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Book Review: Q by Christina Dalcher


I read Vox at the beginning of the year and loved 90% of it. It was a terrifying read, but the ending felt a bit anti-climatic to me. Going in to reading Q, I was mindful of possible disappointment again, but thankfully that wasn't the case! It wasn't quite the all-out action ending that I usually crave, but it made more sense and resolved everything a bit better.

Ok, where to begin! This book had me on edge the entire time, and not in a good way. Everything about this possible future grated on my nerves and kind of freaked me out, but it made for such great reading! Obviously this is fiction, but I don't think it would take too much of a catalyst for the world to go this way, and I find that quite a scary thought.

Malcom's whole attitude is a very extreme version of that of a member of my family, and I found it even more jolting to be reading this and find some of his actions familiar. The attitude that you're only as good as your test scores is one I know well. At first it starts ff innocently - why shouldn't those who excel academically have a few perks? But before you know it, the situation has spiralled, children are being segregated based off of their intelligence, and even foetuses are being aborted for not being 'desirable' enough, which is not a concept foreign to us at the moment.

I'm now finding myself doing a lot of reading about eugenics and it is fascinating! We are all familiar with the concept of gene therapy and genetic modification, but originally these practices were labelled as eugenics and were taken to horrifying extremes.

Overall, I'm now sitting here with a massive book hangover as I try to properly process what I've read. I'll definitely be finding out more about this subject, Dalcher has certainly caught my interest!

Read the summary below:

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.

Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.

Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.

But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…

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