Vox
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.

Vox Details

TitleVox
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 21st, 2018
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780440000785
Rating
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Feminism

Vox Review

  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Controversial review time! Grab the popcorn and settle in . . .First of all, many thanks to the Berkley Publishing Group for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I am just sorry that my review does not end up being more positive!I think this book is dangerous. I think the ideas in it are inflammatory and will unnecessarily pit good people against each other. If the book has only moderate success, then maybe crisis will be averted. But, if it is embraced, I think there are a Controversial review time! Grab the popcorn and settle in . . .First of all, many thanks to the Berkley Publishing Group for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I am just sorry that my review does not end up being more positive!I think this book is dangerous. I think the ideas in it are inflammatory and will unnecessarily pit good people against each other. If the book has only moderate success, then maybe crisis will be averted. But, if it is embraced, I think there are a lot of misconceptions in it that could be destructive to our society. And, goodness knows that society doesn’t need any help with that right now! I am seeing some positive pre-release reviews, many of which praise the cautionary tale within, and that scares me. It scares me a lot!I love dystopian fiction. This book really made me think about why I love dystopian fiction. The “what-ifs” that drive this genre and the potential evils haunting our current society that could lead to its downfall are fascinating. Corrupt politicians, radical ideals, oppression, crazy religious zealots, diseases, zombies – all are interesting to think about. Sometimes the books are tongue-in-cheek about the cause with caricatures of current leaders or allegories of dangerous political ideals. Also, we frequently see books where the dystopian isn’t even fully explained (I am trying to remember if they even ever tell us why everything happened in the world of the Hunger Games – we know the end result, but I don’t think they ever give us the specifics).So, the fact that this book made me think about why I love dystopian fiction made me realize why I did not like this book and its dangerous message. Usually the causes are hinted at or left to be guessed about (Hunger Games), represented in a thought provoking way (allegories like Animal Farm), or just downright out of our control (disease and zombies). This book just straight up says that Christians and Christianity are to blame. I would like to say that it is just hinted at, or at least it is a combination of events in addition to crazy religious leaders that leads to the horribly oppressive society within. But, the author straight up comes out a blames Christianity, quotes scripture, and repeatedly brings it back to the forefront. And, throughout she does not say it is some Christians, or a few wacko Christians, it is ALL CHRISTIANS and they are more than happy to take over the country and silence Women and send non-straight people to camps where they are forced into heterosexual relationships. At one point she even hints the next step is that anyone who is not white will be oppressed and sent to the camps as well.Whew . . . I need a moment to re-wrap my brain around that and explain a few things . . .I have known a lot of you for several years here on Goodreads and I believe I represent myself as open and fair. I like to read almost any type of book. I have friends on here and in real life who are women, men, gay, straight, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. I have befriended many people who are agnostic, atheist, Christian, Muslim, etc. I believe all my conversations with everyone are pleasant and I do not try and force who I am on any one – I just share who I am and let others decide how they feel about me.Well, I am a Christian. I do my best to go to church every week and I enjoy reading the bible. I have never met a Christian who wants to oppress people the way they do in this book. We have a variety of races of people who attend our church. I am not sure that I know any gay people who are Christian, and I can see why that might be, but I hold no ill will towards anyone because of their sexual preference or gender status. If anyone wanted to talk to me about Christianity, I would do so with an open and friendly heart and not desire them to be oppressed in any way for not being just like me. I truly believe that 99% of all Christians are like me. In this day and age, it is the controversial Christians who get all the publicity. It’s the keyboard warriors who feel like they should post nasty comments on every internet article and tweet that they consider “Unchristian”. It’s the awful people with hateful signs protesting the funerals of our servicemen. It’s the white supremacist rallies where the “men” hide behind the cross like God agrees with the hate they spew. The internet and media love to focus on hate and people treating each other poorly. If one crazy Christian kills someone it will be remembered much more than a church that raises money and takes donations to feed and clothe 5000 people. I could have been behind this book if it was blamed on a few religious extremists who managed to take over the government; there are definitely religious extremists out there that would love to do that and oppress lots of people – I do not argue that! But, it really isn’t presented as a few bad apples. There are mentions of expanding Christian communities taking over and forcing people to follow their ways. I will say that I can definitely see people having that fear with the way Christians are presented: debates on TV – Creation vs Science, protesters claiming they know who “God Hates”, bad people hiding behind prayers and crosses. But with this book saying it is all Christians and getting reviews from people thinking that it is a cautionary tale worth considering, again, it scares me.I ask you this, and you might say that I am being too extreme here, but how would you respond if the plot of a dystopian book was identical to this but it was an extreme-Christian blaming homosexuals or a extreme-right-winger blaming people who are not white? It would be panned! It would be destroyed by critics and the author trashed on Twitter! As a Christian, this is how this book makes me feel. I mentioned earlier that I have tried my best to be a good person, a reasonable thinker, and a supportive friend to all people I meet – so, should I be okay with it when a book attacks an important part of me and blames it for the potential downfall of society? As a book, it was okay. I probably would have gone 3 stars if it was not for my concerns above. The end felt kind of rushed and convenient – sort of Deus ex Machina (which is ironic since Deus means God!). Up until the last 50 pages or so, the plot development seemed somewhat reasonable and then it just got kind of crazy. Also, I found all the main characters to be unlikable throughout. Sometimes unlikable works when that is the point, but I don't think they were supposed to be unlikable in this context.Maybe the author will read my review and think, “That was not my intention at all”. And, if she does and contacts me I will be happy to discuss it with an open mind and an open heart. I hold her no ill will and I think doing so would be un-Christian of me. If anything, I would like to show her that Christians are reasonable and friendly people – don’t let the few bad apples who get all the screen time cause you to group us together with them.
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  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    "Honestly, Jacko. You're getting hysterical about it."Her words flew at me like poisoned arrows. "Well, someone needs to be hysterical around here." I am absolutely blown away. My heart and soul are just dangling by a thread. Honestly, I have not been this angered (and wonderfully angered) in a long, long time. Think about what you need to do to stay free. Denial, deliberation and the decisive moment: three response stages to any impending disaster. Rush through the first two and act as soon "Honestly, Jacko. You're getting hysterical about it."Her words flew at me like poisoned arrows. "Well, someone needs to be hysterical around here." I am absolutely blown away. My heart and soul are just dangling by a thread. Honestly, I have not been this angered (and wonderfully angered) in a long, long time. Think about what you need to do to stay free. Denial, deliberation and the decisive moment: three response stages to any impending disaster. Rush through the first two and act as soon as you can. That's how you hold out. That's how you live.Dr. Jean McClellan, an American linguistic scientist and mother of four, saw all the signs - women representation decreasing in the government, the resurgence of the "pure" religion, the slow chipping away at female freedoms - yet she did nothing. "You have no idea ladies. No goddamned idea. We're on a slippery slide to prehistory girls. Think about it...Think about words like 'spousal permission' and 'paternal consent.' Think about waking up one morning and finding you don't have a voice in anything." No matter how much her friends warned and pleaded with her, she always found a way to deny their concerns - surely not America, surely the government wouldn't go that far, somebody will definitely do something before it's too late...right? Then, she found herself without a voice at all. Courtesy of the "Pure" religious movement - all women were fitted with a little "bracelet" which functioned as a word counter. Every day they received 100 words and severe consequences followed every infraction.Jean, as linguistic specialist, knows better than anyone what will happen if a child is denied language or an adult is forced to stifle all forms of communication. But without a voice for herself, how can she even begin?I read every last word in a single sitting. If you thought the The Handmaid's Tale was great - you need to check out this modern upheaval.This is the kind of book where you literally feel the tension - my heart was pounding, my eyes blurred, I turned the pages so fast that I felt a slight breeze. "You know babe, sometimes I wonder if it was better when you didn't talk." Shivers. Oh the many shivers.With many, many thanks to Berkley Publishing and the Christina Dalcher for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publishing.Blog | Instagram
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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia, with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, how kids can turn into monsters, how they can learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that is unrecognizable. Easily, I think, and push out of my chair. Words matter. If your ideal of womanhood tends toward the Stepford-ish, Vox will present an image of paradise. For th Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia, with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, how kids can turn into monsters, how they can learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that is unrecognizable. Easily, I think, and push out of my chair. Words matter. If your ideal of womanhood tends toward the Stepford-ish, Vox will present an image of paradise. For the rest of us, it offers a dark vision of a possible future in which the lines between religion of the extremist, fundamentalist sort, and government are not just blurred, but erased. (See Taliban, ISIS, or any of many Christian sects that insist that civil law should be based on the Bible) God knows there are plenty of places in the USA where a large number of folks would be just fine with that, as long as it is the proper religion. Well, probably not the majority of the women. Instead of the saying “Children should be seen but not heard,” substitute females of almost any age for children, and you have the core of this dystopian novel. Christina Dalcher - image is from her siteWoody Allen’s 1971 film, Bananas, satirized Central American (and American) politics. A deranged leader had let power go to his head and decided to shake things up. From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. There are different lunatics in charge in Vox, but the restrictions are just as insane, if much less amusing. Females are allowed only one hundred words per day. (The official language of American women is silence?) And they will have to wear wrist-band counters that keep track. Exceeding the daily quota results in a painful electrical shock. Run off at the mouth and the punishment becomes deadly. Girls at school are given rewards for speaking the fewest words in a day. Image from HuffPoJean McLellan is a cognitive linguist. She is as shocked as most are by the imposition of outrageous strictures on her, and on all females. Makes it tough not only to do the work for which she was trained, (or, maybe not, as women have been relegated to homemaking, so don’t worry your pretty little head about that whole job thing) but makes it a challenge even to carry on normal human conversations within her family. Her husband, Patrick, is the science advisor to the president, surely a jokey position in a country where science is silenced and faith of a certain sort is given all the bullhorns. But then Jean is approached by representatives of El Presidente. Her professional services are required. It seems the dear leader’s brother had an oopsy while skiing and now has a particularly nasty brain injury, one that impacts his abillty to use language. Jean negotiates a deal, and goes to work. Complications ensue, not least is the presence on the research team of the incompetent rectum who stepped up to leadership when the women were kicked out, and someone from her past. Will they be able to use their scientific super powers for the forces of good, or be bested by the forces of evil?Image from MissMuslim.comYes, it is not a realistic projection of things to come. If millions of women marched in response to the election of Swamp Thing, I seriously doubt that a program like the one presented here would have been instituted as quickly as this one was, or at all. (well, in most states, anyway) The response would, I expect, have been less Lysistrata and more Wonder Woman, with maybe a dose of Medea tossed in. Despite the excesses of our current administration, there are limits beyond which people actually would respond, and actively resist. But the point of the novel is not, clearly, to present a real potential future, but to highlight the importance of speech, of language in personal and political freedom, particularly for women.Image from Betanews.comThese are notions that merit consideration. Schools in Vox are made to offer AP Religious Studies classes that not only crowd out class time for Biology and History, but omit the comparative element of the study of religions in favor of promoting the religious track favored by those in charge. So, propaganda. This is hardly a huge leap from school systems that insist on teaching that lovely oxymoron, creation science, alongside actual, reality-based, testable science, and pretending equivalence. Similar to the approach of some news providers who seem to think that balance consists of offering equal time to truth-tellers and liars. Linguistics. Language. Call bullshit a rose often enough and weak-minded people will begin to enjoy the scent. (Fake news?) We live in a NewSpeakian world, so looking at the power of language, or words and how they are used and controlled offers considerable insight into the non-science-fiction reality we currently inhabit. It is also of note how those words and notions are so often internalized. (I’d been fighting to keep the weight down ever since my last pregnancy.) It seems the norm, sadly, for those in power to want to silence those who object, whatever their gender. Colin Kaepernick knows, and I remember well the cries of Vietnam war supporters who regarded opposition as treason. America, love it or leave it!Image from Yomyomf.comDalcher offers examples of how language denigrates women in common parlance, without getting all, you know, hormonal about it. Jean’s husband refers to her outings with friends as “hen parties.” Her son, Steven, sees an activist on television protesting the demise of freedom and suggests “She needs to pop a chill pill.” Familiar, no? The religious nuts running this show incorporate anti-gay bias into their new world order as well, making what they consider aberrant behavior a criminal act. (stifling half the population would not be considered aberrant here) Back in the real world, as of 2014 there were still 17 states in which laws against certain sorts of sex by consenting adults were still on the books, so this is not even a small stretch. The chastity movement in the book is based on real-world insanity as well. There was …a late 19th-century/early 20th-century movement in America called the Cult of Domesticity, “The idea was to go back to Biblical roles, to separate men and women,” [Dalcher] says, explaining that women were expected to conform in four ways; piety, purity, submission and domesticity. She adds that there is a modern version of the Cult of Domesticity active in the US right now; the True Woman movement, part of a larger religious campaign called Revive Our Hearts. - From the Bookseller interviewVox is very much in line with the current boom in feminist dystopia novels and with those of the past as well. What pops to mind are The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, wonderfully realized in the Netflix series, Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God, Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke, and, of course, Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives. There are plenty more, but these are the ones I have read. image from WikimediaDalcher brings to her novel a background in science. She is a theoretical linguist, with a strong concern with how language affects development. What would women become after a few generations of bearing the yoke of silence? Is it ok to train your daughters to become, essentially, pets that double as sexual vessels? Dalcher’s love of things Italian is given a voice here, as Jean’s parents are living in Italy, where Jean has spent considerable time, and a major character is Italian. The story moves along at a nice pace, making this a pretty fast read. It is engaging and stress-inducing, in a good way. But I found the resolution even more unlikely than the underlying notion. If tight plotting is your thing, you will probably be disappointed. But then this is not, IMHO, about the action-adventure element, as entertaining as that is. It is a warning about the cost of silence, and how not speaking up now can shut you up later, to the detriment, not only of yourself, but of generations to come.Image from HappyGeek.comBefore the craziness becomes implemented policy, Jean is warned by her erstwhile bff, a prescient activist, about the coming madness, particularly the massive importance of voting, and participating in political action like calling one’s representatives, or showing up for marches. ”Think about what you need to do to stay free,” she says. It’s good advice.Use your words.Review posted – June 1 ,2018Publication – August 21, 2018Berkley provided an advance review copy, but shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. =============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram, and FB pagesOther work by the author-----The Things I Learned About Swans-----Company ManThere are scads more on her siteInterview-----May 11, 2018 - BooksellerExcerpt-----from Time magazineOther-----Language Log – on the truth about the difference between how many words men and women speak per day - An Invented Statistic Returns
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    These days my country consists of states united in hate. At its helm is a man-child. A bully consumed by power, lacking intellect, as well as being morally and ethically deficient. So while the premise of Vox is extreme it doesn’t seem far-fetched. The severe subjugation of women by the angry, white patriarchy is portrayed at its most monstrous. A counter worn by women allows them to speak when spoken to and then only minimally. Once the allotted one hundred words per day are spent, negative rei These days my country consists of states united in hate. At its helm is a man-child. A bully consumed by power, lacking intellect, as well as being morally and ethically deficient. So while the premise of Vox is extreme it doesn’t seem far-fetched. The severe subjugation of women by the angry, white patriarchy is portrayed at its most monstrous. A counter worn by women allows them to speak when spoken to and then only minimally. Once the allotted one hundred words per day are spent, negative reinforcement is administered to the offending female in the form of a painful shock. Other than these few words, women are not allowed any other form of communication: no email, snail mail, books, pens, or internet access. And, nonverbal communication is not permitted which is monitored by surveillance cameras. The gay community is relegated to working farms (concentration camps), a teenage son is indoctrinated into the tenets of male supremacy and a six year old daughter’s words vanish. This dystopian novel deftly handles politics of all stripes; gender, sexual, domestic and, to a lesser degree, racial and international. Gone are the days of inclusion, tolerance and attempts at harmony. Oh wait! We’re sort of there, aren’t we?
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    What do they study now, our girls? A bit of addition and subtraction, telling time, making change. Counting, of course. They would learn counting first. All the way up to one hundred.as a thought-piece, i would give this a high four stars, but as a novel, it’s got some structural flaws. it would be a very good book club choice, however - plenty of food for thought and discussion. it just needs some conceptual tightening; it’s missing that extra spark that would bring it all up into “amazing debu What do they study now, our girls? A bit of addition and subtraction, telling time, making change. Counting, of course. They would learn counting first. All the way up to one hundred.as a thought-piece, i would give this a high four stars, but as a novel, it’s got some structural flaws. it would be a very good book club choice, however - plenty of food for thought and discussion. it just needs some conceptual tightening; it’s missing that extra spark that would bring it all up into “amazing debut” territory. the basic premise is straightforward: it’s a near-future dystopia in which white christian conservative male fundies have come to power and figured out how to keep all of us hysterical, mouthy women down - a metal “word counter” shackled around the female wrist that delivers an electric shock, of increasing intensity, for every word spoken that exceeds a woman’s daily allotment of 100. along with that, all typical dysto-rules apply: homosexuals are imprisoned until they come around and choose heterosexuality, premarital and extramarital sex has heavy consequences (for women), women aren’t allowed to read or write or work or use birth control or even collect the mail from their own mailboxes, and cameras are everywhere making sure these rules are followed.this book is two things - it’s a cautionary tale about noninvolvement/nonparticipation, about ignoring the signs and the trends until it’s too late, and it’s also an author with a doctorate in theoretical linguistics having herself a “what if” party about excising language from 1/2 of the population. it’s telling the story it wants to tell, and that’s not the story of “how this happens.” that’s touched upon, sure, it’s not altogether absent, but it’s not a priority. this takes place about a year after the laws go into effect, and things have happened quickly. there are lots of questions left unanswered because again - the hows and the details are not the concern here. i’m not sure what rules apply to deaf women, but i know that hearing women are not allowed to use any sign language to supplement their daily word-allotment. i’m also not sure what is determining or tabulating these word counts - at one point, the main character has one word left in her quota, and she speaks it to her daughter, “Goodnight,” which i would have counted as two words. and what about hyphenates? acronyms? there must be workarounds. but those are my concerns and what i would address if i were writing this book, but i am too lazy so i don’t get to bitch about an author not answering every question i have as a reader.what i found most interesting was the effect upon the children. (former) cognitive linguist/wife/mother/first person narrator jean mclellan has four children: eleven-year-old twin boys, a son about to graduate from high school, and a six-year-old daughter. the twins are barely present, but the youngest and oldest are better-developed, in how they respond to these regulations, how they are changed. it’s very effective and horrifying to see a little girl adjust and apply herself enthusiastically to the rules, as though it were a game, and to see a young man embrace his role of privileged enforcer. the weaknesses are mostly in the conflict resolutions. many of them are overcome too easily, too neatly. personal ones, like what i will call ‘patrick’s acquiescence’ and scientific ones like what i will call, ummm ‘look at the science i did just now.’ oh, and ‘final face-off,’ too. the blocking on that is still a bit muddled to me. it’s a solid debut definitely worth reading, it’s just not a big shiny five-star MUST READ!an interesting aside - although this was written before the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale aired, there are more than a few details that pop up in both. neither of them make the future look super-rosy. for anyone. come to my blog!
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 The Scarlet letter for the near future, but instead of s Puritan society and the red letter A, we have a society where the Christian right has prevailed. Women, even babies are fitted with a leather wristband that limits the words spoken in a day to a hundred. The first time you go over, one receives a small shock, strength of shock is increased with each transgression. 1984, only it is now, cameras are fitted in each house, front door, back door. Books are locked up, only able to be accesse 3.5 The Scarlet letter for the near future, but instead of s Puritan society and the red letter A, we have a society where the Christian right has prevailed. Women, even babies are fitted with a leather wristband that limits the words spoken in a day to a hundred. The first time you go over, one receives a small shock, strength of shock is increased with each transgression. 1984, only it is now, cameras are fitted in each house, front door, back door. Books are locked up, only able to be accessed by men. No jobs, home in their new responsibility, duties of a wife and mother. The LGBT community fares even worse. This is the pure movement in the US and no one who transgresses is spared.I found this chilling because I can actually see this happening, have seen men on TV who I can imagine loving just such a scenario. The importance of language, speech to snow individuals we'll bring, forming personalities. How can you watch your young daughter not able to vocalize, tell you about her day? For Jesn, it is torture, but a situation arises, and unwillingly Jean is temporarily repreived, because the men in charge want something from her. Can she take advantage, make a difference? Well, that is the story, a quick moving one I was fascinated with. History has proven that with the wrong people in charge, anything and everything can happen. Can it happen here?ARC from Netgalley.
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  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    January 1, 1970
    THREE STARSAccording to my lazy Google search, the average woman speaks around 20,000 words/day. In this frightening precautionary tale, women are restricted to speaking less than 100 words a day. Overage? Painful electrical shocks will be dealt from the Fitbit style wrist counter you're wearing. The premise is strong and all too real in this alternative reality where women's rights are slowly chipped away by a strong tide of religious fundamentalism until finally, we quite literally lose the la THREE STARSAccording to my lazy Google search, the average woman speaks around 20,000 words/day. In this frightening precautionary tale, women are restricted to speaking less than 100 words a day. Overage? Painful electrical shocks will be dealt from the Fitbit style wrist counter you're wearing. The premise is strong and all too real in this alternative reality where women's rights are slowly chipped away by a strong tide of religious fundamentalism until finally, we quite literally lose the language needed to speak up for ourselves. After the Pure Movement takes hold in political offices nationwide, women lose their rights to hold jobs or bank accounts. Girls are not allowed to study science in school. Females are effectively shut out of society by taking away our words. SHUDDER SHUDDER SHUDDER.What happens when the country's leading linguist happens to be a woman and is called out of her forced retirement by the President himself? What does he want from Dr. Jean McClellan, a mother of four and our fearless narrator? Well, that my friends is the story.I desperately wanted to love this book. As VOX begins, I got definite The Handmaid's Tale vibes and I was thrilled with the idea of this timely narrative (#metoo). I had almost too much hope that it would be more powerful or meaningful than it ultimately is. The execution of the story gets so bogged down with technical, boring details that the whole plot feels, ironically, mansplained. Artemis left that same taste in my mouth. About 50% into the book, I felt disconnected from the characters and story, and it became a slow-going slog to finish. I really can't offer much explanation for it either. The good news: I seem to be in the minority and if you are intrigued by VOX, I would not dissuade you from going for it.VOX is initially eye-opening, but for me, it just doesn't sustain the suspense or believability factor. VOX is scheduled to hit the shelves on August 21, 2018. Thanks to NetGalley for my early copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Mohammed Arabey
    January 1, 1970
    “The average person speaks 16,000 words per day. But what if women were limited to just 100?”and it's not in Iran, or Arab countries, but in the US itself.That's the 5 Stars premise of “Vox”But now I wish to limit some authors to just 100 pages per novel..May be it's just me who felt the 325 pages novel annoyingly too long..The idea is really great, but the writing style with overuse of unnecessary medical details, unbelievable coincidences, some flat characters or the lack of feeling them, pres “The average person speaks 16,000 words per day. But what if women were limited to just 100?”and it's not in Iran, or Arab countries, but in the US itself.That's the 5 Stars premise of “Vox”But now I wish to limit some authors to just 100 pages per novel..May be it's just me who felt the 325 pages novel annoyingly too long..The idea is really great, but the writing style with overuse of unnecessary medical details, unbelievable coincidences, some flat characters or the lack of feeling them, presenting the Adultery as if it's fine for the main 'mother'... and God, the ending.. And the too much of line and scenes that ends with (expect that didn't happen) or something like this..well, expect it may be just me..That really made me disappointed..The story has its scary moment of how men may behave about that, even the closest ones like sons.. even how some women can be so obeying... how dangerous it can be on new generation of girls and women..Well, I needed this story, this strong crazy serious idea and plot to be in a story that much stronger and faster...but really the plot lacked much specially in the second part.100 and more Thanks for the Author and Penguin's First to Read program for the advanced read.Mohammed ArabeyFrom 6 April 2018To 9 April 2018
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    With Vox by Christina Dalcher being compared heavily to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale I decided that in order to do an accurate review I needed to push myself to actually read The Handmaid’s Tale all the way through before picking up this title. I know many have loved Atwood’s take on a dystopian future in which women were treated as property but had tried it before and didn’t care for the style. My second attempt did nothing to improve my feelings however and I was left with a rather un With Vox by Christina Dalcher being compared heavily to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale I decided that in order to do an accurate review I needed to push myself to actually read The Handmaid’s Tale all the way through before picking up this title. I know many have loved Atwood’s take on a dystopian future in which women were treated as property but had tried it before and didn’t care for the style. My second attempt did nothing to improve my feelings however and I was left with a rather unfavorable opinion which I’ll admit did worry me still having to read Vox.After sitting down with Vox it became immediately apparent to me that my feelings were going to be drastically different with this title. The very first thing I noticed was the writing style flowed a lot easier than Atwood’s had and with that it made immersing myself into Dalcher’s world a lot easier of a transition than I’d experienced with Atwood’s world. The stories are similar in the generalist of comparisons but Dalcher has brought the idea into this era in time to make it easier to relate to.Vox opens introducing readers to Dr. Jean McClellan who has been downgraded from her status as a leading doctor in her field of study to nothing more than a housewife cooking and cleaning and caring for her four children. With flashbacks into the past readers are given a look at how this world could have possibly come about where women are closely monitored and punished if they dare to speak more than 100 words a day. With a husband and three sons you easily see the comparison to how males are treated to how Jean and her young daughter are treated.Writing styles aside between these two books Vox still wins hands down as my favorite for giving a reader the hows and whys to the world peppered throughout the story. Atwood’s title left me frustrated and annoyed with every turn of the page because it felt like the shock factor of the story was supposed to entertain me enough that I wouldn’t want to know why women didn’t fight back or how it came to be at all. As Vox goes on it really felt as if the author gave voice to the little questions that would plague me all the while weaving a tale that captured my attention and gained my sympathy to the character. And then when finished I will just say the outcome was also a lot more satisfying this time around too leaving me to rate Vox at 4.5 stars. I’d definitely say give this one a chance whether you actually were a fan of the original or only a fan of the concept.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Soooo, women of the USA... imagine that the government has decided that you are only allowed 100 words a day. That all the men around you can speak/read/sign ALL THE WORDS they want, but you get 100 in each 24 hour span. Just think about that for awhile. This book felt all too real to me as a woman. I would like to see the reactions of some men. It had the same frightening realness (for me) that The Handmaid's Tale did, paired with references to recent past and current events. I did not want to Soooo, women of the USA... imagine that the government has decided that you are only allowed 100 words a day. That all the men around you can speak/read/sign ALL THE WORDS they want, but you get 100 in each 24 hour span. Just think about that for awhile. This book felt all too real to me as a woman. I would like to see the reactions of some men. It had the same frightening realness (for me) that The Handmaid's Tale did, paired with references to recent past and current events. I did not want to put this book down. It was fascinating and - quite frankly - terrifying. Thank you to Elisha Katz from Berkley Marketing for reaching out to me, offering the book for an honest review. I am so glad you picked my name out of the hat (or whatever other magic got it into my hands). And thank you so much to Christina Dalcher. I hope this book turns into the runaway hit I believe it deserves to be. You have written a very timely story, and I think it might be the prod needed to help some people make the choice to join the movement. #RESIST
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed emotions after reading this book. This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. It took me a couple days of thinking it over before I could figure out what I needed to say....and then the right words to say it. I wanted so badly to enjoy and really "feel'' this story. But it really didn't work for me. On the one hand, as a woman, I totally understand what it's trying to say. But, on the other hand, I didn't enjoy the way it went about it. As a reviewer, I have I have mixed emotions after reading this book. This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. It took me a couple days of thinking it over before I could figure out what I needed to say....and then the right words to say it. I wanted so badly to enjoy and really "feel'' this story. But it really didn't work for me. On the one hand, as a woman, I totally understand what it's trying to say. But, on the other hand, I didn't enjoy the way it went about it. As a reviewer, I have to be honest. I really never felt plugged into the plot. I'm a strong enough woman to go against the flow and say I really didn't like this book. I almost DNF'd it....but I felt it was important that I stuck with it until the end.Vox is set in a future America where women have lost the right to speak, to be educated, and even to write. The female main character, Jean McClellan, was a neurologist before a ultra conservative right wing government took all women out of the workforce, sending them home to be almost completely silent homemakers. She can no longer be a doctor. She can no longer write poetry. She can't even have a passport. And any woman, even children, who speak more than the 100 word limit in a day receive a very painful electric shock. Women have effectively been silenced. This is an intriguing premise, and I jumped right on the chance to read an ARC of this book. But, in places, the plot and characterizations just fell a bit flat for me. The situation is painted so bleak and dark and inescapable that at times it came off as a bit too melodramatic or over-the-top -- not really believable. I could see women being banned from public office, important positions such as doctors and lawyers and maybe even being restricted from attending college. But, a world where women aren't allowed to read books, write down words or speak above a word limit just seemed silly to me. Is the story making an important statement? Yes. But, I'm going to be honest and say that while the premise is excellent....the execution of it could be better. There is truth in the fact that it is possible for a group of people to be singled out, victimized, mistreated and even killed by an out of control goverment and populus. Look at what Germany did to Jews during World War II. Millions murdered, tortured, starved to death....for utterly ridiculous reasons based on pseudoscience and racist BS. So, it can happen. And has happened. Still happens. But, the idea of women being forced to wear word counter bracelets and being shocked for speaking, books being locked up in cabinets so women can't read and females being restricted from most areas of the work force just seems a bit of an overkill. An honest review means an honest review....the plot came off as a bit forced and melodramatic to me several times as I was reading. BUT, after I say that, I do have to add that it also made me angry and caused me to really think about instances from my own life where I felt silenced or powerless because I'm a woman. I was brutalized and raped by a man who felt belittled by my intelligence and success. And he made it out to be my fault. I "made him do it.'' Really?? As a child I was told by an adult close to me that I was "nothing, and was never going to be anything.'' Really?? And when I was struggling to raise my son alone after a divorce and asked my employer for a raise, his response was "Don't you get child support?'' Really? Would a man have been treated that way? I deserved that raise! Or the time I was offered an envelope filled with cash by a married man if I would agree to have sex with him. Really? So, believe me....I "get'' it. I've lived it. I just didn't totally buy the version in this book.This story is definitely thought provoking. And it definitely had an impact on me. But I really wish I had liked it more than I did. **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book Berkley via FirstToRead. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Dorie
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not usually a fan of science fiction but the premise for this novel intrigued me. I looked at it as an escape from heavy historical fiction and thrillers. I was looking for a quick read that kept me interested and this book did just that.There are many, many reviewers who are up in arms about comparisons to the current political climate, the naming of one religion, Christianity, as the culprit in this book. I didn’t go into this as a foray into the future, one that could not possibly happen, I’m not usually a fan of science fiction but the premise for this novel intrigued me. I looked at it as an escape from heavy historical fiction and thrillers. I was looking for a quick read that kept me interested and this book did just that.There are many, many reviewers who are up in arms about comparisons to the current political climate, the naming of one religion, Christianity, as the culprit in this book. I didn’t go into this as a foray into the future, one that could not possibly happen, I was reading it for entertainment. So my review will be different than lots of others. I do think she could have written the same book without singling out one particular religion, but it’s freedom of speech, right??From the blurb you know that society in the United States has gone back to the dark ages regarding women. They no longer can hold a job, vote, travel, use a computer or read and they are limited by the counters on their wrists to 100 words per day. Supposedly this has been brought on by the political climate, the President himself and his followers. It is being called the Pure Movement, women belong in the home, raising children, cooking, cleaning, etc. Female students will only be taught home ec type classes on how to manage a home and care for children, a little basic math is allowed, after all they have to measure those ingredients for recipes right? Dr. Jean McClellan had been a renowned scientist studying and reaching linguistics. She and her team were on the cusp of a cure for aphasia which would help certain stroke victims and others find their words again. She along with all of her team of women scientists are now shackled at home or in a “camp” for those who continued to speak out. One of Jean’s best college friend’s had tried to warn her as far back as those college years that things were getting out of control, that she should speak her mind, go to protests, marches, etc. but Jean always was too busy studying and didn’t think anything like this could happen in the United States, right?I found the book entertaining. Of course it’s far fetched, it’s science fiction, I was able to suspend belief for a while. The pace is quick and the characters are interesting. What happens towards the end kept me reading until 2:00 a.m. to finish and it was a good ending. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.
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  • Tiffany PSquared
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This is a hard review to write. I have to separate what I felt about the subject matter from how I feel about the writing/plot development/characters/etc., and that is not an easy thing to do when all I really want to do is stand on my soapbox for a few minutes!But I will say, as dystopian novels go, this one was packed full of frustrating circumstances, despair, oppression, and all the negative emotions you can imagine a dystopian novel would contain. No, all the characters aren't likable Wow. This is a hard review to write. I have to separate what I felt about the subject matter from how I feel about the writing/plot development/characters/etc., and that is not an easy thing to do when all I really want to do is stand on my soapbox for a few minutes!But I will say, as dystopian novels go, this one was packed full of frustrating circumstances, despair, oppression, and all the negative emotions you can imagine a dystopian novel would contain. No, all the characters aren't likable (even, surprisingly, the main character), and most of them aren't given a whole lot of backstory so don't expect a lot of character development here. It's a quick read and most of the true action is stuffed into the final few chapters. I tried my hardest to not compare this book to The Handmaid's Tale as I read, but there are SO many similarities: the oppression of women including the banning of reading, writing, and free speech for women, the vilification of Christianity, the programming of the children, violent deaths for opposers, and an underground resistance movement. In addition, Dalcher also used the flashback method (As Atwood did with Handmaid to take us back to life before the new government created the "Pure movement".So, without my personal rant, I'll say that this could be seen as a cautionary tale reminding us that evil ideas prevail when good people do nothing - especially when we don't go out and vote!Did I love it? No. Was it worth a read? Sure. Of course, there are plot points that are infuriating and potentially dangerous, but isn't that almost a requirement for good dystopian fiction? This book made me angry, sad, frustrated and even - at times - confused.According to my own rating scale, I gave it 3 stars: "This book was alright. Might be worth reading for most, but there are several things about it that might keep me from recommending it to all. 3-stars is not necessarily a bad rating. Lots of what I read ends up in this category."*Many thanks to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • ``Laurie Henderson
    January 1, 1970
    I'll have to shelf this one under Abominations of Fiction.Here's the present situation in America:Liberals find Christian morality offensive and Christians find liberal immorality offensive.With the advent of Christianity and Civilization in pagan Europe, our barbarian ancestors began to treat women in a much more civilized manner. And yes, Christianity and Civilization do go hand in hand together.For women that have been taught otherwise, I suggest reading:How the Catholic Church Built Western I'll have to shelf this one under Abominations of Fiction.Here's the present situation in America:Liberals find Christian morality offensive and Christians find liberal immorality offensive.With the advent of Christianity and Civilization in pagan Europe, our barbarian ancestors began to treat women in a much more civilized manner. And yes, Christianity and Civilization do go hand in hand together.For women that have been taught otherwise, I suggest reading:How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods Jr.Why not be thankful that American women are treated so much better here than in any other nation on the face of the earth? Or would you rather wear the veil and that Burka contraption? Hopefully, this will assuage any fears that Christian men and women want to turn you into slaves. All we ask is that you don't push your immoral beliefs upon us and/or send us to the gulag if we don't agree with you. We also find fanaticism of any sort scary.
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  • Trudi
    January 1, 1970
    Ah damn. I had such high hopes for this one. The premise/hook is fantastic, and with the second season of The Handmaid's Tale starting at the end of this month it's going to be so easy for marketers to draw parallels to Atwood's classic feminist masterpiece. But Vox *is not* that book. There's some good ideas contained therein, but none of them are really developed, and a lot of the themes just seem too heavy-handed and on the nose. There is no subtlety, no allegory, the author is using an anvil Ah damn. I had such high hopes for this one. The premise/hook is fantastic, and with the second season of The Handmaid's Tale starting at the end of this month it's going to be so easy for marketers to draw parallels to Atwood's classic feminist masterpiece. But Vox *is not* that book. There's some good ideas contained therein, but none of them are really developed, and a lot of the themes just seem too heavy-handed and on the nose. There is no subtlety, no allegory, the author is using an anvil in heeding her warnings painting in big giant billboards -- do you SEE? do you SEE how EASY this could happen? There's a lot of science/academic techno-jargon in the book that's totally unnecessary too and mires down the action and took me out of the story too many times. The book did get me to think about how all of humanity might be improved if everyone was limited to a hundred words a day. Because seriously, people are the worst and say the stupidest shittiest things non-stop.A copy was provided through NetGalley for review.
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  • Jennifer Blankfein
    January 1, 1970
    Get ready to read this one, sure to be all over social media this fall! As we can imagine, contention in government could lead to citizens’ rights being taken away, and in Vox, author Christina Dalcher goes to the extreme with this concept and shows us how easy it is to change people’s mindset in a short time. In this made up Handmaid’s Tale – like world, women are only allowed to speak 100 words per day. Their words are counted by a bracelet each one wears, and when they go over the limit, they Get ready to read this one, sure to be all over social media this fall! As we can imagine, contention in government could lead to citizens’ rights being taken away, and in Vox, author Christina Dalcher goes to the extreme with this concept and shows us how easy it is to change people’s mindset in a short time. In this made up Handmaid’s Tale – like world, women are only allowed to speak 100 words per day. Their words are counted by a bracelet each one wears, and when they go over the limit, they receive an electric shock. All women have been removed from the workforce and are only allowed to take care of the home and family. Could something like this ever happen? I found there to be some vague parallels to real life, was captivated by the storyline, and even though the ending was a little far fetched and dramatic for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maddening, frightening and exhilarating, this could be a fantastic movie!Book groups will enjoy rich discussion surrounding this novel’s concept. Vox is available August 21st. For all reviews and recommendations follow Book Nation by Jen.
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  • Jessica B.
    January 1, 1970
    (Early work perk read.) Well. And here I thought I hit peak feminist rage while watching The Handmaid's Tale... Enter Vox.This book is going to make you want to punch someone (read: a man). Where I felt slightly more removed from the situation while watching THT (probably because of the whole no preggo thing and costumes), with Vox, it felt all too real. In a "holy shit this could actually happen" kind of way that's completely terrifying.What Dalcher nails through flashbacks is the sum-of-its-pa (Early work perk read.) Well. And here I thought I hit peak feminist rage while watching The Handmaid's Tale... Enter Vox.This book is going to make you want to punch someone (read: a man). Where I felt slightly more removed from the situation while watching THT (probably because of the whole no preggo thing and costumes), with Vox, it felt all too real. In a "holy shit this could actually happen" kind of way that's completely terrifying.What Dalcher nails through flashbacks is the sum-of-its-parts dystopian progression, in explaining how society got so fucked up in so little time. Start with the kids. A new textbook here. Extra credit motivation there. Molding younger minds bit by bit so that when the real changes happen, they're not only accepting of them, but supportive of these new societal rules and punishments as well. And the parents are easy to manipulate because they want to protect their kids. So when the counters are put on the women, any mother's first instinct is to spare their daughters' pain, so they have to teach them to be silent. Only 100 words a day. Don't speak unless absolutely necessary. Don't use 5 words when 1 will do. It's disgusting and horrifying.But as this anger is bubbling inside you while reading, hope grows too. You're rooting for Jean and the resistance from page one. I won't spoil anything, but don't let the rage stop you from finishing, you HAVE to read to the very end. I'll admit sometimes it was hard to keep going because what was happening made me utterly outraged, and again, the urge to punch someone (read: a man) rises, but trust me. It's worth it.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A highly significant and timely book exploring the question: What if women could only speak 100 words per day?SUMMARYThere’s a new President in the White House, Sam Myers was elected by the votes garnered by ultra conservative Southern Baptist Reverend Carl Corbin. A Presidental decree, written by Corbin, changed everything. Women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily. They must wear a bracelet on their wrist that is a word counter, and if 100 words are exceeded you receive an A highly significant and timely book exploring the question: What if women could only speak 100 words per day?SUMMARYThere’s a new President in the White House, Sam Myers was elected by the votes garnered by ultra conservative Southern Baptist Reverend Carl Corbin. A Presidental decree, written by Corbin, changed everything. Women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily. They must wear a bracelet on their wrist that is a word counter, and if 100 words are exceeded you receive an electric shock, which increases with intensity with the number of words over the limit. But that’s not all. Women can no longer hold jobs. Books and writing instruments are off limits. Passports have been revoked. Schools are segregated by sex and girls are taught only how to count, sew and cook. Nothing more is necessary to manage a home. Females no longer have a voice. Dr. Jean McClellan had been in denial. And she was not alone. No one believed this could happen here, not the United States. She is married to Patrick and they have four children, the youngest is age 4, and her name is Sonia. Jean misses reading bedtime stories to Sonia and talking to her three sons about their day. Jean was a cognitive linguist in Washington DC, and before the decree she was researching reversing aphasia, the inability to speak, cause by brain damage. She was the foremost expert in her field until she was forced out. It’s been a year since she’s been gone. And now the President desperately needs her back. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”—Edmund BurkeREVIEWThis captivating debut novel may just leave you speechless. Could this really happen? Never! That’s exactly what Jean thought. And yet, look where we find ourselves today. Our current puppet president has berated, abused and belittled every woman who gets in his way. It’s scary to think that VOX may not be to far off the mark as we would like to think. Think of all the women who have confronted him! He would love it if we would all just shut up and go away. Vox is a first rate journey into the role of women in making a difference. Jean McClellans character is strong, amazing and she comes alive on the pages. You can’t help but feel her frustration, her anger and her fear for her children’s future. Christine Dalcher’s writing is robust, smart and haunting. She skillfully transports us to a place that no woman wants to go, but while we are there she helps teach us a few things about ourselves, just by asking one question—what would you do to be free? DALCHER earned her doctorate degree in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialect and has taught at several universities. Her Short stories in a flash fiction appear in over one hundred journal’s worldwide. She teaches flash fiction as a member of the faculty at The Muse Writer Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Vox is her first novel. Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing and Christine Dalcher for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher Berkley Published August 21, 2018Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
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  • Rhonda Ruff
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, to say I was excited about this book is an understatement. To say that I did not like this book is also an understatement.i know many Christians and none of them would oppress people like they stated in this book. When you say the word all as this author did you open up a big can of worms. If you are friends with Matthew on goodreads Read his well written review. He expressed his thoughts so well in the meantime I will chalk this up as fiction and move on. I will also not recommend this to Wow, to say I was excited about this book is an understatement. To say that I did not like this book is also an understatement.i know many Christians and none of them would oppress people like they stated in this book. When you say the word all as this author did you open up a big can of worms. If you are friends with Matthew on goodreads Read his well written review. He expressed his thoughts so well in the meantime I will chalk this up as fiction and move on. I will also not recommend this to anyone
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I was quite as into this one as some of my peers, but it was a clever, thought provoking speculative tale set in a world where women are only allowed 100 words per day and are in other ways suppressed. The writing was beautiful and allowed for the exploration of some currently relevant themes.My very subjective personal issue was the way the premise sat - if it had been purely speculative, a world where this just "was" I would probably have related to it a little more, or if it was I don't think I was quite as into this one as some of my peers, but it was a clever, thought provoking speculative tale set in a world where women are only allowed 100 words per day and are in other ways suppressed. The writing was beautiful and allowed for the exploration of some currently relevant themes.My very subjective personal issue was the way the premise sat - if it had been purely speculative, a world where this just "was" I would probably have related to it a little more, or if it was clearly set in a place where, as we know is true, women are still under the rule of men. As it is, this state of affairs comes to pass quietly and quickly during a change in political views and an upsurge of religious doctrine in the modern world. I just couldn't get my head around that working - I suppose it's possible but I think of all the women I know who would literally blow the world up rather than submit, plus all the men who would do the same - we have moved on. Is it possible? Yes. But yeah all I had throughout the read was a vision of warrior women in helicopters blowing up the White house then saying "enough of your shite already" before going back to reading their books (which they can't have in this world Christina Dalcher has created) That aside though, this novel is an intelligent one, that will surely garner much discussion. Plus I really enjoyed it and in the end that's the main thing.Recommended.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    "Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have  one hundred to make themselves heard." That, right there, is why I requested this book. Honestly, it's a terrifying prospect, and one that feels plausible in the current climate where before I would have written it off as about as likely as The Hunger Games - which also don't feel as unrealistic anymore, either. Perhaps I'm being alarmist, or exaggerating the possible threat. At times I want to think that, b "Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have  one hundred to make themselves heard." That, right there, is why I requested this book. Honestly, it's a terrifying prospect, and one that feels plausible in the current climate where before I would have written it off as about as likely as The Hunger Games - which also don't feel as unrealistic anymore, either. Perhaps I'm being alarmist, or exaggerating the possible threat. At times I want to think that, but I see how easily some people have destroyed the basic human rights of others, seemingly overnight.Vox is a terrifyingly plausible dystopia, and yet, a little unrealistic. I went into with few pre-conceived notions or expectations beyond the basic of wanting to see how on earth they could have forced women in the United States to speak less than 100 words per day. How could they do this in a place where women outnumber men 161 million to 156.1 million? And it's explained. Kind of. Not enough to make this a 5-star read, but enough to make me think that the author vaguely thought about it. The logic that allowed this to happen in our near future is that the Bible Belt of the south expanded, becoming a corset. The only places that resisted the change were the liberal-heavy centers of D.C., the Pacific Northwest, California, and a couple of others. The problem I see with this chain of events is the power and populations that are in those liberal areas of the country and the level of resistance I'm seeing in them currently; however the scary reality is that when you pare it down, the center states could effect change on a nationwide level.My issue is that I still am a little bit in denial of this ever being able to happen, and the author didn't convince me that it could. Once I set that aside though, I did speed through this story. It's a quick read that takes place in an extremely truncated timeline. The word-limit was only implemented about a year ago. So women like Jean are still getting used to it, we haven't really begun to see the long-term effects on children, especially young girls. Because I couldn't see how this had happened, it made swallowing the fact that women didn't have the right to choose, gay relationships were effectively banned, birth-control was non-existent...Many of women's worst fears. But I had a hard time understanding how we'd really gotten to this point.Though I do give the author full points for including a lot of thought into the diversity and the differences in rights presented therein. I appreciated that Jean recognized she lived in a safe bubble, in part because she was a white woman, and she was quickly getting her bubble burst. But she still wasn't nearly as affected as others who had no safe-bubble in the first place, and how she came to recognize that.Jean is an interesting narrator. She's a neuro-linguistic scientist, studying how to enable repair of the speech centers of the brain after traumatic injury. Because of the word limit for women, we spend a good deal of time in Jean's head. A place where she not only informs the reader of what is happening, but what she sometimes believes, or wishes, is happening. It's a variant of an unreliable narrator, except where you're never quite sure what the truth is, Jean herself tells you very soon after the imagined scenario. I quite liked that about her. Because I often think in the same way, of possibilities, best- and worst-case scenarios. She's also a mother, of three boys and one little girl.She's far from perfect. I actually loved that, though I can understand that some may not. She doesn't make excuses for herself, and you're presented with a unvarnished truth of her. I appreciated that she acknowledges that part of the reason this happened is because she didn't get active when things were less dire, she didn't even vote. And she is experiencing the consequences of those lack of actions on her, and thousands of others', parts.There were lots of things that made me uncomfortable in this book, and they were meant to. Women unable to say 'no' to their husbands because they'd reached their word limit. Yes, she could have made him know in another way, but she didn't feel like it was worth doing - so they had sex, not because she wanted to, but because he did. Girl children unable to cry out and scream or vent when they're terrified or being harmed. Women left with no choices.The other thing that I really loved here is that it seems the author has either some good authority on the medical and sociological impacts of this kind of change, or has done a hell of a lot of research. I spent a good amount of time thinking about the implications of such a change in our society. What would it do to young children to be raised by women who couldn't speak? How would it affect their brain development? Their social interactions? The truth is that it would affect them greatly. And while the government (or villains) in this story didn't think of that, the author did and it's considered and used in the story. I appreciated that. I appreciated the level of thought that went into the 'what if' questions. I think some readers may find it too heavy-handed with the medical and research related jargon, but I can't say it is. There's just enough there to make it feel real without me getting bogged down - and that's what I want from my books. Ah, and I just looked and Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics. Now I know why it all feels so real. I'm a huge fan of that part of it.What felt a little less likely was how there were so many characters that showed themselves to be allies at just the perfect moment. I'm not entirely sure if it's because of that or not, but I never felt the urgency in any of the characters. They continued on their paths, without really letting us in on the plans for reshaping the country. It made me feel like an outsider, despite being deeply entrenched in Jean's head. Because of that I felt less anxiety or tension due to the climax of the story. The ending ties up a little too neatly. Jean has many revelations about herself throughout the story, but I'm left feeling a little unsure if she's actually changed because of her experiences. Or just escaped. I can't say I blame her if she has simply escaped, but it felt a little too ambiguous for me.Vox ended up being an quick, provocative read that made me think more than once. The only thing that could have made this better for me is more of how they got to that point, and more drama/suspense/action with the resolution.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate that I received an ARC copy of the novel. Thank you for sending it to me!I very much wanted to love this book. When I began reading the novel, I was enthusiastic about it. What seemed at first to be an actually plausible situation for our country, given our current situation with the rise of the alt-right and Trump's harmful policies, quickly became outright unrealistic, mostly because it happened way too rushed in the world of the novel. Personally, I would have preferred the story I appreciate that I received an ARC copy of the novel. Thank you for sending it to me!I very much wanted to love this book. When I began reading the novel, I was enthusiastic about it. What seemed at first to be an actually plausible situation for our country, given our current situation with the rise of the alt-right and Trump's harmful policies, quickly became outright unrealistic, mostly because it happened way too rushed in the world of the novel. Personally, I would have preferred the story to be set further into the future than it being set in basically current day. Because of this, I couldn't suspend my disbelief, accepting that practically overnight an extreme Christian group would take over the United States and womens' rights would be essentially whittled to nothing very quickly. Full disclosure, I was raised Catholic but am now an Atheist. Yes, I know there are extreme Christian groups out there, but the vast majority of Christians do not behave like the ones in the novel and I just couldn't accept that an outlier would rise to power so quickly.My other major gripe with the book was the promotion of vivisection. Full disclosure again, I'm vegan, and I am against animal experimentation. (Please don't bother debating this in the comments, let's keep it about the book.) Setting aside my personal belief that vivisection is not necessary, my problem with it *in the context of the book* is that it was actually unnecessary. To explain why would be a spoiler, and so I shall put this under a cut.(view spoiler)[The most obvious example from the book is the entire scene toward the end of the novel with the chimpanzee vivisection. What was the point? They had Morgan on the operating table, under anesthesia, and they were going to drill him with the serum. And yet the characters decide to perform the skull drilling on the chimps first. Why give the chimps the drug that the characters knew was going to fuck them up? It couldn't be because they wanted to test it first before injecting Morgan - Morgan was under anesthesia and they had little time. And of course in the end it didn't matter because after experimenting on the chimps - something the main character couldn't even bring herself to do - Morgan woke up and attacked Lorenzo. So why even bother having the characters perform a cruel experiment on the primates? It read to me as a completely unnecessary scene and personally I thought it was animal cruelty.It was also quite annoying to read the main character (Gianna/Jean) complain about having to inject the animals. She was very uncomfortable with doing that and would pass the duties of injection to her colleagues. I think the point the author was trying to drive home was that Gianna didn't want to hurt anyone (even though the chimpanzee stuff was incredibly cruel), so when she finally killed Morgan it would be an effectively dramatic moment in the story. I don't quite know if that worked. I was so annoyed by her complaining about having to do the dirty work of vivisection and yet defending it at other points.Lastly, referring to the chimps as "beasts" and having a ridiculous scene where Gianna/Jean "falls into the cage" was a little too much for me. Of course there had to be a scene where she trips and "falls into the cage", resulting in one of the chimps to attack her. I don't know if this was to make the upcoming chimp vivisection scene more palatable; if it was, it didn't work for me. And I mean, the cage was closed, she didn't "fall into" it, so it was weird to describe it that way. And maybe the chimps wouldn't be aggressive if they weren't caged up in little prisons? Further, why did the author paint the chimps as violent "beasts"? They are victims... (hide spoiler)]Lastly, I can't really say that I liked the main character. I think it's fine to have a main character who is flawed or unlikable, but something about her story arc didn't appeal to me. Explaining why would also be a spoiler, so, I will hide it. (view spoiler)[Quite frankly, I thought it was BS that she runs away from the United States at the end of the book. The book begins with her reflecting back on her college days where she dismissed the protesting and demonstrating that her friend Jackie was participating in. In those days, Jackie was constantly encouraging Gianna to be involved and to pay attention. Gianna resisted doing so, and preferred to focus on school. She had no interest in politics and didn't care about womens' issues. In the book's present day story, Gianna had all these regrets about not being more involved and acknowledging Jackie was right about everything. Gianna participates in the resistance and reverses the sinister plot of mass poisoning. And then... after realizing Jackie was right... when women are getting their rights back... when women have their voices back and are speaking out... SHE LEAVES THE COUNTRY! Why? To play lover and housewife to her Italian flame? It's like her character didn't learn anything! (hide spoiler)]A general criticism I have is that there were too many characters who weren't fleshed out and who behaved in too much of a coincidental way. This would also reveal spoilers so I won't get into it.OH. After I initially published this review, I remember something else that bugged me. For a while, everyone was drinking lots of milk and eating ice cream on almost every page! It was driving me nuts... Surely the main character kept other food in the house?In the end, I dunno. I'll give it two stars. It had potential. I was upset by some of what I read, but probably not what the author predicted her readers to be upset about. I'm not offended by the portrayal of Christianity in the novel, although I do think it was a bit silly. There is a subplot of adultery, and that doesn't really offend me either - although something in the affair subplot is part of my weak characters critique.If the premise intrigues you, read it. You may like it. Your gripes may not be the same as mine.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a fascinating and well executed premise and Christina Dalcher is without a doubt a very gifted writer. But while the world she's created with Vox is certainly a frighteningly believable one there's a triteness and convenience to this story that ultimately pulled me out of the world too much and too often for it to have a real, lasting impact.Dalcher's character's are just a shade too stereotypical and their actions too predictable. Our heroine is Dr. Jean McClellan, a neuroscientis This book has a fascinating and well executed premise and Christina Dalcher is without a doubt a very gifted writer. But while the world she's created with Vox is certainly a frighteningly believable one there's a triteness and convenience to this story that ultimately pulled me out of the world too much and too often for it to have a real, lasting impact.Dalcher's character's are just a shade too stereotypical and their actions too predictable. Our heroine is Dr. Jean McClellan, a neuroscientist who is tops in her field. She specializes in the study and treatment of aphasia. Aphasia occurs as a result of brain damage and affects the afflicted person's ability to comprehend and use language. This is super convenient because Dr. McClellan is now part of a United States where women are only allowed to say 100 words a day or risk a series of increasingly horrific electric shocks via the counters they are forced to wear on their arms. She's also no longer a doctor and like all women in the US must now accept her true, god given role as home maker and more or less silent servant to her husband. But how did this happen? Throughout the book Jean reminds the reader that "we never saw this coming" though we don't get much information about the actual rise of the current administration who in addition to regulating women's ability to speak have also stopped allowing anyone (women) to leave the country, hold jobs of any kind, and do the most mundane tasks like get the mail (wouldn't want women reading things now would we). They're also encouraging the youth in the country (who are being radically indoctrinated with far right religious propaganda and encouraged to engage in daily contests to see which girl has the lowest word count on her counter and forced to watch living examples of what happens if you go over your word count) to turn in anyone who doesn't obey the rules or even looks like they're doing something they shouldn't even if its their friends or parents.We get some little hints of Jean's old life when she was a college student with a super feminist friend who said a lot of things like "wake up Jean!" and was always going to marches for things but Jean was too caught up in her education and desire to better the world with science to pay attention. This is another convenient, trite characterization that just didn't work for me. Characters in this world see things as either entirely good or entirely bad. Jean is stupid and blind for not being an activist protester like her friend. Her friend is a hero for organizing marches and publicly denouncing oppressing women. Also conveniently Jean's husband just happens to be the president's science advisor, again we don't find out how or why or anything, this is just what he does. So Jean's perfectly placed to come to the governments aid when (view spoiler)[a high placed advisor to the president abruptly develops, you guessed it, aphasia. (hide spoiler)] Its all just a little too neat for me.So there aren't a lot of surprises here. Dalcher is a very good writer and she definitely nails some truly horrific moments of daily life in Jean's world that made my skin crawl. But that gets hampered by the bigger picture stuff that plays too much like a smart action movie for my taste. I'm much more interested in how a world likes this plays out for the regular people just going about their lives. Unfortunately when that does happen its mostly Jean having dramatic fights with her radicalized teenage son or dealing with her dishrag, sycophant husband who just wants things to be "normal."I wish Dalcher had trusted her own premise and literary skills a little more. She hit on a simple and very believable idea that is truly horrifying because it seems entirely plausible. Because its the kind of thing we would all hear about and go "that's absurd, no one would stand for that" or "that is total nonsense! You can't take away someone's ability to talk!" and then we'd go back to retweeting and declaring our political positions via sarcastic bumper stickers. I do appreciate Dalcher's hopeful approach to the horrors she visits on her characters. There is a bright thread of hope that runs through the blackness of this world that we only ever seem to see in the midst of great tragedy or upheaval. Even if we allow the darkness to fall we will not let it stay and we will not let it break us. The worst that the universe visits upon us often brings out the absolute best in us. That's a very good, very strong statement to make and it really does shine through in this story.
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  • Jordanne ~ Bloodthirsty Little Beasts Blog ~
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Berkley via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟“Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, about how kids can turn into monsters, how they learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that’s unrecognizable.”Except this isn’t Nazi Germany, or Bosnia, or Rwanda, this boo I received a copy of this book from Berkley via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟“Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, about how kids can turn into monsters, how they learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that’s unrecognizable.”Except this isn’t Nazi Germany, or Bosnia, or Rwanda, this book is set in 21st century America, a country recently relinquished to the control of religious zealots who have silenced half the population with technology I’d guess is not beyond the capability of that we hold now.I had contemplated making my review only 100 words long but realised that would probably utterly contradict the point this book was trying to make. And boy, it was making a point. If you are looking for subtle metaphors and understated symbolism portraying the oppression of women and its subsequent call to action, this isn’t really that book. This book’s message is not subtle, it’s blatant and undeniable but in a way, I think that is a good thing.I love that academic subtlety and metaphor in my didactic literature as much as the next person, I really do, but in my experience discrimination is becoming more and more subtle and with anything you try to remove, is digging its heels. Most of my brushes with sexism nowadays are discovering it hiding, ingraining itself in cultural and social practices in the hopes of not being identified.“When you get down to it, what’s the difference between some backwater assholes’ advising men to marry teenage girls and a bunch of costumed drunks flinging beads to anyone who shows her tits on St. Charles Avenue?”I don’t necessarily think the above comparison is the best one to make, but I get the point behind it. In an age where basic arguments for equality are often met with a response of ‘political correctness gone mad’ (or at least in my corner of the world), it’s becoming clear that some arguments should be direct.Enjoy seems a strange choice of word, but I did enjoy this book. It scared me, deeply, for two reasons. The first was Steven, the MC’s son, and how easily a young person at their peak of impressionability can be moulded into a character that is unrecognisable, even to their own mother. The second was, though I’m familiar with the concept of complacency, I have never considered myself complacent but this book made me feel like I was.“Think about what you need to do to stay free. Well, doing more than fuck all might have been a good place to start.”The book isn’t without fault. The pacing, though generally good, did glaze over some areas and the inclusion of an affair on top of everything else felt like an unnecessary inclusion really. The story would have been perfectly good with either Lorenzo excluded, or situated as Jean’s husband. The whole thing felt … odd. Which bring me neatly to my main issue and that is the fact that Patrick was an interesting character that could have had a brilliant arc to do with uncovering the hidden layers to him, etc. but about 80% of this book short-changed him, especially in the end which felt a lot like the proverbial tying up of loose ends/brushing under the carpet/cleaning house.I understood the meaning was showing how easily the world can turn onto its axis, as it were, but it wasn’t very well done. Despite that, this book did keep me hooked and it made me feel things: anger, fear, anticipation, indignation. Because of that, it deserves its 4 stars because only a good book can do that.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Vox is a disturbing near-future dystopian that resembles The Handmaid's Tale meets 1984. Once I started this, I could barely put it down.In a chilling America, woman lose ALL rights. They can no longer work, or read, or speak. They can cook, clean, shop, and rear the children. And, they must wear "counters" which measure how many words they speak per day and if they reach 100 spoken words, will receive an electric shock for every word spoken after, each worse than the last. Like in The Handmaid' Vox is a disturbing near-future dystopian that resembles The Handmaid's Tale meets 1984. Once I started this, I could barely put it down.In a chilling America, woman lose ALL rights. They can no longer work, or read, or speak. They can cook, clean, shop, and rear the children. And, they must wear "counters" which measure how many words they speak per day and if they reach 100 spoken words, will receive an electric shock for every word spoken after, each worse than the last. Like in The Handmaid's Tale, extreme Christians get control over the government, and change the entire USA. The scariest part... Woman who call themselves Pure actually believe in this new system and are just as much a part of this new way of life. Women have NO rights whatsoever. None. They must be married to a man, or be taken care of by a brother, uncle, etc. Gay people are taken to prison (labor camps), unless they marry someone of the opposite sex.This was a terrifying but fascinating look at yet another insane dystopian. I'm so glad this is just a work of fiction! *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advance copy!*
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  • Kopf vor dem Herzen
    January 1, 1970
    "Ich bin eine Frau weniger Worte geworden."InhaltNeurolinguistin Dr. Jean McClellan lebt mit ihrer Familie in einer von Männern bestimmten Welt. Die Bewegung der Reinen hat sich, Dank des Fundamentalisten Reverend Carl Corbin, im ganzen Land durchgesetzt; eine Trennung zwischen Regierung und Religion gibt es nicht mehr. Amerika hat sich in eine Zeit zurückentwickelt, in der Frauen nur noch so viel Wert besitzen, wie der Weg zwischen Ehebett und Herd lang ist. Sie wurden jeglicher Rechte beraubt "Ich bin eine Frau weniger Worte geworden."InhaltNeurolinguistin Dr. Jean McClellan lebt mit ihrer Familie in einer von Männern bestimmten Welt. Die Bewegung der Reinen hat sich, Dank des Fundamentalisten Reverend Carl Corbin, im ganzen Land durchgesetzt; eine Trennung zwischen Regierung und Religion gibt es nicht mehr. Amerika hat sich in eine Zeit zurückentwickelt, in der Frauen nur noch so viel Wert besitzen, wie der Weg zwischen Ehebett und Herd lang ist. Sie wurden jeglicher Rechte beraubt und von der Regierung mit sogenannten Wortzählern ausgestattet, die Stromstöße abgeben, sobald die Frauen mehr als 100 Wörter am Tag sprechen. Die Lage scheint hoffnungslos; doch als eines Tages der Bruder des Präsidenten erkrankt, bietet sich Jean plötzlich die Möglichkeit, nicht nur ihr eigenes, sondern das Schicksal aller Frauen im Land zu verändern - bliebe nur die Frage, wem sie dabei trauen kann."Die Frau hat keinen Anlass, zur Wahl zu gehen, aber sie hat ihren eigenen Bereich, einen mit erstaunlicher Verantwortung und Wichtigkeit. Sie ist die gottgewollte Bewahrerin des Heims... Sie sollte voll und ganz erkennen, dass ihre Stellung als Ehefrau, Mutter und Engel des Heims die heiligste, verantwortungsvollste und königlichste ist, die Sterblichen zuteilwerden kann; und sie sollte alle Ambitionen nach Höherem abweisen, da es für Sterbliche nichts Höheres gibt."MeinungDass Christina Dalcher in theoretischer Linguistik promoviert hat, war für mich vom ersten Moment an spürbar. Ich habe selten ein Buch gelesen, in dem sich jemand so klar ausdrückt. Die Autorin "schwafelt" nicht herum, ihr Schreibstil ist akzentuiert und pointiert, manchmal etwas unterkühlt aber immer der Situation angemessen. Sprache ist ihre Stärke und sie bedient sich all ihrer Facetten: ist sachlich, leise, wortreich, flapsig, ernsthaft, laut, ausweichend, sarkastisch, liebevoll, direkt und schreckt auch nicht vor Kraftausdrücken oder Vulgarismus zurück. Sie schreibt aus der Sicht einer intelligenten aber stinkwütenden 4-fachen Mutter und Ehefrau in einer frauenhassenden Welt und das macht sie auf ihre Art einfach großartig. "Steven war im Wohnzimmer, als ich die Zwillinge ins Bett gebracht hatte, aß Eis und sah sich aufgezeichnete Reden von Reverend Carl an, der offenbar jetzt der Held meines Sohnes ist. Die beiden ergaben ein Paar, beide so standhaft in ihren Vorstellungen über die Rückkehr in eine frühere Zeit, ein Zeitalter, in dem Männer noch Männer waren und Frauen noch Frauen und in dem - Gloria, Gloria, scheiß-Halleluja - alles so viel leichter war, weil wir wussten, wo wir hingehörten."Christina Dalcher hat eine von der Realität inspirierte erschreckende Welt erschaffen, die uns ermahnt hinzusehen, zu hinterfragen und nicht jedem dahergelaufenen Bock blind zu folgen. Sogesehen ist "Vox" bei Weitem kein schlechtes Buch und es gab mehr als einen Moment, wo mir kalte Schauer über den Rücken gelaufen sind. Allerdings flacht der Handlungsverlauf mit der Zeit immer mehr ab. Die Autorin geht keine Risiken ein, bleibt bei dem was sie kennt bzw. weiß und schränkt den Handlungsspielraum ihrer Protagonistin ein. Von dem was sich außerhalb von Jeans, hauptsächlich auf Heim und Job begrenzten, Welt abspielt, bekommt man als Leser nur kleine Schnipsel präsentiert, die es mir schwer gemacht haben, das "Wie und Warum" nachvollziehen zu können. Wie kann es z.B. sein, dass sich diese religiöse Interessengruppe derart durchgesetzt hat und die Regierung soweit geht, Wortzähler zu verteilen und Homosexuelle in Arbeitslager zu verschleppen? Vieles was in "Vox" angesprochen wird, hat in der Vergangenheit so oder so ähnlich stattgefunden, aber eine Welt zu erschaffen, in der die Schrecken der Gegenwart auf die Schrecken der Vergangenheit treffen, ohne auf die Hintergründe einzugehen, nimmt dem Ganzen für mich die Aussagekraft. "Plötzlich sind mir der Stromschlag oder die Schmerzen gleichgültig. Wenn ich dabei weiter schreien kann, die Wut aufrechterhalte, das Gefühl mit Schnaps und Wörtern ertränke, wird dann der Strom weiterfließen? Mich umlegen?Vermutlich nicht. Sie töten uns aus demselben Grund nicht, aus dem sie keine Abtreibungen bewilligen. Wir sind zu einem notwendigen Übel geworden, Objekte, die man vögeln, aber nicht hören soll."Im Vergleich zu anderen feministischen Romanen, die in einer dystopischen Welt spielen, wie z.B. "Report der Magd" von Margaret Atwood oder "Die Gabe" von Naomi Alderman, hat "Vox" es leider nicht geschafft, mich durchgehend zu fesseln. Das erste Drittel war vielversprechend, aber im weiteren Verlauf wurde es insgesamt dann doch sehr holprig. Ich hatte das Gefühl, dass Christina Dalcher ab irgendeinem Punkt selbst nicht mehr so genau wusste, was für eine Geschichte sie eigentlich erzählen will und sich unsicher war, ob sie auf bekanntem Terrain bleiben oder sich in die Unsicherheiten eines kreativen Freigeistes begeben soll. Herausgekommen ist letztendlich eine bunte Mischung aus Beidem die keinen wirklichen Sinn ergibt und mich mit zu vielen Fragezeichen zurückgelassen hat; und auch die Auflösung am Schluss fand ich mindestens fragwürdig. Trotz allem ist "Vox" aber ein Buch was ich weiterempfehlen würde, weil es den Blick auf eine mögliche Zukunft richtet, deren Entstehung darauf basiert, dass man es wiederholt zugelassen hat, dass die falschen Menschen die falschen Entscheidungen treffen."Monster werden niemals geboren. Sie werden gemacht, Stück für Stück und Glied für Glied, künstliche Kreationen Geisteskranker, die wie der fehlgeleitete Frankenstein immer glauben, sie wüssten es besser."*An dieser Stelle ein ganz großes Dankeschön an den Fischer Verlag, der mir das Buch als unverkäufliches und unkorrigiertes Leseexemplar zur Verfügung gestellt hat.
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  • Booklunatic
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 SterneSpannend, brisant, faszinierend - die Geschichte hatte mich von der ersten Zeile an komplett eingesogen. Das Szenario, das sich Dalcher ausgedacht hat, ist beängstigend, scheint in der Realität aber eigentlich undenkbar...oder vielleicht doch nicht? Schien nicht Vieles in der Geschichte der Menschheit undenkbar, kurz bevor es Realität wurde? Das macht den Reiz von "Vox" aus. Ähnlich wie die großartige Margaret Atwood hat Christina Dalcher hier gefährliche Entwicklungen einen Schritt we 4,5 SterneSpannend, brisant, faszinierend - die Geschichte hatte mich von der ersten Zeile an komplett eingesogen. Das Szenario, das sich Dalcher ausgedacht hat, ist beängstigend, scheint in der Realität aber eigentlich undenkbar...oder vielleicht doch nicht? Schien nicht Vieles in der Geschichte der Menschheit undenkbar, kurz bevor es Realität wurde? Das macht den Reiz von "Vox" aus. Ähnlich wie die großartige Margaret Atwood hat Christina Dalcher hier gefährliche Entwicklungen einen Schritt weiter gedacht. Neben der fabelhaften, mitreißenden Unterhaltung, die sie hiermit bietet, ist diese Geschichte doch auch irgendwie eine Mahnung, eine Warnung, ein Augenöffner. Sehr oft denkt die Protagonistin bedauernd an verpasste Chancen zurück, als sie politische Vorgänge passiv hinnahm anstatt ihre Stimme klar dagehen zu erheben. Damals, als sie noch eine Stimme hatte...Lediglich am Ende ging mir alles etwas zu schnell und wurde mir zu... ich sage mal nur "amerikanisch" um nicht zu spoilern. Deshalb ein halber Stern Abzug. Alles in allem trotzdem ein Highlight, was ich mit Genuss und nahezu angehaltenem Atem verschlungen habe und sehr empfehlen kann.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    What would you say if you only had 100 words each day? Just this sentence made me snag this ARC from work. Thanks to a flat tire and the fact that it was in my bag that day, it got to jump ahead of several other books. It's such an interesting premise, with so many directions to go. It brought to mind Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. But it isn't. Instead of being set in the future, the writer used the first third of the book as a rant against the current state of politics. Worse than that, I w What would you say if you only had 100 words each day? Just this sentence made me snag this ARC from work. Thanks to a flat tire and the fact that it was in my bag that day, it got to jump ahead of several other books. It's such an interesting premise, with so many directions to go. It brought to mind Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. But it isn't. Instead of being set in the future, the writer used the first third of the book as a rant against the current state of politics. Worse than that, I wanted to get invested in the characters. Jean and her kids, I wanted to know what made her tick. How did she meet her husband? Why is she worried about her daughter, and her oldest son, but the middle kids just seem to float around with nothing to hold them together or make them real. SO many characters, but most of them are insubstantial. The plot, once the story started, was fairly interesting. Using her brain research to cure the presidents brother, but it was actually a plot to poison the world. It moved quickly, but none of it sounded real. Do I think this will be a big seller? It is anti-president, anti-christian, pro adultery and LGBT friendly. I'm pretty certain it will be on the radar, lots of publicity. Did I think it was a good story? No. It had a lot of potential. It gives you a lot to think and talk about. I didn't find it believable, which is terrible because the idea behind the story could have been better presented.
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    With a horrifying and all-too-believable premise, Vox illustrates a world were women's rights are obliterated. Written with literary and haunting realism, we follow Dr. Jean McClellen and her family. She, along with the nation's female population, is stripped of their careers, rights, voices, and words - even their books are removed from their homes and replaced with cameras to ensure the new bible-based movement is upheld. When Jean's given a surprising opportunity to use her mind and voice aga With a horrifying and all-too-believable premise, Vox illustrates a world were women's rights are obliterated. Written with literary and haunting realism, we follow Dr. Jean McClellen and her family. She, along with the nation's female population, is stripped of their careers, rights, voices, and words - even their books are removed from their homes and replaced with cameras to ensure the new bible-based movement is upheld. When Jean's given a surprising opportunity to use her mind and voice again, the roller coaster sets up for a completely new, wild ride! For fans of The Handmaid's Tale and 1984.
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  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    The concept of this book is one which immediately caught my attention - the US government has reduced all women to speaking only 100 words per day. They are not allowed to work, read or write, or vote. They are to remain at home, looking after the family as they once did.Even before publication, there has been much controversy surrounding this title, particularly because of the anti-Christian prejudice it could be argued is contained therein. I personally was not offended because I'm not religio The concept of this book is one which immediately caught my attention - the US government has reduced all women to speaking only 100 words per day. They are not allowed to work, read or write, or vote. They are to remain at home, looking after the family as they once did.Even before publication, there has been much controversy surrounding this title, particularly because of the anti-Christian prejudice it could be argued is contained therein. I personally was not offended because I'm not religious and I think I understand what the author was thinking about, but I understand why it has caused offence. It's difficult not to offend somebody when you are bold, and this book is certainly that.Feminism aside, my first thought on reading enough of the book to know the concept was to think about why people might go along with the idea, or vote in a government who would essentially put society back hundreds of years. The answer I think, as in most cases, is a combination of fear and ignorance. I don't think religion has much to do with it, but again as in many cases, I think some people view religion as being an easy excuse to do things which cannot rationally be explained and which otherwise would not be tolerated. Religious texts and beliefs, sadly, can be too easily contorted to fit a warped idea of what an individual would like them to mean.So anyway, back to why an entire western country might go along with the idea of silencing and restricting women to such an extreme degree. Looking at the idea purely on a surface level I think it comes down to male ego. In this theoretical situation, men feel threatened by strong women who can do the same jobs as them, live independently, and have their own powerful ideas. In the real world, it's clear that this is happening more and more, and women are finally truly gaining their own identity and equality. So, from a threatened man's point of view, they might do extreme (and sometimes stupid) things as a result of this - violence, for example. Or even terrorism, or become lazy as a result of their feelings of inadequacy and lack of a need to support their families. And this is where the idea comes in. Take away all of the women's rights, and men are left with all the responsibility and importance. They step up to the plate; unemployment goes down; violent crime is abolished by strict rules and the obvious fact that families would be left to fend for themselves if the father or husband was in jail or dead. So when viewed from such a perspective, it solves everyone's problems.I found this a very interesting book. At times I didn't enjoy it, but overall I found it to be very well written and the plot was excellent. It was gripping, thought-provoking and original. I have already told various people about the book and I won't forget it in a hurry.As an end note, I'd like to apologise if I have offended anyone with this review. It's absolutely not intended. All I'm doing above is throwing around ideas which were brought to mind as I was reading this book. I'm not religious or political, and in the end I do believe that this is a fictional, extreme, 'what if' scenario and should be treated as such.
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