Vulture’s Gate is a compelling novel for teen readers by Kirsty Murray set in the future. It has a spellbinding plot, and strong themes that reflect on our modern day world and the repercussions of how we currently interact with our environment.
Kirsty Murray depicts a frightening but very real world in which girls are thought to be instinct due to a terrible plague, and the land has been destroyed by war and greed.
But not all girls have been exterminated. Bo, one of the main characters is very much alive. Raised by her Poppy until he was killed, she has survived on her own, helped only by her Robotraptors, especially Mr Pinkwhistle.
But everything changes for Bo when she rescues a young boy, Callum in the burning desert.
She is forced to leave her underground home. In search of Callum’s fathers, they journey across a dangerous continent, escaping outstationers, street gangs and terrorists, but nothing can prepare them for the world that awaits in Vulture’s Gate.
Callum has been kidnapped and is forced to perform in a freak show. The skills he acquires there hold him in good stead and provide him with the flexibility, balance and survival skills he’s going to need to survive in the new world.
Once they join forces, Bo and Callum look for a safe haven, but it’s not easy to find in a world where factions are fighting against each other – runaway boys against religious terrorists.
As well as being an action packed adventure, this book explores the vulnerability of both genders as the two protagonists struggle to survive in their harsh new environment.
Vulture’s Gate reflects on the intricacies of society and examines themes of loyalty, adaptability, friendship and belonging.
The relationship between Bo and Callum is real and courageous and is an authentic portrayal of two characters moving towards adulthood and the new responsibilities and difficulties that brings.
One of the most poignant things for me about this book was that children in this society are not raised in a nurturing environment, but rather one where they have to fight for their survivl.
Vulture’s Gate hooked me from the first page and kept me mesmerised till the end.
I’m hoping there will be a Book 2 to follow.
Vulture’s Gate is published by Allen & Unwin.