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Vox

by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher X
Vox by Christina Dalcher

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There are currently 35 reader reviews for Vox
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Donna M, Kennesaw GA, librarian

Vox by Christina Dalcher
Fascinating dystopian read, kept me up all night. What set this one apart for me is the questions raised by the characters, causing me to wonder about my own responses as well as my present activities. Book clubs will want this one for strong opinions alone.
Gail I. (Delray Beach, FL)

Vox: Not Simply Fiction
Vox: A Novel is more of a cautionary tale in this day and age when things we never imagined would happen in our country are suddenly happening. It makes you realize how people with extreme religious beliefs can hijack the government and take away the rights of others due to their beliefs. In this case, it's women and girls who are being suppressed. Their right to speech and even communicating the written word is severely limited. As a woman who continues to fight for the rights of all suppressed people, I find this concept frightening.

It's a must read book that makes you think about freedoms we often take for granted. It's also very relevant in today's political climate!
Erin, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA

How far would you go to protect those you loved?
If you could speak only 100 words per day, what would you choose to say?

Jean used to be apolitical, never imagining a fringe movement could gain such power. Now she's fighting for the lives of everyone she loves as part of an underground resistance network. Her tension, frustration, despair, rage, and fear are palpable. I could almost hear relentless, urgent music playing in the background as I read. It was particularly haunting to alternate reading this novel with listening to the third Maggie Hope mystery, set primarily in WWII Berlin. In the era of a Trump White House, this cautionary tale should inspire you to exercise your right to vote, speak up, and join protest movements...while you still can.

Do not read this at bedtime because you'll either try to sleep and fail, or keep reading through the night until you finish the book.

For readers' advisors: story doorway is primary, character and setting are secondary. There is quite a bit of profanity, some sex, and some violence. Plenty to talk about for book clubs. Good choice for fans of The Handmaid's Tale or Future Home of the Living God.

Many thanks to Bookbrowse.com and the publisher for the ARC I received in exchange for my honest review! I don't usually read dystopia, but this was excellent.
Beth T. (Savannah, GA)

Great Read
There's a great deal to like about Vox. It's a dystopian tale with a strong female lead who's a wife, mother, and linguistics scientist who was on the verge of a breakthrough discovery when she and all other women were banished to their homes and no longer able to work. And then something happens that changes everything. I really enjoyed Vox. I liked the story, characters, plot, and writing style. It covered quite a bit of emotional ground and had plenty of twists and surprises to keep me engaged throughout while not being so gruesome that I couldn't go to sleep after a reading session. I have every reason to believe this will be a very popular book, especially given the current climate in our country. Book clubs in particular should have some lively discussions about Vox.
Maryanne B. (Chapel Hill, NC)

A Distressing Dystopia
In Vox, Christine Dalcher has crafted a mind-blowing dystopia that is shockingly sexist, and yet it is filled with cultural, religious, and political elements of credibility that bring her distorted environment to the present day. Accurate clinical depictions of neurological and linguistic disorders further heighten the reality and suspense of this page-turning novel. Written in the vein of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, this thought-provoking novel remains with the reader long after and serves to remind each of us to embrace and value the diversity and rights of all people.
Jeanne W. (Colorado Springs, CO)

A not-too farfetched future?
There will probably be a lot of comparisons to A Handmaid's Tale and that's an apt description, but Vox stands on its own merits. In a world where women are controlled by means of a band on their wrists limiting them to 100 words a day, no longer allowed to work and urged to take become "pure" in the new national religion, Dr. Jean McClelland is struggling to adapt to her new life. The horror and difficulty of parsing your words for the day comes through loud and clear. I wish the author had dealt with this issue a little more, and the whole conspiracy thing a little less though. Once Jean is allowed to speak again, the novel loses some of its impact. But it's a great, fast read and I think it would spark lots of interesting conversations in book clubs. These cautionary tales are something we should be taking more seriously these days.
Sylvia T. (Rancho Mirage, CA)

And we never saw it coming
Jean is an interesting narrator. She's a neuro-linguistic scientist, studying how to enable repair of the speech centers of the brain after traumatic injury. Because of the word limit for women, we spend a good deal of time in Jean's head. A place where she not only informs the reader of what is happening, but what she sometimes believes, or wishes, is happening. It's a variant of an unreliable narrator, except where you're never quite sure what the truth is, Jean herself tells you very soon after the imagined scenario. I quite liked that about her. Because I often think in the same way, of possibilities, best- and worst-case scenarios.

She's far from perfect. I actually loved that. She doesn't make excuses for herself, and you're presented with a unvarnished truth of her. I appreciated that she acknowledges that part of the reason this happened is because she didn't get active when things were less dire, she didn't even vote. And she is experiencing the consequences of those lack of actions on her and others.

Vox ended up being provocative read that made me think more than once. The only thing that could have made this better for me is more of how they got to that point, and more drama/suspense/action with the resolution.
Virginia M. (San Antonio, TX)

Terribly disturbing and Terribly good
This book was very disturbing because I can visualize it actually happening. I hated the story but I could not put the book down.
The premise of the book is that a radical arm of the religious right has taken control of our country and the laws of the land greatly restrict what females (regardless of age) are allowed to do. As a result, women are not allowed to travel or be employed. They also cannot have any access to books (even cook books) or any kind of written communication and they cannot watch TV or listen to the radio. School age females attend separate schools where they are taught to cook and keep house while being given zero academic training. Worst of all, all females are only allowed to speak 100 words a day with their speech monitored by an electronic bracelet capable of counting the number of words they utter and of administering a painful electric shock when the speech limit is exceeded. Females who violate these laws or who engage in appropriate behavior are imprisoned and forced to endure brutal living conditions.
The story line focuses on one wife and mother who had been an accomplished PhD scientist and her frustration and pain in living under such conditions. She suffers as she watches the life of her family become shattered. She also realizes that eventually for females the part of the brains which control language will most likely cease to function due to non-use.
The author did an awesome job of making the story line so authentic that I had to keep assuring myself that this was a tale of fiction.
The author explains two things in a foreword. First, she wrote this book as a cautionary tale about what could happen if we allow our Government to take away personal liberty bit by bit. Secondly, she hoped to make her readers aware of how blessed we are to have the gift of language.
Well, for me, she succeeded on both counts. I am glad I read this book and I recommend that everyone read it. I think you will be as disturbed by it as I was but it will make you aware of what could happen if our freedoms are not protected.

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