#BookReview: VOX by Christina Dalcher @CVDalcher @HQstories

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Publication: 23th August 2018 by HQ

Silence can be deafening.

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…

 

I have been hearing talking about this book for months and months and when I finally got my hands on an early copy, for which I’d like to thank HQ, I devoured it in two days. I was completely blown away by its unrealistic and scary plot and I couldn’t put it down.

In a near future, a pure religion movement has taken control of the government of the United States and has established a law according to which women are allowed to use only 100 words a day. And to be sure they follow this law the women have to wear a bracelet that gives them electric shocks whenever they go over the limit. The protagonist and narrator of this novel is Jean McClellan. She was a linguist scientist before all women were banned from doing any job. I shared Jean’s frustration and anger as she watches helplessly as women are forced to give up not only talking, but also working or even simply reading a book or the mail. All they have to do is to take care of their house and their family, waiting for the men to come home. There are bracelets that keep your word count, cameras that watch every step you make, and men that take you away to camps if you do something that it’s deemed impure.  Jean has four children, one of which is a six-year-old girl who is so scared to talk that she never uses her 100 words a day. On the other hand, her seventeen-year-old son Steven is being brainwashed at school in becoming one of the government puppets. But how did they get to this? Through Jean’s flashbacks, we see how nobody really believed that something like this could really happen until it did.

I really liked the character of Jean. She is strong-willed and determined and, even though she is limited to 100 words a day, she doesn’t give up on hope that one day things will be better and fights for her right to speak. She wants a better future for her daughter and all the other women and this makes her brave and dangerous.

VOX is chilling, it’s scary and it makes you furious and frustrated at the way not only women, but also people of different race or LGQBT are treated page after page. It’s a dystopian thriller full of twists, it’s suspenseful, compelling, and completely gripping, and it should be on everyone reading list.

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