Q is a book from Net-galley that comes out on Thursday. Looking through other reviews I think the original title was Master Class, which is easier to see on a list, but is not as original, or as mysterious. I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I would have in normal circumstances.  Don’t read it on lockdown, is my advice.  But do read it!


by Christina Dalcher

The thrilling new book from the bestselling author of VOX, coming soon in 2020!

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… [goodreads]

My Review

I’ve read several books where segregating children on the basis of intelligence (or other traits, for that matter) is a key element or a byproduct of the story. Most of them are middle-grade reads, often nominated for Newbury prizes. This isn’t like them.  It’s also not a middle grade read.  It’s horrific.

Ms Dalcher writes a mean novel. She writes mean husbands who you’d love to strangle, and a lot of other very well-crafted bit-players who you know well. Just like the ‘guard’ on the gate of the yellow school, fat belly wobbling over his waistband. I am very attached to my fat belly, but along with the rest of the description, well, you know this person.

You know all these people.  Even with my infamous distancing from people, I know them, I relate to them, and I’m screaming at Elena the whole time not to do it, or to get out, or why did you ever…? Her daughters were just like my nieces, or a friend’s super-intelligent pair. The system they are locked into is such a logical extension of our world that it was frighteningly real. The testing is a system I would fail in. Term or annual tests, fine: weekly ones, I’m out. My chemistry results prove that!

add to goodreads buttonThe whole system is excellently put together; the people shine out of their descriptions, the progression into dire straits is so inevitable…but the ending is the stuff of nightmares. It may be classed as a thriller, but I think it’s horror.  Horrifyingly possible. Read it in a safe place.

'It may be classed as a thriller, but I think it's horror. Horrifyingly possible. Read it in a safe place.' Q by Christina Dalcher. Out now! #horrific #education #dystopia #thriller Click To Tweet

Book Review | Q by Christina Dalcher
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3 thoughts on “Book Review | Q by Christina Dalcher

  • 25 April, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Aha, so you read modern horror of a social kind? I hope the low IQ kids don’t become soylent green!

    • 28 April, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      Maybe it’s not horror. Just horrifyingly real!

  • 26 April, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Oy. Another one that sounds very good–but not for me. Maybe for the spouse 🙂

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