“Think about waking up one morning and finding you don’t have a voice in anything.”
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 to speak 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. (Goodreads)
Hi everyone! I planned to be more active in posting after my anniversary post but toddler parenting has been more demanding lately especially with my husband trying to finish his new book. So since I needed a quick and easy post for today, here’s a book review I previously published in my Goodreads page. I very rarely rate a book below 3⭐️ because if it’s really that bad, I probably wouldn’t finish it in the first place. I’m not one to add low ratings for DNF (Did Not Finish) books, though I know some people do so.
Today’s featured title is Vox by Christina Dalcher. I really tried my best to like this book. It was one of my most anticipated reads from 2018. Sadly, the style of writing is not very engaging and was a bit confusing for me. It has flimsy worldbuilding, with a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. For a scifi/dystopian novel, it is vital to uphold the suspension of disbelief and it just did not happen here.
Okay that’s the end of my generic review, major spoilers ahead >>>
Jean is a very difficult character to like. She could have been kinder to her husband, or at least lead a better conversation. In general, she’s just more aggresive than assertive.
Her parenting is almost problematic as well. What kind of parent can’t explain the concept of pain to his/her child? She has four children but it seems like she only cared for her daughter Sonia. There is a scene where she slaps one of her sons, and calls him a little sh*t and a bastard. There was also an instance where she drugs her daughter —granted it was to help her sleep without nightmares, but like I said it’s just disturbing to a mom like me.
And am I supposed to root for the Jean-Lorenzo love story?? A married woman is having an affair while her family is falling apart. Her only reason: she thinks her husband Patrick is not “manly enough.” She gets pregnant and is torn whether she should escape with her lover, and leave her family behind.
I mentioned inaccuracies and inconsistencies above. Some examples:
– She’s pregnant but still seems to drink lots of coffee
– How can she be a sharp shooter all of a sudden towards the ending? She can’t even perform injections for lab animals
– Deus ex machina ending is so disappointing
I did like the supporting characters — Jackie, Lin, Sharon and Del and Jean’s husband Patrick. Her husband turns out not to be a weakling after all, he has been working undercover for years and even died for the resistance. There just seems to be no redeeming factor for Jean. Everything was too easy for her. The real heroes are the people around her—the MEN she has judged and hated all throughout the book.
>>>>> End of spoilers.
I also liked how this novel teaches the importance of speech and language in the formation of a healthy society. We also see how parenting and raising children with the right values is essential for humanity’s future. It would make you look at your own “bubble” of a life, and reminds you to be vigilant and not let oppression get you unawares.
This honestly could have been a great story and I understand all the hype around it. But the writing just didn’t speak to me and I genuinely hated the lead female character. She is a 2-dimensional character, and not a true feminist from my point of view. This book shows feminism by attacking the opposite gender, and I don’t think that helps the cause at all.
Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Overall Rating: 2/5
About the Author
Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specialized in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects and taught at universities in the United States, England, and the United Arab Emirates.
Her short stories and flash fiction appear in over one hundred journals worldwide. Recognitions include first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award as well as nominations for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions.
Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency represents Dalcher’s novels.
After spending several years abroad, most recently in Sri Lanka, Dalcher and her husband now split their time between the American South and Andalucia, Spain.
Her debut novel, VOX, was published in August 2018 by Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House) and has been translated into twenty languages.
Dalcher’s second novel, MASTER CLASS, will be out in the spring of 2020.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Berkley
ISBN 0440000785 (ISBN13: 9780440000785)
Characters Jean McClellan, Patrick McClellan, Sonia McClellan, Steven McClellan, Jackie Juarez, Carl Corbin, Lorenzo Rossi
Literary Awards Goodreads Choice Award
Genres: Science Fiction | Dystopia | Feminism
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