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Vox

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Vox

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I have decided to add a disclaimer to my review. The review in it's entirely is below in the spoiler tag. Here are my reasons for the disclaimer: - I knew that this would be controversial as it touches on a hot button topic. But, responses have become uncomfortable to the point I cringe when I open Goodreads. I know, I know, what did I expect sharing a controversial opinion on social media!? Yeah, I admit I guess I should have seen that coming. But, this review simply shares my opinion on a topic I have decided to add a disclaimer to my review. The review in it's entirely is below in the spoiler tag. Here are my reasons for the disclaimer: - I knew that this would be controversial as it touches on a hot button topic. But, responses have become uncomfortable to the point I cringe when I open Goodreads. I know, I know, what did I expect sharing a controversial opinion on social media!? Yeah, I admit I guess I should have seen that coming. But, this review simply shares my opinion on a topic I felt was key to the story. Many people agree, many people don't. That is fine! All opinions welcome! I just don't want to fight about it because I have no desire to change anyone's opinion. - I have received negative feedback from both sides of my argument! That's right, I picked a hot button topic and managed to annoy people on both sides (that is pretty impressive). I have been told that I missed the point, I am dense, I have lost respect from people, I think I am better than others, etc. I have been unfriended and unfollowed by many. That was 100% not my intention and I want it to stop. In fact, the point of my opinion is that discussions on this topic drives people apart and causes people to hate each other. So, the fact that my review is only promoting negative behavior (in some cases) is sad to me. 🙁 - I am okay with all the 5 star reviews of this book. I am glad many people had a better experience with it than I did. I do not go to the 5 star reviews and try to prove them wrong. Goodreads is all about differing opinions and I embrace that. -You may notice that this review has lots of comments. If you have a criticism of my review, it most likely been discussed ad nauseum so I encourage you to look through the comments first. "That I missed the point", "The book did not say 'All' people of a certain group", "Don't you understand what the political climate is in America right now?", etc. - all have been covered. - At one point in my review I make a bold statement using the number 99%, after the response I have received from both sides, that number is probably more like 75% So, feel free to read the review. I am not trying to change anyone's mind. I am just trying to express my opinion as thoroughly as possible, and if you don't agree that is fine. The point of my review is to help stop hate, hurt, and bias, so I do not want my review to contribute to that in any way. (view spoiler)[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. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    "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 | Twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    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 site Woody 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 HuffPo Jean 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.com Yes, 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.com These 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.com Dalcher 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 Hulu 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 Wikimedia Dalcher 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.com Before 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 ,2018 Publication – August 21, 2018 Berkley provided an advance review copy, but shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram, and FB pages Other work by the author -----The Things I Learned About Swans -----Company Man There are scads more on her site Interview -----May 11, 2018 - Bookseller Excerpt -----from Time magazine Other -----Language Log – on the truth about the difference between how many words men and women speak per day - An Invented Statistic Returns

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... As soon as I read the description for this novel, I knew it was a book I HAD to read. I’m often running to Google for one thing or another when I’m reading a thought-provoking book. But this time, I was Googling things before I even had the novel in hand. The first thing I had to know was how many words the average person speaks in a day. Google told me: The average woman speaks 20,000 words a day. The average man speaks 7 My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... As soon as I read the description for this novel, I knew it was a book I HAD to read. I’m often running to Google for one thing or another when I’m reading a thought-provoking book. But this time, I was Googling things before I even had the novel in hand. The first thing I had to know was how many words the average person speaks in a day. Google told me: The average woman speaks 20,000 words a day. The average man speaks 7,000 words a day. WOW! Imagine that you are only allowed to speak 100 words in a day... In VOX people in the United States are given a 100 word per day limit. But NOT everyone is given this limit....just the female population. They wear a counter on their wrist to keep track of how many words they speak. If they go over the 100 word limit…they pay a painful price. What happens if people try to communicate in other ways such as writing things down or using sign language? Well, let’s just say it’s not something they want to find out. Words shouted out in passion, in anger, in a child's nightmare – IT ALL COUNTS!! They are kept a prisoner in their own country. Some people fled to places like Canada, Mexico in the beginning, but now there's no escaping. Dr. Jean McClellan is/was a cognitive linguist but now… “I’ve become a woman of few words” Jean's husband, Patrick reminds her with a tap on her counter that she only has a few words left for the day. The counter will reset at midnight. Her husband and sons have to remember to ask close-ended questions to Jean and her daughter, six-year-old, Sonia. Her sons are eleven and they have seen what happens if more words are spoken. There are times where she’s irrationally angry at her husband and sons. “I don’t hate them. I tell myself I don’t hate them. But sometimes I do” When Jean attended university her friend, Jackie tried to warn them. She told them to 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.” But now THEY need Jean's help, her expertise. At first, she tells them she won’t help them, but then they make her another offer….one she doesn’t know if she can refuse. Will Jean help those who are responsible for the position she’s in? The position ALL women and girls are in? I FLEW through this novel. Although it made me incredibly angry at times, I was hooked. Some things I would find over the top one minute and terrifyingly possible the next. A fascinating storyline with well-developed characters and an ending that I didn’t see coming. In my opinion, "Vox" is a thought-provoking, excellent read. I'd like to thank Berkley Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    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?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    Okay sorry but this was just bad. The premise is really intriguing and I would love to read about it in a BETTER book. I expected a good dystopian set up that deals with sexism.. What I got is a weird thriller that KIND OF addressed that topic. I don't even really know how to explain it. First of all, the "showdown" was way too fast and there was little to no build up at all. It was unrealistic and everything was solved way too easily. I didn't even really understand what was going on because it Okay sorry but this was just bad. The premise is really intriguing and I would love to read about it in a BETTER book. I expected a good dystopian set up that deals with sexism.. What I got is a weird thriller that KIND OF addressed that topic. I don't even really know how to explain it. First of all, the "showdown" was way too fast and there was little to no build up at all. It was unrealistic and everything was solved way too easily. I didn't even really understand what was going on because it was so quick and all over the place? The characters were boring and completely flat. This definitely should be a book that goes into depth with the feelings and thoughts of its characters, but it failed big time. But what annoyed me the most was the more or less subtle sexism towards men. Hey, I totally understand that one would start to despise the other gender if it was the reason why you're being oppressed and not allowed to talk or work. But that wasn't really the case here. It were more things like "he's not a real man because he wouldn't beat up someone for spitting on his car" or "All boys like to blow things up" Wtf? Imagine a man would say "Oh you're not a real woman because you don't wear makeup" or "All girls like to play with dolls" EVERYONE WOULD LOSE THEIR SHIT. Which is something they should do, because it's bullshit but don't do the exact same thing to the opposite gender then! Double standards are really stupid. Seriously. Please stop. *spoiler ahead* PS: Someone pointed out to me that in the end A MAN comes and saves the day. How weird is that in a book that's about feminism and empowerment of women?

  7. 5 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!! 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 in NOW AVAILABLE!!! 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!

  8. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    a quick google search will show that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day. so imagine if you were limited to only 100. pretty unfathomable thought, right? that is exactly why i love dystopian novels. they are the most effective at taking me outside of my bubble, placing me in an unfamiliar situation and making me really think, ‘what would i do if this was me?’ this book raises so many important and relevant questions in regards to female rights and equality, the role of religion in gove a quick google search will show that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day. so imagine if you were limited to only 100. pretty unfathomable thought, right? that is exactly why i love dystopian novels. they are the most effective at taking me outside of my bubble, placing me in an unfamiliar situation and making me really think, ‘what would i do if this was me?’ this book raises so many important and relevant questions in regards to female rights and equality, the role of religion in government, and the right to speech/language development. the premise and core themes of this book are extremely thought-provoking. as a thought piece, this book deserves all the stars. but as a novel, i cant give this more than three. the writing in this is very clinical and straightforward. dalcher doesnt write like an author, she writes like a scientist. which isnt surprising considering her profession as a linguistics researcher. that sure came in handy as the majority of the plot focuses on the main characters job as a linguistics researcher (write what you know, eh?). but i couldnt find any sort of flow, character development, fleshing out of plot ideas, no sort of voice or depth. everything felt very two-dimensional, very surface level. i mean, the ideas were there (and they were fantastic ideas) but the execution left much to be desired. i would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a dystopian book that will plant a little seed of thought into their brain, but just dont expect too much from this in regards to storytelling. ↠ 3 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 thought-provoking and brave stars to Vox! I don’t usually read dystopian books, and to be honest, I’m not that familiar with the genre. Upon reading the premise of Vox, I knew it would have a place on my reading list because of its timeliness and the bravery of the author in taking on this fictional topic. If you have not heard already, Vox is set in the United States at a time when a new president has been elected, and a mandate has been declared by the government: females may only speak 100 w 4 thought-provoking and brave stars to Vox! I don’t usually read dystopian books, and to be honest, I’m not that familiar with the genre. Upon reading the premise of Vox, I knew it would have a place on my reading list because of its timeliness and the bravery of the author in taking on this fictional topic. If you have not heard already, Vox is set in the United States at a time when a new president has been elected, and a mandate has been declared by the government: females may only speak 100 words a day. If they go over their allotment, they will receive an electric shock from a band installed on the arm. In a place founded on freedom, women and girls no longer have theirs. Since women can no longer talk, they can no longer work. Girls are only taught math in school, and reading and writing is for boys only. The ramifications of this are overarching, and the author does an impeccable job delineating it all. The main character, Dr. Jean McClellan, is a married mother of four children; however, only one of her children is a girl. How far will Jean go to demand a voice for her and her daughter? Vox has a strong start. The writing is flawless, and the set-up of the premise feels completely authentic. I was anxious at times wondering if something like could actually happen. The pacing was stronger in the first two-thirds, but I was invested in what was happening, terrifying as it was, so that did not keep me from reading on. The ending was completely satisfying. I could see this as a movie, and I think it is a wonderful choice for book club discussions. Now that I know more about what comprises a dystopian novel, Vox checks all the boxes. Thank you to Berkley for the physical ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog with my book pics! www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  10. 5 out of 5

    j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    THREE STARS According 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 STARS According 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    This novel depicts a chilling dystopia, or as Mike Pence might call it: a visionary blue print for America. Women are limited to speaking only 100 words per day and “immoral” behavior results in hard labor concentration camps. The author does a great job of setting up the world with thinly veiled references to our current political climate. There is a clear message to receive: if you don’t speak out, someday someone will take away your voice. Either figuratively or literally. After the initial se This novel depicts a chilling dystopia, or as Mike Pence might call it: a visionary blue print for America. Women are limited to speaking only 100 words per day and “immoral” behavior results in hard labor concentration camps. The author does a great job of setting up the world with thinly veiled references to our current political climate. There is a clear message to receive: if you don’t speak out, someday someone will take away your voice. Either figuratively or literally. After the initial setup, the story transitions more into a typical race against time thriller. Unfortunately that’s where I also started to lose interest. The premise is fantastic, but the espionage was cheesy and not particularly well written. For one the cast of villains aren’t bombastic enough or interesting enough. There’s an evil minister who goes around punishing people but he felt hokey and his position didn’t always make sense. Overall: what probably started as a symbolic anti-Trump rant turned into surprisingly effective allegorical fiction. I wish the author had spent more time on the final third of the book, though, because it left a lot to be desired. Still a solid, quick read that kept me turning the pages.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    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/

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Langford

    3.5** rounded up! "Be teachers of good things; teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands." "Woman has no call to the ballot-box, but she has a sphere of her own.... she is the divinely appointed guardian of the home... she should more fully realise that her position as a wife and mother... is the holiest, most responsible; dismiss all ambition for anything higher, as there is noth 3.5** rounded up! "Be teachers of good things; teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands." "Woman has no call to the ballot-box, but she has a sphere of her own.... she is the divinely appointed guardian of the home... she should more fully realise that her position as a wife and mother... is the holiest, most responsible; dismiss all ambition for anything higher, as there is nothing else here so high for mortals." This is the world for women living in America after a newly elected president shakes up the entire culture. This is what has happened to America after an all-right christian fundamentalist group has taken over. Under the influence of a "pure" movement, women are fitted with "bracelets" that count how many words they speak in a day. Women are allowed a maximum of 100 words a day and are given severe consequences if they speak over this. They are not allowed to read, or to write or to sign. This is a society where women are completely stripped of their rights to work, to speak out, and to their own autonomy. In addition, women who 'fornicate' with men outside of marriage and engage in pre-marital relations are first punished publicly... heads badly shaved, grey smocks and publicly branded as "sluts" and "whores" by those from their communities. These poor women are then sent to convents for hard labour and have their "bracelets" at zero words a day... leaving them completely without a voice. Dr Jean McClellan is a witness to all of this and experiences the harsh changes to society. She herself, as an expert in neuro-linguistics, knows the importance of language in the development of children's brains. She witnesses how the "pure" movement was slowly introduced into schools, changing the way young people think and behave; she witnesses how her daughter barely speaks anymore in fear of the consequences. She realises this needs to change, but without a voice, where can she begin? This book teaches the importance of using your voice, women's representation in government and society needing to be noticed, the need for equality across the board, otherwise, if voices aren't used, change can hardly happen. This book offers a stark reality of what might happen without women's voices, without protest or discussion, or without those protesting on women's behalf.... something Dr Jean McClellan faces first hand. "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." The thing about this book that really got me was the unfairness of it all: concentration camps for those who identify as part of the LGBT+ community; convents for women who speak out or have extra-marital affairs/pre-marital relations (note: these punishments did not extend to men); the cutting of women's placement at universities and the teaching of only basic arithmetic, christian religion (and only the fundamentalist aspect of it) and home economics for girls. The frightening part is how a society is easily brain washed into thinking the "pure" movement is the only truth and there can be no resistance or critique, something Dr Jean McClellan faces when she's afraid her own son might report her. This novel was a completely compelling and unputdownable novel! It is disturbing and an uncomfortable read and will leave you thinking: What if ? It also questions the reader to evaluate themselves as to how they use their own voice... or if they use it at all. I'm giving this 3.5 stars as some parts of the plot I found were not developed enough (eg some characters and events in the book) and left those parts feeling rather random and short-lived when you want to know more, or characters reacted in a way that was atypical of certain situations. Also, while I really enjoyed the very scientific parts of the novel (I've done modules on neuroscience, language and cognitive psychology so it was easy for me to follow and relish in this re-learning experience) I can understand why this aspect may not be appealing to others as some parts were very science heavy. "We are called as women to keep silence and to be under obedience. If we must learn, let us ask our husbands in the closeness of the home, for it is shameful that a woman question God-ordained male leadership."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Navidad Thelamour

    Somewhere along the line, what was known as the Bible Belt, that swath of Southern states where religion ruled, started expanding. It morphed from belt to corset, covering all but the country’s limbs—the democratic utopias of California, New England, the Pacific Northwest, DC, the southern jurisdictions of Texas and Florida—places so far on the blue end of the spectrum they seemed untouchable. But the corset turned into a full bodysuit, eventually reaching all the way to Hawaii. And we never saw Somewhere along the line, what was known as the Bible Belt, that swath of Southern states where religion ruled, started expanding. It morphed from belt to corset, covering all but the country’s limbs—the democratic utopias of California, New England, the Pacific Northwest, DC, the southern jurisdictions of Texas and Florida—places so far on the blue end of the spectrum they seemed untouchable. But the corset turned into a full bodysuit, eventually reaching all the way to Hawaii. And we never saw it coming. Christina Dalcher’s Vox is an envisioning of what would transpire if right-wing radicals and fundamentalists were allowed to take over America. Hmmm, what a concept. I won’t point out the obvious climate in which this book was published (oh, wait, I just did) and the commentary on our government that could easily be read into it. Such as—oh, I don’t know—in passages like this one: At the beginning, a few people managed to get out. Some crossed the border into Canada; others left on boats for Cuba, Mexico, the islands. It didn’t take long for the authorities to set up checkpoints, and the wall separating Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from Mexico itself had already been built, so the egress stopped fairly quickly. “We can’t have our citizens, our families, our mothers and fathers, fleeing,” the president said in one of his early addresses. The plot of Vox is simple. Dr. Jean McClellan is one of millions of American women who didn’t get out in time. Who are trapped in America stripped of their jobs, their personal finances and their words. Once at the forefront of her field and on the verge of finding a cure for disease of the brain, she is now reduced to being confined within the four walls of her home, counting her words for the day and making dinner. “Whose fault do you think it was?” he said. I stood in my kitchen, wanting to explain, careful not to, while he told me we’d marched one too many times, written one too many letters, screamed one too many words. “You women. You need to be taught a lesson.” What I will say is that when I picked up this book and read the blurb, I thought that an examination of these things told through the eyes of a “vox” would unfold, that the oppression experienced and the country’s direction described would be allowed to evolve and transport the reader to a new place of social scrutiny, even as the plot entertained and even elicited the occasional laugh. But that didn’t really happen in the way that I’d hoped; instead, Vox seemed rather like a bipolar haircut—like a mullet: literary imagery and plot setup in the front, full-on commercial melodrama in the back. It was as if Dalcher started out with a lofty idea but could not sustain it and, instead, resorted the love affairs and gorillas (yes, gorillas) to tell the story instead. It wasn’t, however, all dreadful. (Okay, maybe that’s a strong word. Lackluster is a more accurate one.) The premise was enticing, the title is arresting, and the cover art is just enough – minimalist in a way that highlights the words snatched from these women. Those things make Dalcher’s Vox a desirable read from the moment you hold it in your hot little hand. There was an unexpected plot twist surrounding one of Dr. Jean McClellan’s sons (view spoiler)[(though it, too, eventually melted into melodramatic prose and an unlikely “tah-dah” moment) (hide spoiler)] . What I appreciated most about this novel were those few moments where Dalcher snuck in the truly disturbing and uncomfortable, mostly through moments between Jean and her six-year-old daughter, Sonia. Little girls do have that ability to pull at our heartstrings while simultaneously being the vehicle for the truly sinister moments in social commentary in literature, don’t they? And our little Sonia lived up to that duty in several satisfying moments in Vox. The ending is a jumbled (hot) mess, a series of unlikely though convenient events. I hate quickly summed-up bow-tie endings that feel rushed, like a six-year-old hurrying to tell mommy all about their day. To me, they are the ultimate cop-out and proof pudding of lack of true skill and finesse as a writer. That must be the literary slant to my mind talking, but I’m okay with that. The Goodreads description of this book made me think Vox would take more time to explore and lay out the events around the breakdown of American society to the point that women become voxes. But it wasn’t that kind of read at all. For the most part, all of the deterioration of American society has already happened at the start of the book (though we do get snippy interior commentary on it from Jean), and we follow her around watching her days as she copes with it. Christina Dalcher’s Vox ended up being a far more commercial read than I thought it would be, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. But I just wasn’t impressed by the execution of the second half of this novel. Better luck next time. 3 stars *** **I received an advance-read copy of this book from the publisher, Berkley, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** FOLLOW ME AT: The Navi Review Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This one didn't really work for me, but I am giving it one more star than I feel to compensate for my current state of mind - I'm not really feeling into dystopia at the moment, and that isn't this book's fault. I also haven't been able to stomach the second season of The Handmaid's Tale. It's interesting to me how many people are bailing or rating this low because the bad guys are Christians. I'm seeing a lot of "not all Christians" rhetoric here. But to those people I would say, look around! W This one didn't really work for me, but I am giving it one more star than I feel to compensate for my current state of mind - I'm not really feeling into dystopia at the moment, and that isn't this book's fault. I also haven't been able to stomach the second season of The Handmaid's Tale. It's interesting to me how many people are bailing or rating this low because the bad guys are Christians. I'm seeing a lot of "not all Christians" rhetoric here. But to those people I would say, look around! Where are the Christians in the actual world, while citizens are denied passports, children are separated from their parents (I don't even need a link for that one,) votes of black people are overwhelmingly suppressed compared to other populations and there is a marked increase in hate crime? Oh, that's not your fault, you say? Have you spoken up, have you done anything? See, that's the underlying premise of this novel, the part that I feel is most effective. The main character is a scholar, aware of situations in the news, but not convinced she herself can or should do anything, and by the time she does it's too late. And by then women's voices are literally being taken away. And those who claim to be Christians in power silence those who are in their same group, even if they wouldn't have been radical - they quickly get on board so as not to lose the upper hand. This was far too familiar of a feeling. Being radicalized is not exclusive to one religion. If you're going to pull a #notallchristians, double check your beliefs and actions against verses like James 1:27. "Religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation..." (KJV) But interesting for an author to generate such a passionate dislike. Another reason to keep this at an okay rating rather than lower. It's obviously causing a reaction. There is a chilling moment which I can't quote exactly since I had an uncorrected proof, where the comment is made that the final decisions were made about taking voices away WHEN they started marching. Shiver. The rest of it felt too far-fetched to even work as a dystopian novel. Jean too easily goes back to her work when she is needed, doesn't seem to worry at all about surveillance, and doesn't seem to worry about the power her male children have, even after her son's girlfriend gets TAKEN AWAY for having sex with him. We know from actual history (China, Germany) about children turning in their parents. Even the characters in 1984 by George Orwell were found out through what 1949 minds could conceive about surveillance; how could anyone in the 21st century living under an oppressive regime imagine they could get away with illegal sexual relations and/or revolutionary activity in the very building owned by people in charge? I mean come on. And more disappointingly, that's not really how the characters suffer a downfall, so even if they would have been incredibly stupid to do those things, I would have felt the book was better if they had received consequences aligned with that stupidity... and that stupidity could have easily occurred because of a willful desire to not be living in the society they are in. I would understand that. If I had all my rights taken away and all I could do was speak 100 words a day or even CONSUME 100 words a day, my life as I know it would cease to exist. So while I engaged with this book as described above, it definitely wasn't what I would have hoped for. Thanks to the publisher for providing access to the title through NetGalley.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    “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 Arabey From 6 April 2018 To 9 April 2018

  18. 5 out of 5

    ``Laurie Henderson

    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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    This is one of those books that's just blah for me. The very definition of mediocre, from the storyline to the characters and beyond. There's really nothing that stands out, at least not in a positive way. The author has somehow managed to take a unique plot line with limitless potential and turned it into a Christian and male bashing rant of epic proportions (full disclosure: I am not a Christian nor am I a man.) The plot revolves around a dystopian future where U.S. women are only allowed to spe This is one of those books that's just blah for me. The very definition of mediocre, from the storyline to the characters and beyond. There's really nothing that stands out, at least not in a positive way. The author has somehow managed to take a unique plot line with limitless potential and turned it into a Christian and male bashing rant of epic proportions (full disclosure: I am not a Christian nor am I a man.) The plot revolves around a dystopian future where U.S. women are only allowed to speak 100 words per day or face the consequences of the Christian Reich. Dr. Jean McClellan is among these women. Jean is a perpetually indecisive victim of her own circumstances. She hates her husband. She hates her son. There's really nothing relatable or sympathetic about her character. I could go on and on about the lack of character development but more importantly is the utter lack of development of the plot itself. There is no lead up to, and even less explanation for, how women found themselves living this nightmare. Other than a few references to a president that sounds strangely familiar, we're left with virtually no backstory. Overall this book is devoid of the tension and emotion that is mandatory for a dystopian book. 2 Stars because I was able to suffer through until the end. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    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

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ron Charles

    Christina Dalcher’s “Vox” is the latest novel to give us a fully inflated misogynist nightmare. The story melds one of Western culture’s oldest prejudices with the future’s slickest technology: In the America she imagines, every woman can say only 100 words a day. As a premise, this is a frightening extension of Saint Paul’s prohibition against women speaking in church. That 100-word limit fulfills centuries of efforts to mute women, to punish them for talking, to disallow their testimony and to Christina Dalcher’s “Vox” is the latest novel to give us a fully inflated misogynist nightmare. The story melds one of Western culture’s oldest prejudices with the future’s slickest technology: In the America she imagines, every woman can say only 100 words a day. As a premise, this is a frightening extension of Saint Paul’s prohibition against women speaking in church. That 100-word limit fulfills centuries of efforts to mute women, to punish them for talking, to disallow their testimony and to mock their speech with all those handy gendered slurs like “gossip,” “catty,” “bitchy,” “hysterical,” “nagging.” What better story to consider during the reign of a president who labeled his opponent “a nasty woman” and promised to “lock her up”? Trump is never named in these pages, but the allusion is clear. “Vox” opens during the administration of a totalitarian leader elected after the term of America’s first black president. The Pure Woman movement has hijacked the capital and the culture. Dalcher explains that the country’s precipitous descent into full-scale misogyny started in the Bible Belt when “that swath of Southern states where religion ruled, started expanding. It morphed from belt to corset, covering all but the country’s limbs.” As Dalcher lays out the mechanics of the word-counter that every woman must wear on her wrist, “Vox” is grimly fascinating. American society has been wrenched back to a. . . . To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Traveling Sister :)

    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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany PSquared

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi dystopian eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . So I seem to be in the minority again.  This book irked me.  The premise is that a misogynistic bunch of males has taken over the government and women have become second class citizens.  Restrictions include, but are not limited to- no jobs, no financial control, no access to books, no passports, and no real use of language.  It's the last limitation th Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi dystopian eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . So I seem to be in the minority again.  This book irked me.  The premise is that a misogynistic bunch of males has taken over the government and women have become second class citizens.  Restrictions include, but are not limited to- no jobs, no financial control, no access to books, no passports, and no real use of language.  It's the last limitation that made me want to read this book. The statistic in the blurb claims that the is that the average person currently speaks 16,000 words a day.  In this book the woman can only speak 100 words a day.  To enforce this quota, all women are equipped with sensors around their wrists.  Go over the limit and ye get an electric shock.  And it isn't mild.  With every misbehavior, the force and duration of the punishments only increase. The concepts behind limited women's speech were fascinating.  In particular the relationship between the main character, Jean, and her youngest child, a girl, was the most poignant part of the novel.  The consequences for a generation of girls brought up without the skills of reading and the outlet of speaking were harrowing. But unfortunately the expression of the novel's concepts and the impact of its message were completely filtered down by the awkward execution of this novel.  Some of the problems: - unlikable protagonist - Jean is supposed to be smart and intelligent.  She holds a PhD and was about to make a major achievement in treating the problems of language malfunction in stroke patients.  And yet throughout the book she was whiny, unfocused, clueless, and meek.  It made sense for the beginning of the novel but she never really became a strong force. - unrealistic and unneeded plot elements - So much of this book felt unreal.  Subplots about animal testing that were unnecessary.  Brand-new drugs working the first and only time on a human subject.  Multiple characters important to Jean that happen to be conveniently in a cell and rescued at a critical moment.  No cameras or recording devices in any place that seems rational.  Escalation of a bio-terrorist threat that literally makes NO SENSE and would hurt the bad people just as much as the others.    - too tied to current events - This book seemed to bash the reader over the head with it's lack of subtlety.  I am extremely liberal and yet this book seemed to be a political soapbox for hatred of the current regime.  I feel it would have had more force if set in slightly more distant future. - the muddled message - The theme seems to be a call for women to be active in politics.  And yet it lambastes any woman who doesn't follow a certain type of political activism.  It doesn't even seem to want women to have individuality of their own.  Fie on any woman who wants to be a stay-at-home mom.  Fie on any woman who doesn't attend political rallies and march the streets.  Fie on any woman that is a Christian.  I do believe that all people should vote.  But this seems to suggest if ye aren't a rabid fanatic about yer politics then ye are useless.  I get that a passive approach to horrible behavior can allow that behavior to flourish.  Think the Nazis.  But there are many different types of activism and legitimate lifestyles. - the lackluster ending - What a crock.  For a book to be about women power, a man is needed to bring down the regime.  Then the main character runs to another country and doesn't even stay to help mitigate and direct the consequences of her actions.  She is basically a coward through and through.  She is always being selfish and really never cared about the greater good. It's been compared to the Handmaid's Tale.  Skip this one and read that one instead.  This book was a muddled mess  and therefore must walk the plank!  The Handmaid's Tale is a modern classic for a reason. So lastly . . . Thank you Berkley Publishing Group! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    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.**

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Blankfein

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A highly significant and timely book exploring the question: What if women could only speak 100 words per day? SUMMARY There’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? SUMMARY There’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 Burke REVIEW This 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, 2018 Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    3 entertaining stars True to the form that science fiction takes, this book was entertaining and one that held my interest. I must confess that I am not much of a science fiction novel reader, but the premise of this book was intriguing. Women are silenced, limited to one hundred words a day and even the very young girl child is fitted with a bracelet that delivers an electric shock should she go over the requisite one hundred words. Pretty shocking, yet highly improbable in today's world, where 3 entertaining stars True to the form that science fiction takes, this book was entertaining and one that held my interest. I must confess that I am not much of a science fiction novel reader, but the premise of this book was intriguing. Women are silenced, limited to one hundred words a day and even the very young girl child is fitted with a bracelet that delivers an electric shock should she go over the requisite one hundred words. Pretty shocking, yet highly improbable in today's world, where women are giving and continue to give a voice to all things. It kind of upset me to read that women had allowed this concept to happen. I really can't see how this could be given the enormous strides women have made, and thought it was a bit disingenuous of the author, who one assumes is a feminist, to place women into this situation. But, then again this is a work of fiction, so anything goes. There are some glaring scientific things that really needed a better explanation. Dr Jean McClellan is a renowned scientist who is forced to be a stay at home mom because of the policies of the times, that seem to be dictated by a Christian leader. This is the first of many throw backs I found to The Handmaid's Tale contained in this book. What bothered me in this book as well as the aforementioned Handmaild's Tale is the lack of a time line. It seems both books relate to "now" but there is no explanation of how we got to this "now." To me, the lapses in both books was an infringement on their validity. Perhaps, too, it was the writing that limited what I thought might have been an outstanding book to one that was simply middling. The ending was abrupt leaving the reader puzzling and again falling back on to the unbelievable factor. Dr McClellan was purported to be a brilliant scientist and yet she could not figure out how to remove the band or even stop the electrical charge from coming through? I am no scientist but even I know a piece of rubber would have stopped that charge. This is obviously a feminist point of view scenario so I was disappointed when the answer to the bracelet problem was solved by a man. To me it seemed that Dr McClellan relied too much on the males within her sphere and not enough on her own ingenuity. There were other things that bothered me as well but suffice to say, I did read this with a large amount of the unbelievable. I did like the book though. It was a quick read, entertaining, enjoyable, but definitely belongs in the fiction genre. Whether is it science remains to be seen though. Thank you to my local library again providing me with endless hours of interesting reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Ruff

    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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