Dystopian novels are not what I normally choose for my reading life, but considering our current political climate I was drawn to the plot of VOX by Christina Dalcher immediately. The idea that women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day fascinated me (considering that my girlfriends and I speak 100 words in our first five minutes whenever we’re together.) And I just read in a Time Magazine article that the average person speaks 16,000 words a day. Puts it into perspective what a massive challenge it would be to speak only 100 words.
The entire U.S. government seems to be taken over by something called the Pure Movement, created by a man named Reverand Carl who, along with the President and his entire cabinet, are taking the woman of this country back to the dark ages where they are allowed to do nothing more than cook, sew, grocery shop, and take care of their families. Not only are women not allowed to speak more than 100 words a day, they aren’t allowed to work outside of the home or hold a political office. Boys and girls are forced to attend different schools, the LGBTQ community sent to conversion camps, and anyone who is found impure is publically shamed and sent to hard labor camps.
Through the story, Dr. Jean McClellan finds herself joining a small resistance, uncovering Reverand Carls’ much bigger plan to silence the entire country, not just the women. The more she uncovers, the more she realizes that she will do anything to stop it from happening.
VOX is a quick read because you are so excited to see where the story is headed. There were points in the story where I would have liked more details, more background, and explanation of the events. This, however, did not keep the story from flowing, nor did it make the plot confusing. The idea of women being silenced, made to be less than in society, got my blood boiling which is what a good dystopian novel should do. I was anxious to tell my girlfriends all about it but struggled not giving away any spoilers which is what a good novel of any kind should do.
Fans of dystopian novels will love this book. It is a fast-paced read that would be perfect for book clubs and talking over – much more than 100 words – between you and your fellow book-loving friends.
A huge thank you to Berkley – Penguin USA and the First to Read program for gifting me an advanced copy for my honest review. Featured image courtesy of Berkley Publishing Group can be found here.
VOX by Christina Dalcher
Publish Date: August 21, 2018 by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Dystopian
Where I read: Cozied up in my favorite chair
Stephenie’s Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars