Vox, Christina Dalcher: Book Review

Imagine if, as a woman, every day you were limited to 100 words. And if you didn’t, there would be consequences…

Let me introduce you to the brilliant, thought-provoking story of Vox by Christina Dalcher.

The plot:

We will not be silenced.

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…

[100 WORD LIMIT REACHED]

It is, at times, shocking to read, and a little scary if you think about it in depth

CHILLS. Even though I’ve read this book, the blurb above taken from the book still gives me chills.

First things first, COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE THIS HAPPENING?

The concept is incredible, especially in these times we live in. Although a dystopian, there are correlations to problems which are happening now. Set in America with people’s voices being cut off – sound familiar?

A lot of you have been asking my opinion of Vox because I feel so strongly about 1984 by George Orwell, it being my favourite book of all time. I knew that my bias might skew the review, but you guys run the show, so here we are.

I’m going to start with the 1984 reference, as lots of people have said it’s “similar” – there is a short paragraph where 1984 itself is actually mentioned (reference to Winston Smith), which I think is actually really well placed. 1984 is constantly referred to nowadays, especially in reference to being ‘watched’, so props to Dalcher because it makes Vox more realistic. You also have the ‘forbidden love’ aspect, which Dalcher has put in to really bring out those emotions. I wouldn’t say their similar, but I can see why people are relating the two.

Moving on, I would like to say that the idea for this is spectacular. If you strip everything away, and say people are limited to 100 words a day because of the government taking control, you have an original(ish) concept, and Vox is very well executed. It mentions the past often and the feminist movement, which is so so so important, especially in this day and age.

In a way, it makes you question what you would do, which adds an extra depth. So, what would you do if your daughter was getting close to their daily limit? What if your son was becoming one of the ‘Pure’? Would you comfort your neighbour? Would you risk everything? How can you, as one individual, overcome the system? There are so many moral dilemmas which the protagonist, Jean, faces, and deserves a round of applause for not only getting the reader to think, but also to talk to others.

There are quite a few comments which made me grit my teeth and get angry, but a gentle reminder that this is fiction, and most importantly, the author is reminding us of a powerful message, whilst discussing a topic of utmost importance in our generation.

Despite the occasional swear-word thrown into the dialect, I thought it was quite Young Adult (YA) whilst reading. A lot of emphasis is placed on the past decisions of her friends whilst in college/ university, and generally speaking, there are a few other pointers which gives this a YA vibe for me.

The paragraphs were short and sweet (not limited to 100 words – I did count on occasion), which makes for a very quick read.

There were the perfect amount of twists and turns, as well as lots of emotional baggage upon finishing this book. It is, at times, shocking to read, and a little scary if you think about it in depth. I’d love more books like this, and is perfect for a dystopian-lover to get their fix.

All in all, I got through this book very quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it. It sparked a lot of conversation on social media when I finished, and I LOVE when a book sparks so many different people’s interests, whilst enlightening people to such an important topic.

I’m going to leave you with this quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

P.S. This would be an AMAZING film. I’m going to get the Netflix Originals team on it immediately.

A book for everyone – big time Bookmark That approval.

Vox, Christina Dalcher, RRP £12.99 (hardback); Book Depository 

Pages: 326

Publisher: HQ Publishing

Genre: Dystopian

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