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Q

Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Summary

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....

©2020 Christina Dalcher (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Like all the best dystopian fiction, Q takes the reader just a pace or two beyond where we're already at. This is a sharply written and terrifyingly plausible tale of an education system where less than perfect is a life-threatening condition.... I devoured it in a single day." (Louise Candlish)

"Shocking and a powerful tale exploring themes of survival and superficiality." (Cosmopolitan

"Christina Dalcher is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. It's a master class in dark dystopian fiction, clever, thought-provoking, beautifully written and terrifyingly believable." (Alice Feeney)

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Another powerful dystopian world from Dalcher

Another powerful dystopian world, highly disturbing and close to the bone. Vox was terrifying. A world too close to our own, as dark as you can get, and impossible to forget. On the basis of that, I was always prepared to read Dalcher's next without knowing anything about it. And she clearly has a head full of black thoughts about our society and where we are heading. Another dystopian world awaits readers, one in which genetic screening through to a child's education determines and separates their potential, their Q (Quotient) score. Similar to an IQ, young people are segregated and judged based on their number, which are tested regularly. Nobody will not see the parallels between this civilisation and their own - standardised testing, , teaching to the test, the class system of the private and grammar schools. Elena Fairchild works in one of the most elite schools, catering to those with the highest Q scores, given the most money and resources and whose students are destined for the highest positions and satisfying, privileged lives. Her eldest daughter breezes through her lessons and every test, apple of her Department for Education executive father's eye. Their youngest though, has always found herself close to moving down a Q category, and one month the inevitable happens. The immediate consequences of this causes friction within Elena and between her and Malcolm. We follow Elena's realisations as she sees the system she has been a part of for so long for what it is for so many. As a mother, her instincts trump any loyalties elsewhere and readers are taken along with her as she delves into just what her society decrees is permissible for those deemed intellectually subservient. Vox may have the edge on Q (also called Master Class) slightly, but it's a wakeup call nevertheless in a system based on test scores alone. Elena proves herself the fiercest and bravest of mothers, and her world is one just a shade away from our own, too easy to picture. Elena's voice comes across powerfully in the Audible version, it's a perfect book for listening to. Her narration makes this immediate and gripping. Malcolm, and the history of their relationship that Elena gradually shares with us are both intriguing, dark and enlightening. How their marriage fares with the trajectory of their daughters is shocking. And seeing the past brings its own illumination. Dalcher is a new generation's Atwood, with an instinct for mirroring the contemporary world in a dystopian-esque reflection. I can't wait to see what she holds up to our faces next. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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Believable

I read a review about Christina Dalcher that said her stories are believable because they just push the boundaries of what already occurs. I totally agree with this. Very good story with some characters you love to hate.

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Very good!

Not quite as good as “Vox” which set the bar very high but good none the less. And without being dramatic or paranoid, it seems scarily possible in the current climate and with the current world leaders. It’s all too easy to see how civil liberties can be chipped away without people understanding the ultimate ramifications. Definitely suggest a light, funny listen after this!

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Excellent!

This book had me gripped from the very beginning- I could not stop listening. At first it seems far fetched but by 4 it became obvious that this is a perfectly possible scenario. Scary, thrilling, and unnerving, this is story is well told by Lisa Flanagan. I highly recommend you set a day aside and absorb the events as they unfold.

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A truly harrowing tale.

It has really made me think. I had goosebumps during the authors notes. Only a whisper away from reality. Scary.

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Good but anxious

I enjoyed this, but I found listening to it gave me an overwhelming sense of anxiety. It was good, but too much to enjoy. Very engrossing and captivating, will never listen again.

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Gripping

Very engaging and thought provoking . Couldn’t stop listening ...had to find out what happened! Would definitely recommend . Haven’t stopped thinking about it either .

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Riveting and thought provoking.

A really good listen , absorbilg and chilling plot Excellent and believable narration. I could not year myself away. Another excellent book from Christina Dalcher.