BLOG TOUR: Q by Christina Dalcher

3D1D4D19-BF90-479C-AD57-DF057B9F4EDETitle: Q by Christina Dalcher
Pages: 384
Published by: HQ
Publication date: 30th April 2020
Genre: Dystopia
Format: Paperback
Amazon UK â€“ Waterstones

Synopsis:

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…

My review:

I don’t read many dystopian thrillers now, but I could not pass up the opportunity to read an early copy Christina Dalcher’s latest book, Q. This is an incredibly thought-provoking story and I felt a creeping sense of dread which each page that I read. By the end of the story, I was completely horrified and can only applaud Christina for bringing light to these disturbing events, especially as some of the historical events that were referenced were very real.

Christina presents us with a very terrifying and controlling world, where everyone’s future rests on their quotient, Q, point. Alternating between the past and the present, tells the story of how Elena Fairchild and her husband, Malcolm Fairchild, imagined a world where those with the highest grades were rewarded in unthinkable ways such as living in the best part of town, attending elite schools and having priority lines in shops. Then that world became a reality, but Elena doesn’t see how damaging it actually is until her youngest daughter, Freddie, scores a low Q point and is shipped off to a government school.

I thought Elena’s perspective offered a fresh take on a dystopian thriller as she believes in and supports the system. She’s married to a prominent government official and has two daughters; she’s a teacher at one of the elite schools; she lives in a wealthy part of town. Basically, she’s been shielded from the hidden dangers and is oblivious to how incredibly flawed the system actually is. It’s only when Freddie is taken away from her that she challenges the system by intentionally fails her own test so she can stay with her daughter. We discover alongside Elena how disturbing the system really is and I was completely horrified by how controlling it was.

I love being able to have weekends to myself and forgetting about my job for two days. I can go outside and do whatever I want; no one needs to know anything about me or my life. However, in this novel, even your score invades your personal life. You’re not free to do anything without presenting your score and it very much felt like you were a prisoner in this dystopian world. In reality, when you’re applying for a job, your degree matters and your experience matters. Outside of that, you’re free to do what you please, but in this world, it’s all about your score and to me that is terrifying.

Perhaps the most shocking part of this story was the very real historical events that are referenced and that’s the American eugenics movement. I won’t say what it’s about because of spoilers but I was sickened after reading more about it. Unfortunately, I’d never heard of this before or learned about it when I was in school and I definitely believe it should have more importance, for hundreds of reasons. I’m honestly shocked that it seems to become a forgotten part of history, so I thank Christina for expertly weaving it throughout her novel.

When Elena eventually locates Freddie and is faced with the dark side of the system, I was happy with how she faced up to her past self and realised how prejudiced she had become. Malcolm, on the other hand, I was disgusted with. It was shocking to see someone care more about the system than his own family’s wellbeing. His behaviour throughout is appalling and I was glad to see Elena have very supportive parents who helped her get away from that monster.

The final chapters brought me to tears. I hadn’t realised how attached I’d become to Elena and her family, so the ending, even though I agree it was necessary, still left me utterly devastated. is a very powerful story and I can’t wait to see what Christina writes next. Finally, I hope that this system never becomes a reality and we never again put people through the American eugenics movement.

***

A huge thank you to HQ for sending me an ARC of this book for review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour! Make sure to check out the other bloggers taking part in the image below.

Q BTB

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