They re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals children with inexplicable abilities and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm s way. Read more...
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They re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals children with inexplicable abilities and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm s way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, a forest eerily conscious of its inhabitants, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities. But when Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Injured and vulnerable, with her own Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It s only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?"
- ISBN-13: 9780763669881
- ISBN-10: 0763669881
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: April 2014
- Page Count: 369
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Kwaymullina’s first American publication combines elements of Peter Pan, A Clockwork Orange, and the X-Men in an eco–fairy tale about children with “abilities” who run away to the Firstwood and live as the Tribe, in harmony with the trees and animals. They’re hunted by corrupt and rule-obsessed adults from the cities, who lock the children up and torture them with the goal of stamping out their abilities and bringing all humanity into the Balance, an ideology born out of ecological apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Ashala, leader of the Tribe, is one such captive, betrayed by Conner, the beautiful boy she fell in love with, who becomes her jailer. Something called “the machine” is used to rip memories from Ashala’s mind and force her to betray the Tribe. Much of the story is told in these memory flashbacks, which are often evocative, realistic vignettes. It‘s only the larger moral setup that disappoints: the novel operates within a framework of rigid absolutism, with adult figures morally compromised or unequivocally evil, or both, while only children have the legitimacy of a genuine connection to the Earth. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tara Wynne, Curtis Brown Australia. (Apr.)