Ambelin Kwaymullina’s Top 5 Dystopian Books

by |June 29, 2012

1. Blood Red Road

The Dustland Series: Book 1

by Moira Young

Loved this story!

Saba’s world is so compelling, and the action scenes are superbly done. There were some moments (especially when Saba is cagefighting) when I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, hunched over the book as my eyes scanned the page, almost tripping over words in my head from reading too fast as I hurried to find out what happened next.

Can’t wait for the sequel.

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2. The Obernewtyn Chronicles

by Isobelle Carmody

(Obernewtyn, The Farseekers, Ashling, The Keeping Place, The Stone Key, The Sending)

Obernewtyn was the first post-apocalyptic book I ever read, and I’ve followed Elspeth’s adventures for a long time now.

I have the entire series lined up on a shelf, ready to read all over again from the beginning once I have the last book. There’s so many things to love about this series – how brave Elspeth is, and how strong; the vivid complexities of her post-apocalyptic world; and how incredibly well-realised the animal characters are.

I am a dog person by nature, but I always have a special place in my heart for Maruman the cat.

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3. The Hunger Games trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

(The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay)

Doesn’t everyone love these?

Katniss is such an awesome character! And the political cynicism of the people who run the unjust society she lives in (and of some of the people who are seeking to change it too) is positively chilling. The Games are so terrible, and anyone forced into them has so few choices, it can’t help but make you wonder what you’d do in the same situation – whether you could fight your way out like Katniss and Peeta do, and who you might have to become to survive.

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4. The Matched series

by Ally Condie

(Matched and Crossed)

I think what I enjoyed most about these books is following Cassia on her journey – the way in which she begins to question Society, and the small rebellions that turn into much bigger ones. I really loved how the certainty and safety of a regimented world begins to unravel around her, exposing the ugliness that lies beneath the surface, the price being paid for a ‘perfect’ Society. I liked, too, the convergence and intersections of her story with Ky’s and Xander’s, and the way they all resist being controlled in different ways.

Looking forward to catching up with them all again in book 3.

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5. The Divergent series

by Veronica Roth

(Divergent, Insurgent)

These books are so much fun – fast, and heaps of action.

Also, I spent quite a while trying to figure out which faction I would choose, if I had to decide like Tris does. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to be part of Dauntless – certainly couldn’t have jumped from that train!

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About the Author

Ambelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi/fantasy books, and has wanted to write a novel since she was six years old. She comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. When not writing or reading she teaches law, illustrates picture books, and hangs out with her dogs.

She has previously written a number of children’s books, both alone and with other members of her family.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is her first novel.

Read Ambelin’s answers to Booktopia’s Ten Terrifying Questions

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

“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.

Click here to order The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf from Booktopia,
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2 Comments Share:

About the Contributor


  • June 30, 2012 at 3:49 am

    The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf looks so good. Will be checking it out. I have not read The Obernewtyn Chronicles either. Thanks for the heads up on these books! Have a great weekend. I’ll be reading:)

  • October 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The book,as described looks interesting and enticing,I hope this doesn’t change my way of thinking or perceiving dystopian literature.

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