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Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

September 24, 2018
Vox, Christina Dalcher, InToriLex
Published By: Berkley on August 21, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (336 pages)
Genre: Sci-fi/ Dystopia/ Feminism
Series: Stand Alone
Source: #Bookishwish on Twitter
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
Vox
~Amazon~ 
Set in an America where 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 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

VERDICT:

 Content Warning: Torture, Graphic Violence, Religious Extremism

REVIEW:

Dr. Jean describes her life in a not too distant future society where women cannot speak more than 100 words a day She didn't see it coming and the nightmare gets more dire throughout the book. The totalitarian government that takes over the United States is led by white Christian men who believe woman should be out of the workforce and controlled. This book paints a bleak picture of misogyny dictating every facet of women's lives. It wasn't hard to imagine because of the many ways woman are controlled and diminished in our society today. Women wear bracelets with counters and are given increasingly stronger electric shocks when they speak over their allotted words. Girls as young as three months old are fitted with bracelets. Dr. Jean's life quickly begins to change after she is offered a chance to continue her work as a doctor although it would be in service of the President.
“Think about waking up one morning and finding you don’t have a voice in anything.” 
The character development in this book was a mixed bag. Some characters  were really fleshed out and others were too quickly glossed over. The concepts and nature of oppression this book explores was powerful. However characters seemed to serve specific purposes rather than stand on their own.While the story was clunky it was engaging and traumatic to think of a future where woman literally have no voice. Fornicators, lesbian and gay men are forced into labor camps with bracelets that allow no words or are executed. History is rewritten and children are indoctrinated in schools with hate.
"They're everywhere now, the cameras. In supermarkets and schools, hair salons and restaurants, waiting to catch any gesture that might be seen as sign language, even the most rudimentary form of non-verbal communication."
As a novel this story had issues, but as an essay exploring feminism and oppression it works well. Dr. Jean's family and husband struggle to follow rules and make surprising choices while struggling to survive. It's important to reflect on how political apathy can lead our world to eat itself, this book tackles that. I did want more out of the book's ending but would still recommend it. The surprising plot points, diverse representation and feminist themes created a unique story worth reading.

Recommended for Readers who
- like to read stories that explore oppressive dystopia's
- enjoy hard hitting novels that tackles serious topics and Christianity run amok
- want to think deeply about the own life choices and societal norms

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Dalcher, InToriLex,
Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects and has taught at universities in the United States, England, and the United Arab Emirates. Her short stories and flash fiction appear in over one hundred journals worldwide. Recognitions include the Bath Flash Award’s Short List; nominations for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions; and multiple other awards. She teaches flash fiction as a member of the faculty at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency represents Dalcher’s novels. After spending several years abroad, most recently in Sri Lanka, Dalcher and her husband now split their time between the American South and Naples, Italy.
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