Vulture's Gate by Kirsty Murray
Its The End Of The World,
And Its Just The Beginning!
For Callum, a colony boy, Vulture's Gate represents hope. After being stolen from his home in the outback by savage Outstationers and sold on as an attraction in a freak show, forced to perform in a circus for cruel masters, Callum escapes and returns to his outback home only to find his fathers gone, and his home destroyed. The only message left for him, his fathers are waiting for him in Vulture's Gate.
Bo is a girl living alone in the outback. She has been alone for the last six months, hunting, foraging and surviving. When one day she rescues a boy on the outskirts of her lands, she finds her once isolated home now set upon by dangerous Outstationers. With her home destroyed and all her family gone she feels lost, but with this boy she finds a friendship and something worth holding on to.
As Callum and Bo travel together across a harsh and desolate land, they are learning that the world they grew up in, and everything they were taught to believe, is not the world that exists before them. Callum always believed girls were extinct; he had been brought up sheltered from the ugliness that exists in the world. Bo, although taught to read, hunt and put together technology, is naive to the world beyond her lands; ignorant to what it is to be a girl.
But it is at Vulture's Gate that Callum and Bo discover the harsh truth of what has happened to the world. There, their dreams are crushed and their futures are left uncurtain, as each comes face to face with the horrors of what it means to live and survive in Vulture's Gate. But once inside are they able to escape?
Vulture's Gate is a provocative and well written story that raises questions of gender and society. In Callum and Bo the male and female perspectives are given, and in the story each sex blames the existence of the other all the ills that have befallen them and the world around them. Society is ruled by dictators with their drones and test-tube babies. Beyond that are the anarchists, religious extremists and Festers with their gambolling, bombs and human trafficking. But underlying all that is the theme of hope presented in the fairytales told by Bo.
Price (AU): $15.99
Recommended age: 12-18
In a word: Future
Re-read it: yes
Star rating: five out of five