Author: Christina Dalcher
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.
I love (perhaps ‘love’ is the wrong word for something like this, but I’m very interested in) the concept of this book: women are limited to speaking 100 words a day, monitored by a bracelet which serves up electric shocks, increasingly more painful, the more words the women go over their limit by. It’s a bleak world for the female population, and Vox lays it all out – and, worryingly, a lot of it feels like a time that could be here not long after ‘today’. We’re not a million miles away from that kind of society right now, and the book points this out, with characters highlighting a need to ‘act now’, which many ignored until it was too late. It’s got plenty of interesting concepts, and so I was excited to see how it would all be executed. Though I did find it thought-provoking and entertaining, it was just missing something to elevate it from OK to good or great.
The characters, for me, could have been a bit more engaging, and a lot of the story felt too detailed in the wrong places: there was some parts which I felt could have focused more on the way the characters felt rather than the experiments and procedures. I know there’s plenty of people who feel completely different, but I found myself a little less engrossed by the story as it went on and I think I just wasn’t as enamoured by this as other people have been.
Saying that, I am a big fan of the plot and ideas that Christina Dalcher has come up with for this dystopian-style tale (which definitely feels like a cautionary tale too, in today’s political climate in the US and elsewhere), and it’s certainly a clever and debate-provoking read. Therefore I’d recommend giving it a go, it just didn’t wow me as much as it has done for others.
Many thanks to HQ for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.