Vulture's Gate, by Kirsty Murray

Callum felt the rumble of roadtrains, and froze. Black shadows skittered across the blinds as a convoy pulled up outside. Outstationers. If only he hadn’t insisted on staying home alone. Instinctively, he dived for the floor.
The red neon sign at the gates of the compound flashed a warning across the surrounding desert, but Callum knew his fathers were still miles away.

When Callum is kidnapped by Outstationers, all he wants is to be reunited with his fathers, with whom he always felt safe and loved. Now, though, he is running for his life, fleeing his captors and desperate to get to Vulture’s Gate to be reunited with his fathers. Along the way he meets Bo, who rescues him from certain death. Bo is brave and clever – but she shouldn’t be alive, because she’s a girl, and girls are extinct.

Together Bo and Callum cross the continent, hunting and gathering food, scavenging fuel and avoiding the many dangers. If they can reach Vultures’ gate, Callum assures Bo, they’ll find his fathers and they’ll be safe. But nothing prepares them for the world they find in Vulture’s gate.

Vulture’s Gate is a futuristic thriller for young adult readers, which explores a post-plague world where women have become extinct, and a thing to be feared. Bo, it appears for much of the book, could be the last girl – but when they reach Vulture’s Gate they find that this is not quite true. The place of women (and girls), and of children, is explored in a dystopic future, but while these issues are explored, the story is very much plot driven, with the issues a wonderful backdrop, leaving the reader thinking both about the possibilities of such a future, and real world attitidues.

Vulture’s Gate is a wonderful read from a wonderful author.

Vulture's Gate

Vulture’s Gate, by Kirsty Murray
Allen & Unwin, 2009

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