Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher
Who else loves a feminist dystopian? Ever since I read The Handmaid's Tale, I look out for these kinds of books. Hence why I'm now desperate to read The Farm.
Set in the US, a new government has come into power that has meant that for the last year and a half, women have been silenced. They are taken out of work, not allowed a passport, an email address or a phone. Word counters are attached to all their wrists, disallowing over 100 words per day. Any loophole has been covered; it is now illegal to write notes so they have to be burnt after being read. There are cameras everywhere to catch anyone that attempts to use non-verbal communication with sign language. This far right movement takes you back to the era of the Nazi's, where you were praised for having more children, disallowed birth control and simply had to pray you'd have a boy. Gay women, adulterers and anyone that breaks the rules are taken away with their counters set to zero, disabling their speech all together, with the consequences for breaking the rules being a brutal physical punishment. The premise for this book is incredibly alluring to a ultra feminist bisexual who loves an 'overthrow the patriarchy' plot. Set from a first person perspective, Jean McClellan is a 'former' neuroscientist with a husband and 4 children (including a little girl that gets rewarded at school for saying the fewest words in a week). She is intelligent, capable, opinionated - exactly the kind of protagonist that is needed in a book like this. Even when she thinks something shameful or does something that is morally unethical, it is hard to think negatively of her when the situation she is in is so dire. The side characters are well written and easy to like as well as hate - very much required in stories of good versus evil. It's a very quick, easy read. The chapters are short and punchy, which gives the reader plenty of intensity and makes you want to keep turning the page (just one more chapter syndrome). I'd recommend this book if you enjoy fictional or non-fictional feminist books. Likewise, if you enjoy similar titles and dystopian fiction. Yes, this will be a tad over the top for contemporary fans, as elements of the plot are definitely far fetched and it lacks some of the subtlety of The Handmaid's Tale. We are not just seeing everyday life in this dystopia; we get a full on plan to overthrow a government, which somewhat overshadows the ominousness of the concept. It made it less believable for me and therefore, less effective.
Initial Prediction: 4.5 stars
Final Rating: 3.5 stars
Publication Date: 21 August 2018
Publisher: HQ, Harper Collins
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia
# of Pages: 388