The Asking Game


ISBN: 9780975022863 Format: Trade Paperback Rights: ANZ Release / Publication Date: 01 /05 /2007


Sydney, 2020—’the city of water’. Alice’s life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined. Alice, or Eve as she was once known, is hired to expose Eternity, the cult that was founded outside the small desert town where she was born. With Drew, the boy from upstairs, who may be spying on her or watching over her, she begins a dream-like road trip into the dead heart of Australia where the past unravels into the future with exhilarating speed. Why did her sister Lucy leave her and what is it that happened between them? Who was her mother? Questions are asked. Their answers haunt and unsettle. At its heart The Asking Game drives us to ask ourselves who we really are. Childhood, sibling rivalry, science and identity are all explored in a bold, tautly woven debut—’a stylish thriller with literary sensibilities’. If you’re addicted to psychological thrillers or speculative fiction, or if you loved The Time Traveller’s Wife for its sharp psychological truths and complex emotions, you’ll want to read The Asking Game.

‘They moved from mirror to mirror as the ground gradually sloped away until, by the time they reached the last mirror, their faces were swimming in the polished surface at nearly the same height. And staring out at them were two sets of identical eyes: blue-grey black-grey steel-grey stone. Both girls paused mid-step. Eve noticed for the first time that her eyes were divided into slices of grey and blue and black. And so were Lucy’s. Their eyes were identical. Not just like each other: absolutely identical. They looked into their own eyes, and into each other’s, and couldn’t tell them apart.’

Rose Michael is a publisher, editor, teacher and writer of fiction.

She has worked as editor of the Weekly Book Newsletter and Australian Bookseller and Publisher and taught at the University of Melbourne.

An earlier version of her debut novel The Asking Game was a Vogel finalist.

Of her writing Miles Franklin winner Frank Moorhouse has written ‘I was thrilled when I first published Rose in Best Australian Stories 2004′. She has gone on to write with great flourish – to quote one of her characters, her writing is like chilled gin “as thick as syrup, as sticky as lust”.

It is a stylish, sophisticated thriller that is not afraid to take on the big issues … Alice’s quest for her fugitive past and for possible reconciliation with Lucy works marvelously as a personal story of self-discovery while engaging with the public debate that necessarily follows in the wake of scientific advancement.

Liam Davison, The Australian.


This is real page turner – you cant’ help but warm to Alice and feel involved in her adventures. Highly recommended for those who like their thrillers served with a twist. ****

Kabita Dhara, Bookseller and Publisher.


The Asking Game is a teaser of a novel.

Thuy On, The Age.


Intelligent and curiously affecting.

Ian McFarlane, The Canberra Times.