Vox is the kind of novel that slams into you, showing you how terrible the world can be. Dalcher’s novel demands to be read. You’ll feel the frustration, anger, and pain of our protagonist, and you’ll be ready to scream along with her. This is our generation’s Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a book that compels us to wake up, look around, and do everything we can to prevent this horrifying dystopia from coming true.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. I only publish reviews of books I enjoy, and this novel meets that criterion.
This is the most powerful book I’ve read in years, and I don’t say that lightly. There are so many dystopias out there, but Vox stands out as a horrifying future that doesn’t seem that far off, given the current political climate. Dalcher shows the horror can happen when you don’t expect it, and what it takes to fight with everything you have against oppression. Here’s what makes the book a must-read:
Jean is a brilliant protagonist battling against a world that wants her silenced. Every day is an epic internal battle to fight against the silence, to create a world where her children don’t become monsters. She’s passionate and pissed off and continues to grow as a character, finding strength she never knew she had and using it to fight her way toward a better future. Dahler provides a clear, deftly rendered first-person narrative. You feel like you’re there, you feel the anger and rage at the injustice, and the fear that this reality might not end. Jean’s power to pull you into the story is a testament to the character.
There is nothing about this version of America that is redeemable, save for the realization that, no matter the horrors enacted by men in power, there will always be people fighting against oppression. The most extreme religious zealots have forced their beliefs on the populace through indoctrination, fear-mongering, and persecution of anyone who doesn’t fit the norm. This is the early days of V for Vendetta, society sitting on the tipping point between a bad moment in history and the point of no return.
This book should be seen as a wake-up call. It’s deeply unsettling because it’s so similar to our world. There wasn’t some big event like a nuclear war or an invasion of some kind. It started with religious zealots and politicians coming together to tell women what they could and couldn’t do. It’s a drop at a time until oppression has flooded over society and people have forgotten what life was like before the darkness. I see inklings of this kind of rhetoric today when I read the news or browse social media. See Vox for what it is — a call to open your eyes and never close them to what’s happening in the world. Don’t sit idly by as freedoms are taken away one-by-one. Join those who have never stopped fighting and don’t look back.
By Christina Dalcher
Quick Summary: In this dystopian near-future, women are forbidden to speak more than 100 words per day. One woman struggles against the oppression, remembering how it all began and trying her hardest to find a way out.