The Disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Tribe, bk 2. Walker Books, 2013. ISBN 9781921720093.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Science fiction. Dystopian fiction. Ashala Wolf is running with the wolf pack, afraid of what her powers could do to the Tribe living in the Firstwood. When she is told that her friend Ember Crow is missing, she has to control herself and her powers in order to find her. However Ember is covering up dark secrets in her past that could threaten the Tribe and all the Illegals.
Once again Kwaymullina has written an outstanding story with plenty of surprises in it to make the reader think. Too much of the plot cannot be revealed because of spoilers, but there is plenty of action as Ashala leaves the Firstwood and encounters many adventures on the way to finding her friend, who is really worried that she won't be forgiven for her secrets. The confusing advice that her grandfather, the Serpent who lives under the lake, adds even more suspense to the story as Ashala tries to work out what the 'angels' are that she had been warned about.
There is much character growth as Ashala begins to learn what it means to be a leader and the romance between her and Connor is evident but not intrusive. The introduction of some new characters make for an interesting addition.
This is written in smooth, flowing prose that is easy to read. However the themes are complex and fascinating, making it a challenging and thought provoking novel. It is science fiction with a dystopian theme at its best.