#BookReview: Vox by Christina Dalcher @CV_Dalcher
Hi everyone! I have a review for an author new to me, Christina Dalcher. When she published this book in 2018, it was her debut novel, which blows me away >>>
About the Book:
Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.
Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.
Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.
For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…
A frightening, realistic look at the denial of female freedom
I haven’t read Christina Dalcher before, but I will be sure to check out her other books. First up, I am AMAZED this was her debut novel. Wow—just W-O-W.
‘If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week’s time, I wouldn’t believe them. But I wouldn’t argue. I wouldn’t say a thing. I’ve become a woman of few words.’ … From this understated opening line, we enter the world of Jean McClellan, who like all women, now spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. A wrist band gives you increasingly violent electric shocks if you exceed your daily quota. Add to this the fact women are not allowed to read or use sign language, and you see the sinister picture this novel paints. From here, things only get worse.
I found the characterisation and world-building incredibly well done, and this read felt all too possible and real—especially given recent events surrounding the curtailment of women’s rights and the rising of sinister groups such as Incels, among others. Given the situation around today’s world, this makes for a chilling and sobering read, but one that also offers humour and hope. I read this quite quickly, it was so good, and here are some lines I loved …
‘… you can’t protest what you don’t see coming.’
‘I didn’t turn to look; those pieces of glass looked too much like our marriage.’
‘He’s mad, he’s hurt, and he’s frustrated. None of this justifies the next words out of his mouth, though, the ones he will never be able to take back, the ones that slice deeper than any shard of broken glass and make me bleed all over. “You know, babe, I wonder if it was better when you didn’t talk.”’ … This one hit me in a visceral way.
‘All my words ricochet in my head as I listen, emerge from my throat in a heavy, meaningless sigh.’
With the women not allowed to work and having any and all assets and money transferred to a ‘responsible male’, this novel has strong echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale. And if you enjoyed that book/series, you’ll love this read. Having said that, this story stands on its own feet and isn’t simply a carbon copy of Margaret Atwood’s classic.
I would love to see this fantastic dystopian debut made into a movie, and Vox gets a resounding 5 stars from me. A must read for everyone.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂