Vox by Christina Dalcher
Publication Date: August 23rd 2018 (first published August 21st 2018)
Genre: Science-Fiction / Dystopia
Stars: ★★★★☆ [4.5]
Set in a United States in which 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 one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
This is just the beginning…not the end.
Let’s try something #100words review. Count starts now…
What would you do if you are prisoner of your own country? Government take away your voice? No passport, No jobs, no money, friendship or freedom. You can’t speak more than 100 words. Phone, books, reading, writing is banned. But all of this is only for women. I’m not hardcore feminist but this surely boils my blood.
Vox was mind-blowing dystopian science-fiction that had this terrific world where all of the above was possible, not just possible but was in existence. It was about feminism, oppressive government, hypocrisy and sexism, standing against tyranny to save family and loved ones.
But that 100 words are not enough. I want to write more. I don’t know how women even spend a day in this world speaking just 100 words!
It’s kind of book that one can go blind and enjoy the ride. I don’t know from where I should start. I’m speechless. Was it really a debut novel? Because it didn’t feel like one. It was so well thought, well written and well executed.
Book opened with Jean telling about the pure movement in country. How it started, how people thought it just passing phase and one man’s fancy that turned viral and became country’s reality and every women’s nightmare, how it not just changed whole country, shut up women but also affected her house and her kids’ mentality, especially her eldest son. She almost started to accept her reality, started hating not just the man who started this ridiculous movement but men of her house as well and then opportunity knocked at her door. The more she went along with what she was asked/forced to do and offered in exchange for her work, the more she discovered about government’s sinister plan.
Apparently they were not happy with what they took away. They wanted more… what will Jean do to save herself, her family and other women? Can only one woman bring change?
I absolutely loved this setting. This is the world I don’t want be transported to, not even in dream. I was just 30 pages into the book and I thought this can’t be possible but author showed that it was not completely impossible. You may think women can’t possibly have agreed to it, there will be drastic effect on country’s economy if they take away women’s job, surely men will speak up for their mothers, sisters, wives or daughters, there will be march, protest, violence against government, people will leave the country… wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Everything was well thought. It was horrible, sickening, and outrageous to see conditions of women, creepy rules and punishments, and level sexism.
I could not stop thinking who the real villain here was, the initiator of pure movement, Reverend Carl (I still don’t get from where he got this insane idea!), the stupid president, or the men of states? How can whole country could have followed it in so less time? Money, family, love, power, and ego, whatever their reason was, it just didn’t feel manly and right. But maybe man in their place might have done same in real life. But I was glad to see that not all lost their mind.
Jean was amazing in this book. Her voice was strong, effective, provocative and so real. Her feeling touched my heart. It was easy to see this man ruling world through her eyes that succumbed me into the story deeply. Not just the world she lived in but her private life was also complex. Her relationship with her husband, her kids, and friends was narrated perfectly. I liked back stories of Jean’s life. Her monologues perfectly represented her state of mind that had all jumbled up feeling, love, hate, frustration, disbelief, hope, hopelessness, determination, and guilt. I was surprised to see her not going mad.
She and all other characters were developed. I liked Jackie and Lin. They were inspiring and influential. Their strength was admirable. At first I didn’t like Patrick, but I liked him in second half. There were many characters you will hate in this book and some will surprise you.
The best moments in the book that really stopped me while reading book was Jackie’s warnings about the change, Jean’s realization- how wrapped up she was in her life (that Bubble reference was so apt), how it was too late to do anything, how she and all around her realized there was no way out and how soon things can change the world.
I liked the message behind the story. We should vote and if we don’t and something bad happens you can’t really blame government; we should not ignore the world for our own selfish gains; raise your voice, join the protest and resistance whenever necessary because it counts, every single person and voice, even small effort can impacts/bring the change.
There were many surprises. Twist and turns were good. Half of the time I could not anticipate what will happen next. Climax was amazing and I liked the end.
I read in acknowledgement author said, ‘I hope it makes you a little bit angry. I hope it makes you think‘. I would say she did brilliant job because it not just made angry I was erupting volcano. Okay that’s over the top but yes I was furious and was thinking a lot. I also I told whole story to my husband and asked some questions to know what he will do in Patrick’s situation (harmless questions you know) and he was like, ‘Oh God, now this feminism thing will go on for a week… Did I give you money to buy that book?… Remind me to read blurbs of books you are reading so I’ll be prepared next time.’ 😉
Trust me I was going to give it 5 stars until climax. Important scenes in climax and end, were not detailed or felt rushed. I expected more, little little bit detailed, not just to imagine how the plan was executed at the meeting and what exactly happened there.
Overall, it was mind-blowing, provocative, suspenseful, gripping, terrific and disturbing dystopia, Sci-Fi novel. If you still haven’t read this book, just get it.
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read it already? Are you going to add it to TBR? Do you like to read Sci-Fic and Dystopia novels?
What do you think about the ‘Vox world and 100 words quota? I saw many compared it to The Handmaid’s Tale? Do you agree with it, have you read Handmaid’s Tale? Have you read any falling in this theme? If so, recommend me your favorite book.
Share you thoughts in the comment-box belo