Q - *****
‘Are we born like this? Or are we taught? Either answer is horrible in its own way’. When Elena’s daughter is downgraded to a feared State School because her ‘Q’ level isn’t high enough, she risks everything to find her. But what dark secrets will she uncover along the way? Having missed out on getting the ARC of Vox also by Christina Dalcher recently I was really excited to read Q instead. It reminded me heavily of the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ where a woman who has always been an advocate for a government rating system learns how bad it is when she finds herself on the other side. As world building and plotting go Q is a strong read, it’s also really well written in an engaging way that had me finish it in almost one sitting (#QuarantineLife). I enjoyed the pacing and the stakes are kept high all the way through including the end, although it seemed to tie everything up a little too neatly in places! I had no idea the American Eugenics Movement was real – we weren’t taught about it at school (although admittedly I am from the UK) and it is a terrifyingly dark part of the US’ history. It was a good idea to have the book show that we can create parallels for this kind of story without using Nazi Germany. The book also highlighted how certain ideas could grow in popularity for seemingly normal (if selfish) reasons and be pushed through legislation before people can realise the darker intent which seems very relevant to Trump’s America or Britain’s Brexit as well. My main criticism with this book was that it finished too quickly! I would have liked to have gotten a little more description and chapters set in the State school – I felt like we spent a lot of the book building up to going there and then never actually found out very much about it. I also felt that the villains were a little too pantomime-y in places – Malcolm for example, has no redeeming features even in the flashback episodes! It would perhaps have been nice to see a little shade to his character progression with something redeemable from his past. Overall Q is a dark look at our society; past, present and future, and is a gripping and thought provoking read. Thank you to NetGalley & HQ Stories for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.