Book Reviews

Vox by Christina Dalcher


The Bible Belt expanded, and before long, encompassed the entire United States. The Pure Movement took hold soon afterwards, and women lost everything. First, they took away their passports, then they took everything else. No books. No writing. No jobs. No money. No phone. No birth control. No same-sex relationships (for anyone). And, finally, allowing women to speak only one hundred words per day—enforced by a bracelet worn on the wrist—a word counter—that delivered an electric shock which increased in intensity with every word spoken over their daily allotment. Women were allowed to cook, clean, garden, have babies… and very little else.

This may very well be the most disturbing, outrage-inducing dystopia I’ve ever read. I wanted to climb inside the book and beat the living hell out of (almost) every man featured in the story. When Jean used an entire day’s worth of words in a screaming session, I felt her frustration and rage as if it were my own. I have a particular hatred of being told to shut up, so it was easy to understand what Jean was feeling in that moment as her counter rapidly tallied up her remaining words; it was essentially warning her to shut up with each word she spoke.

What makes Vox so chilling is that it seems entirely possible—given the right circumstances, and the right (or rather, wrong) people in place, it’s not a stretch to imagine such a thing could happen.

I’m completely blown away that this is Dalcher’s debut novel. It’s certainly not evident in her writing, which is absolutely outstanding in every way. I’m desperately hoping that she will continue to write in this genre, because I can think of nothing more exciting than to read another dystopia written by this amazing author.

My advice, readers? Rush out and buy this book as soon as you can get your hands on a copy. Make sure you have plenty of uninterrupted reading time available when you crack it open because you’re not going to want to put it down!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Berkley via Edelweiss.

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Author: Christina Dalcher
Title: Vox
Genre: Dystopia
Expected Publication: August 21st, 2018 by Berkley
Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

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.

About the Author

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.

Her debut novel, VOX, will be published in August 2018 by Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House).


15 thoughts on “Vox by Christina Dalcher”

    1. It was pure torture having to wait so long to post my review, because I wanted to shout about how great it was the moment I finished reading it!

      I hope you’ll love this book as much as I did. Can’t wait to see what you think about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not sure I can read or even, love a book about suppressing one half of the population, being my half of the population. I understand what the author is trying to do, but hasn’t Margaret Atwood already written this one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s comparable to The Handmaid’s Tale in that it deals with the oppression of women who no longer have a choice in how they will live their lives, of course. It’s the reasoning behind the oppression and the manner in which it’s done is different.

      I’m sorry to hear that a book like this doesn’t interest you, but I understand that the subject matter isn’t going to appeal to everyone. I loved it because I could easily put myself in the place of the women in this book, and understand what they were feeling about being treated in such a horrible way. Seeing how Jean and other women in the book fought back against the tyranny was thrilling to behold, and I rooted for them every step of the way.

      Speaking of suppressing half the population, I read another book–The Power by Naomi Alderman–that showed the flip side: the oppression of men in a world ruled by women.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. With the suppression of so many people, and their rights, happening all over the world, I see this enough in articles without wanting to read a fictional account as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are plenty of other books to choose from, so you can always find something that suits your reading preferences. That’s the great thing about reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I know. That’s the wonderful thing. We all love different books and genre and what’s more, we get so much choice to choose from. Here’s to diversity.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This book sounds like a frightening, yet a sadly not impossible reality in or current society. I am glad I read your review because I have seen this book around but never knew what it was about. Now I will be picking it up! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erica! When you read it, it’s freaky how plausible it seems. I’m so happy my review helped you decide you want to read this book! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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