected it to be-in a good way. The characters are well developed by their interaction with each other, and you do care about what happens to them. The worldbuilding and storytelling is simple and effective and it moves along at pace from start to finish. Ideal for YA and adult fans of dystopian and paranormal. No sexual scenes or f bombs on every page.

I really recommend this book and look forward to book 2 this summer!
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one :) I've never of this one before but from the sound of it, it looks pretty interesting! Great review.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    1. I hadn't heard of it until I saw it in the shop-but that cover just grabbed me! So glad I picked it up now!