Vox, Christina Dalcher – the book I bought twice. Is it worth a read?

I started reading Vox as part of a social reading club started by one of the girls at work. I ordered it on Amazon in paperback form as I had lost my Kindle (nightmare – but don’t worry, it’s been located now!).

After realising it wouldn’t arrive before our book club catch up, I purchased it on the Kindle App and didn’t worry – it was supposed to be a good story, so I could gift my paperback copy or add it to a giveaway on Instagram.

Set in America, Vox follows Dr Jean McClellan in a world where the Government has silenced half of the population and women are only able to speak 100 words a day. They are not allowed jobs. They are not taught to read or write. They do not have a voice. Break the rules? Your voice is taken away completely.

It’s an interesting premise for a dystopian fiction novel, evidently inspired by The Handmaids Tale. Unfortunately, The delivery did not live up to the hype for me. It felt rushed, and poorly written. Like the writer had a very strict deadline and lost her way.

S p o i l e r s . . .

Okay so the elephant in the room to start with, I didn’t like Dr Jean McClellan. I didn’t feel sympathy for her. I wanted her to get caught whilst she was having the affair. She wasn’t the strong, female lead that I would have loved her to be and I felt like the pregnancy storyline was a full detraction from the real issue at hand.

Why did she need to have the twins? Those characters were absolutely unnecessary and added absolutely NOTHING to the story. She only ever mentions her daughter and her eldest son, the twins were literally irrelevant.

The introduction of the Italian lover and the fact that she spend SO much time moaning about her ‘weak’ husband made me hate her even more.

And don’t get me started on the crazy, monkeys in the lab section of the book that I had to read twice to understand. It felt chaotic and was SUCH a struggle to follow.

Dalcher also relied heavily on scientific jargon, she mentioned the DSM more times than my collective lecturers did for my entire 3 year Psychology degree!

Aside from the weak plot, and the flat characters my main issue with the story was that it seemed to shoehorn in issues that really weren’t relevant to enhancing the story. The inclusion of the persecution of the LGBT community, along with the brief reference to race felt like bolt ons, and that she was following a checklist of what needed to be included. It is probably best that I don’t dwell too much on the blaming of ‘ALL’ Christians for the suppression of female rights. And for a book that is essentially about female empowerment, why did a man save the day at the end?

I really wanted to love this book. I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed a book with such a strong premise. To add in a few bright sides, the chapters were short and easy to read and the section where Sonia went to school and was proud of herself for speaking the fewest words was harrowing. Other than that, I am struggling to find many positives.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

1 star out of 5 – would not recommend.

Have you read Vox? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time x

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