This month’s title selection has been generously provided by Chris Currie, author of May’s book, CLANCY OF THE UNDERTOW (and proud new dad, as of Saturday May 4th – congratulations Chris! Love to the whole family!!).
Chris has chosen…*drumroll*…
THE INTERROGATION OF ASHALA WOLF by Ambelin Kwaymullina!! Yay! Kermit flail!
In this first book of The Tribe series, Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose, and is about to be subjected to the Machine – memories and thoughts will be yanked straight from her mind, exposing her Tribe, the runaway Illegals with extraordinary powers hiding in the Firstwood. Betrayed by someone she thought she could trust and at the mercy of the Administration, the only hope for Ashala, and the Tribe she belongs to, is her own strength of will…
This staggeringly inventive and twisty dystopian fantasy was well-received upon first release – it was nominated for the 2012 Aurealis Award (YA), and the 2013 Gold Inky. Kid’s Book Review says: “While the thriller aspects of the story keep the pages turning, Ashala’s need to have a connection with her past and with her surroundings as well as her need to be true to herself and those she loves adds a real depth and thoughtfulness to the novel.”
After reading so much YA dystopia, I was starting to get heartburn, so I was delighted to find that ASHALA WOLF is the most energetic and original work I’d read for a long time: the writing is so seamless, it’s hard to believe that this is a debut work. The Tribe series is written by Ambelin Kwaymullina, from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of West Australia. A vocal supporter of Australian Indigenous voices in literature generally and in YA in particular, Ambelin has contributed to the discussion around diversity, representation and appropriation in publications like Kill Your Darlings (go here: kyd article_Ambelin ), and talks about Indigenous superheroes here, about the new ABC production Cleverman (which is ACE, btw, and you should get into it!). You can also read her Author Notes to the second book in the series, The Disappearance of Ember Crow, here: Author Note Ember Crow-1.
I hope you enjoy this month’s book, and welcome the addition of a fantastic new voice in Australian YA fiction! Remember that if you’d like to order the book through Boomerang Books, you can use the code ‘loveoz’ at the ‘use promotional code’ section of the order form to get free shipping. To join the conversation, check out the #LoveOzYAbookclub FB group – joining is freefreefree, and you’re welcome!