With the world in a dystopian turmoil following an international economic collapse, Miranda and her teen-aged daughter are forced to make a difficult decision – stay in Maryland and risk starvation or attack by one of the roving gangs of violent, disenfranchised men, or make a dangerous and arduous journey on foot to Virginia, to a self-sufficient, women-only commune founded by her estranged mother. Whilst it should offer security and community in these troubled times, Miranda soon discovers that there are dark secrets to be found in Femlandia and finds that it may not be that safe after all.
Having read Dalcher’s debut novel, Vox, I had high hopes for Femlandia, but it quickly became apparent that I was going to be disappointed. The novels are similar in that they’re both set in dystopian USA and that they deal with themes of sexual discrimination and feminism, but they’re chalk and cheese when it comes to quality and content. The plot is basic and under-developed, and in parts completely unbelievable. The characters act irrationally – one specific character switches allegiances at the drop of a hat – and the villains have no depth whatsoever. There’s little middle ground – background is either so vague as to be pointless or rammed down the reader’s throat.
I really hope Femlandia is a glitch. With Vox, Dalcher proved that she can do so much more, and I hope she gets back to that level with her next novel.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publication date – 16th September 2021