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Multitudes silenced

Cover of Vox
A review of Vox by Christina Dalcher

In a time not too far in the future in an America that seems all to scarily possible at times, half the population has been silenced. For fans who have binged through The Handmaid's Tale (and/or read the book) Vox can be your next dystopian read.

Dr. Jean McClellan and the other women in America were slow to realize what was happening around them as their rights were slowly taken away. Now it seems it's too late. Each woman, girl and female infant has been fitted with a wristband that looks like a fitbit but serves a far darker purpose. Because women are now only allowed to speak 100 words a day. If they go beyond that limit, the wristband gives them an electric shock and the more words they use past the 100 the worse the shocks become. For Jean, who was a renowned doctor and scientist, this new existence is tortuous. But worse then being forbidden any form of communication at all past the hundred words, is the fact that her kids are beginning to see this as a normal way of life. Her sons are losing the sense of how wrong it is and her daughter is adapting into a smaller and smaller soul. When Jean is offered an opportunity to go back to work - in a controlled, limited way and only because her expertise is suddenly needed by the government - she decides to try and take action to change the new status quo. In the process she finds herself brought into a revolution in the making.

This isn't a perfectly written book - I thought the ending was rushed and some of the characters were more sketches of people then fully developed humans - but the subject matter certainly feels timely and the plotting and pace kept me reading into the wee hours. Good stuff is you're in the mood.

Oct 8, 2020