Bo and Callum go in search of a safe haven, a place to call home. But where can they turn and who can they trust? When every stranger is a threat, does their only hope lie in reaching Vulture's Gate?
Following a journey that takes them across barren deserts and lost valleys, Bo and Callum must discover how to survive alongside runaway boys and crazed religious terrorists, in a world with an uncertain future.
And what is the disturbing secret at the ruined city's core?
Review -Vulture's Gate is an intriguing exploration of a futuristic Australia where a bird virus has wiped out all those that possess the XX chromosome. What happens to the world when women are wiped out in only two generations? It's an amazing concept that has been brilliant explored by Kirsty Murray.
Bo and Callum are bought together by the Outlanders (those that stalk and pillage those that live on the fringes of civilisation), when they are robbed of their caregivers. It's an adventure that closely tied with their survival, Callum looking for his fathers and Bo's trying to find a new place for her to belong.
Murray's novel was conceptualised well before our current bird flu epidemic but her timing couldn't be more perfect. She's managed to make me concerned about being female and the survival of my gender (gulp). While this is a YA novel, it doesn't shy away from some of the real issues of this lawless, battle ridden existence. Numerous times the reader will find themselves thinking that there can be no possible way for the two kids to escape their new predicament.
The characters are richly drawn. Callum, from a well loved, nurtured household is given some harsh lessons in the what the humanity is capable of. Still he perseveres, as does Bo, the last girl remaining. A girl who finds hope in friendship. Murray has created a depressing future but filled it with inspiring characters that possess great fortitude and heart. They are complex and gritty that it is easy to think of them as real. Readers will find themselves involved deeply in Bo and Callum's plight, irritated by Callum's stubbornness and Bo's easily given trust. Periphery characters are also amazingly engaging from wild boy Roc, captured Li-Li and the lovely Mr Pinkwhistle - who knew robots could be so divine?
A thought provoking look at the nature of courage, friendship and the strength of our survival instinct. Highly recommended.
Published: August 2009
Format: Paperback, 252 pages
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
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