VOX by Christina Dalcher
Release date: 23rd August 2018
Genre/s: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Feminism.
This is an enchantingly written, sharp and delightfully disturbing dystopian debut, but most of all a shocking read that will leave you quite literally, speechless.
I am utterly disturbed by the plot of this book, it's similar to the Handmaid's Tale in the way it feels devestatingly real. Christina Dalcher did an excellent job at grabbing me instantly and keeping me on my toes. It's a book that made me constantly question things while I was reading, really making me think about how in someways it is sadly such a relatable story. I really think this book will start up a lot of conversations.
VOX is set in an alternative America where women have been silenced. With a device attached to every girls wrist whether woman or child; they cannot speak more than one hundred words a day. And the consequence if they do? How about a thousand volts of electricity running through their body.
The plot is unique and striking, and the main character Jean, is flawed and so realistic. She is constantly worrying about her daughter and trying to protect her from the horrid consequences of the world she is living in. She's decidedly letting out her anger into the world and an angry protagonist with a harrowing perspective was perfect for this story. In addition, the fact that the character was easily relatable made it even more of a hard book to read. But I feel like it was clear that the author wants the reader to feel how horrible the scenario is. We need to be angry if we are to make a difference in the real world, and that in particular is what made this such an excellent read for me.
A lot of different themes are also brought up throughout the book, and many of them in ways I've never seen them dealt with before, including: sexism, homophobia, feminism, religion. It's also quite graphic and the story had me thinking about it all the time even when I wasn't reading it. So be wary of that if you don't like a more serious or heavy storyline.
I'm slightly torn on my feelings towards the last third or so of the book. It felt a little rough around the edges, but the first half had me shook. This is an author to watch out for!
Thank you to the wonderful HQ for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Thank you so much for reading!
- Sophie Elaina