Backlist Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

This was the story I wanted the Handmaid’s Tale to be. Vox is about what happens to women in America when the radical, and zealously religious conservative right takes over. The story shows us how women’s freedoms were slowly scaled back and taken away completely. Soon women are limited to 100 words a day. It was truly awful to see how far this society took it and I could clearly see something like this being a possibility for this country’s future. Which is an absolutely horrifying prospect.

Luckily, for Dr. Jean McClellan, she is needed by the government since she studies the Wernicke’s area of the brain. This is one of the areas in your brain that’s responsible for processing and understanding language and also communicating your thoughts into words. While negotiating freedom for herself and her daughter, Jean constantly thinks about her old friend Jackie. Jackie is a black lesbian and feminist. She would constantly harp on Jean about how she should go to rallies and protests and the importance of voting. Seeing Jean in her current situation and what Jackie used to tell her really made me angry at Jean. She had a voice and she chose to believe that the world was safe enough for her not to worry.

A huge theme in this book was that evil triumphs when good people do nothing. We see this theme so many times. We also see how Jean was protected and sheltered by her white privilege. Jackie knew what was at risk, while Jean felt like things were that bad, she didn’t feel like they were bad enough that she needed to worry about herself. Which was such a miserable and sad attitude to have, but I know several of my friends who have had or still have that kind of mentality.

One thing that wasn’t very realistic was the kind of timelines put on scientific research and development. There is honestly no way Jean and her team could’ve developed a drug within three months, even if they didn’t sleep. Science is more of an art than anything. You could do something right and still 4/5 times, you won’t get the desired results. However, they way Jean and her team discovered things did work for the story, and it was amusing.

The only other thing that kind of confused me was the ending. So many things seemed to happen within the last ten chapters and it made everything feel very rushed. I feel like I definitely need to reread some of the ending since my adrenaline was going crazy and I think that didn’t help some of my confusion. Despite this, I really loved and enjoyed this book.

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