26 January 2014

Review: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Have I really not blogged for six months? Gosh. I know I'm slow, sporadic, spotty in my blogging, but that's a long time.

Then again, I moved house in the second week of December, after culling, packing & sorting my belongings, and arranging things at my new (old) home. (old as well as new because I've moved to my late mother's house, where I lived in my teens and early twenties)

I didn't read very much last year, and did even fewer reviews, but am getting back into reading, and recording my responses, now that I'm semi-settled into my new home (still a few boxes to unpack, which the cats think is a Good Thing).

Here are my thoughts about The Interrogaton Ashala Wolf (Tribe #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina:

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

very cleverly written novel, with layer after layer of the puzzle being gradually revealed. I thought it was a bit slow to start with, and thought the world-building and exposition were a bit clumsy, but that might actually have been intentional - it's a first-person narration by the central/titular character, and she's not feeling too well at the start, and the way she is thinking is affected.

and at some points I was thinking "oh no, not that YA romance trope of the central character hating another character but really underneath it all...", but even that was a nifty part of the puzzle.

I've seen this categorised as fantasy, but it's mostly dystopian SF young adult lit. the familiar tropes - young people with abilities, persecuted by an oppressive state - are given a different twist in this story. the state is trying to maintain the Balance, to keep society in harmony with itself and with its environment.

some very interesting echoes of contemporary Australian life - fear of the other, detainees being portrayed as a threat to "normal" people.

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