‘The Disappearance of Ember Crow’ by Ambelin Kwaymullina is the second book in the Tribe series, a trilogy of dystopic speculative fiction. In the future world, it is 300 years after the Reckoning. Survivors are divided into Illegals, Citizens or Exempts.
Once again, this book opens with an irresistible scene: ‘I was wolf. I was one among the thirteen that were the Pack, and everything was as it should be. Mostly. . . (p 7)
Ashala has been living with the wolves for five weeks when her friends come to find her. They need her help to find Ember, who has gone missing.
This book moves between Ashala’s voice and the voice of Ember, with embedded in memories that flow through Ashala. The separate parts are depicted by different fonts and Ember’s memories contain a lot of backstory about her traumatic past. It transpires that Ember is a synthetic life form and was the one who created the Citizenship Accords initially, at a time of grief and trauma after the death of a loved one. Ashala is able to forgive Ember, and learn about the nature of life and the value of non-human and human life.
Young adult readers will enjoy the continued fast pace and sophisticated exploration of heavy topics in the second book of the Tribe trilogy. Themes include power, leadership, rebellion, memory, love and relationships.
Ambelin Kwaymullina is descended from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Series Title: The Tribe no 2