I have something a bit different to share with you today, it’s a book review but it’s for a book that is a little (or a lot!) outside of my usual reading preferences. I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.
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I was really intrigued by the blurb for Vox when I spotted it over on Netgalley and I was so happy when I was accepted to review it!
Author: Christina Dalcher
Synopsis: Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning.
Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.
But this is not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
Categories: Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publication Date: 23rd August 2018
Content Warnings: n/a
Review: Vox is the most intensely disturbing book I have read in a long time, in fact I haven’t read a book this uncomfortable since The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s really difficult not to draw parallels because they are discussion the same kind of issues, but I think they both are so unique and create a wonderful dialogue about some of the issues was are facing in today’s society.
The writing style is incredible, I loved the way it flows as we follow Jean, the main character, as her frustration and fear leak off the page. Vox is so well written that it is impossible not to feel a connection with Jean, and also to feel something towards each of the other characters in the book, be it hate, love or anger. I can honestly say that I have not felt emotions this intense about ficitonal characters in a very long while! I hated certain characters with such passion, it did not leave me when I had put the book down, nor when I had finished reading.
Over the course of the book, we learn how easily this horrific situation came about and also how quickly it could become even worse. I found it so easy to start hating Patrick and Steven, not because they were the worse characters in the book, but because they were close. It was easy to feel disgust because of their lack of action or because they were ‘sheep’.
As a mother I found Vox so hard to read in places and the scene in which the protagonist’s daughter is rewarded with an ice cream for having spoken the least words that day – 0 – was so heartbreaking – it’s going to stay with me for a very long time, I am sure. The world that Dalcher has created is scary because it overlaps so much with our own.
The short timescale and the frequent flashbacks really helped keep the pace of the novel qucik. I read Vox in two days. I just could not put it down, and since finishing it I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Vox is going to be a book which I will still be thinking about in many years to come. At the beginning of the book, Dalcher writes that Vox should be seen as a cautionary tale, and I definitely read it as such. I found it so disconcerting to read, as a women and as a mother.
I really liked the way that each of the characters was flawed in their own way, some more than others, from the passive Patrick, the easily influenced Stephen and even the protagonist Jean who realises, too late, that she needs to use her voice and that living in a bubble is not a good way to live. I have often heard that one of the saddest phrases is the English language is ‘if only’ and Vox is another example of how true that is.
“My fault started two decades ago, the first time I didn’t vote, the umpteen times I told Jackie I was too busy to go on one of her marches or make posters or call my congressmen.”
I would definitely recommend Vox for those who are fans of Dystopian fiction, it is a brilliant work of dystopian fiction. But, honestly, I think that everyone should read Vox, so that we can all think and talk about the issues it raises. It’s an excellent and thought-provoking read made all the more intense because of the uncomfortable subject matter.
Vox is available from Amazon* in both hardcover and ebook formats.
I received an ecopy of Vox via Netgalley, however all opinions and words are my own.