Beyond Carousel, by Brendan Ritchie

The house isn’t powered like Carousel. Pretty much nowhere is. But it has a line of solar panels on the roof and two summers worth of power stored in the batteries. Enough for showers, air conditioning, pool filters – anything we want. Except for lights. Never any lights.
At night we shuffle the long hallways with tiny reading lights tucked into our belts and pockets, our voices hushed and careful against the manic drone of insects outside.

Nox, Taylor and Lizzy have escaped the confines of Carousel, where they were trapped for months.Now they are holed up in an empty house in the hills, resting while they figure out what to do next. most of the population of Perth has vanished in the same event which saw them trapped inside the Carousel shopping centre. Now that they are out they are trying to piece together what has happened and what they should do next.

But while they have found a temporary haven, they are far from safe. There are other people roaming the mostly abandoned city, and packs of wild dogs stalk them. There are also problems with food and water supply and, of course, the fear that they are stuck this way forever. Then they discoevr that time is running out to get everything sorted out.

Beyond Carousel is an action-packed sequel to Carousel, and would is bets read after the first, though could possibly be read on its own.The premise and the way it plays out create lots of intrigue and plenty of action.

Good stuff.

Beyond Carousel, by Brendan Ritchie
Fremantle Press, 2016
ISBN 9781925164039

Pandora Jones: Admission, by Barry Jonsberg

It took slightly under eight hours for Melbourne to die.
When Pandora Jones thought back to that day – something she did often – there were large holes in her memory. She definitely remembered sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast and listening to the news on the radio, her mother bustling about and packing lunch for her brother Danny.

On what begins as a fairly normal day, Pandora Jones witnesses horrific scenes of death as first a relief teacher, then everyone around her starts to cough, collapse and die. As if in a terrible nightmare, Pandora heads for home, only to witness the death of her family to the inexplicable pandemic that is wiping out much out of humanity. When she wakes up in hospital, her recollection of what has happened is vague, but finds herself one of a small group of survivors, relocated to a facility called The School. There she is trained for survival in the world as it now is. But there are secrets and contradictions, and Pan doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

Pandora Jones: Admission is the first instalment in a new post-apocalyptic series for teen readers, offering an absorbing blend of action, mystery and character development. While lots of questions arise, not all of them are answered, leaving lots of room for the rest of the series to do so.

Pan is an interesting viewpoint character, with a mix of strengths and failings which make her believable. Her supporting cast is also diverse, and relationships change over the course of events allowing characters to develop and readers to connect.

With two more titles to come, teen readers will be keen to follow the series.


Pandora Jones - Admission

Pandora Jones: Admission, by Barry Jonsberg
Allen & Unwin, 2014
ISBN 9781743318119

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina

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.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Tribe)

Ashala Wolf is in trouble. She has been captured by the Chief Administrator, Neville Rose, who has a frightening machine designed to interrogate illegals like Ashala. And, in spite of her special skills, Ashala doesn’t know if she’ll be able to withstand the interrogation, designed to unlock the secrets of her mind. Guarding her every move is Justin Connor, an enforcer who isn’t just her guard, but also the very person who betrayed her, by infiltrating the Tribe and learning her secrets. Ashala isn’t sure the Tribe can survive this betrayal.

But all is not as it seems, and as her interrogation goes on, and Ashala’s life hangs in the balance more than once, she starts to question just who her enemies – and her friends – really are.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is the first is a stunning new series, The Tribe, from first time novelist Ambelin Kwaymullina. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where man’s actions have lead to a total restructuring of the world and an awareness of the damage man’s actions does to the Balance of nature, the story sets those who are different because of special powers which connect them to the earth’s forces against the bulk of people who do not. Those who have such powers, Illegals, are not considered Citizens and so must live in captivity, or live outside society. Ashala, whose ability is Sleepwalking – an ability to live and manipulate her dreams – has gathered together other young people with abilities into the Tribe, whose goal is to survive, but also to bring about change.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a strong start to the series. Kwaymullina has written and illustrated picture books and shorter books for younger readers, and her first foray into a longer form is outstanding.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Walker Books, 2012
ISBN 9781921720086

Available from good bookstores or online.