Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

Wow. This book was totally different than I thought it would be when I read about “The Violence Virus” in the synopsis. I thought this would be a campy horror about a funny/gory disease and women getting back at the abusers in their life in creative ways. That would have been a good book, but I was completely wrong about what this novel was really about. This wasn’t good - it was great.

Set in the near future (2022? 2023? Hopefully not…) this is the world right after Covid. Everyone is weary, the economy is still doing horribly, but people are starting to try to get back to life as normal. Then comes a new pandemic: The Violence. Spread by mosquitoes, it is asymptomatic until the infected person blacks out and kills. Beloved pets, children, and  spouses are not immune to being killed by their owners, parents or partners. Once they kill, the person snaps out of their trance, and are horrified by what they’ve done. The police aren’t even arresting people, because it’s completely involuntary (and it’s easy to tell the difference between people killed “normally” or people killed by someone with The Violence).

There is a vaccine, but the same president who bungled the Covid pandemic is still in power, so Americans are helpless. Some of the very wealthy can get the vaccine at $30,000 a dose, but the government is once again failing the common man. It’s like living the past two years over again, as lockdowns and curfews are back, mosquito spray and toilet paper are impossible to find, and some states (*coughFloridacough*) are refusing to take measures to stop the virus and the killing.

I know. I KNOW! It sounds like a campy ‘80s horror novel, right? Wrong. In a letter to the readers, the author touches on her personal experience with domestic violence, and I think this book was written to help heal herself. We meet three generations of women also dealing with different forms of abuse, and they are characters who change this book into something much more thoughtful than another pandemic creating brutal killers.

Patricia is mother to Chelsea, who is mother to Ella (and 5-year-old Brooklyn, my favorite character in the book). Patricia was once in a physically abusive relationship, but she got out and married a very wealthy man … who immediately starts emotionally and financially abusing her. While raising Chelsea, Patricia continued/projected the emotional abuse onto her child, but Chelsea was able to break the pattern with her daughters. Unfortunately though, Chelsea’s husband turned out to be a wife beater as well, so her teenage daughter, Ella, is now in an abusive relationship, and thus the cycle continues…

When the horror element with the new virus and the dramatic element about broken people combine, they make an incredibly thoughtful book. The horror has zero cheese, and somehow the author was able to write this in a very realistic way. Somehow, it didn’t feel implausible. How she combined two very different genres into something entertaining, heart-wrenching and beautiful is quite impressive. I think most authors wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without one of the aspects getting shortchanged.

There were a couple tiny, tiny things that I didn’t like, so maybe I’d rate this a 4.5 if that was possible. It’s definitely worthy of more than four stars though, so this gets a rare five stars from me. I was totally caught off guard by this book, in the best way possible.

(Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delilah S. Dawson, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)
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Violence is an understatement! What a ride! While there was a bit more violence than I normally enjoy, I really did end up enjoying this book quite a bit! Great writing and it left me on the edge of my seat
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This novel begins with a trigger warning, and it is necessary. But the hook! It's quick and the author sets it deep. This book made me uncomfortable and reminded me that a good story should make one feel things that are different from your everyday experiences, whether pleasant or less so.
Revenge, redemption, hope for the future, The Violence contains this and more, read it and consider your own opinions/thoughts/actions and your own future.
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A post-COVID pandemic that sends people into a blind rage for no apparent reason. The main character takes advantage of the situation to leave her abusive husband. In the process she is separated from her kids and as they are all trying to regain their family, they are also forced to survive this new unknown virus. 
The story is a little slow to start, but when the action starts it is a book that is hard to put down. Very intense but deeply satisfying pandemic thriller. 
There are some detailed descriptions of domestic abuse and other violence that may be disturbing for some readers.
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I love Delilah Dawson's writing and this one was captivating from start to finish. 
The setting of this novel occurs within a post-COVID world that feels familiar...honestly, perhaps too familiar. While the second pandemic that titles this book plays an important role, it is second to the violence that is already all around us. 
If you have lived through domestic violence or experienced abuse, this has the potential to be a tough read. That said, it is also extremely cathartic and I highly recommend giving it a try.
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My thanks to Random House/Del Rey, Delilah S..Dawson and Netgalley.
When I first requested this book, I thought it might be one of those that I wouldn't be able to read. The kind that made me so angry that I'd have to stop. Full of triggers and all.
Turns out that I was only partially right. Mostly? I was annoyed. But, I wasn't yet mad. 
I really did spend the first 50 pages thinking that this would be some angry feminist garbage. Don't get me wrong, because I'm also an angry feminist. It's all about balance though.
This wonderful, messed up tale! I loved it! 
The plot, people, virus and eventual outcome. Everything. 
This author now has my loyalty!
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This was a *really* hard read. I am thankful for the trigger warnings at the beginning of the book. Please take heed of this because there is some very distressing content throughout this book.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Delilah, and Del Rey for an advance copy of The Violence.

Just a couple of years after Covid was finally under control, a new pandemic has emerged. Dubbed “the Violence,” this new virus incites blinding rage in its victims and the target is almost never left alive…or recognizable after the beating they receive. Chelsea is the perfect obedient wife, and for her troubles, she is still beat on a regular basis. Her mother Patricia is self-involved in a marriage of convenience. Her oldest daughter Ella has also been subject to her father’s anger and does her best to keep to herself and protect her little sister Brooklyn. 

Chelsea thinks she’s found the perfect out from her husband: a number to call if you suspect that someone in your household has the Violence and the police will take them away no questions asked. What follows is a wild ride of these women finding their strength, finding hope, and finding themselves.

This book is a good cross between domestic thriller and horror. I won’t sugarcoat it, Delilah doesn’t sugarcoat it either, this book is violent, there is a lot of talk of domestic abuse and it’s descriptive. It may be tough for some readers to swallow.

This is also a bit longer than your standard thriller at nearly 500 pages, however it doesn’t drag out. The length is necessary in order for us to know and care about these women. The story itself does bounce around, because our three main POVs are all at different stages of their lives and in different locations for much of the book, but it wasn’t hard for me to keep anyone straight. Additionally, I enjoyed each of these women, so I was happy to read each of their chapters even though nearly every chapter was left with a cliffhanger and I would have to wait 2 or so chapters to get back to them.

Chelsea was a great character. Patricia and Ella were too. They were all inspirational characters who really convey the idea that being down does not mean you’re out. Life can be shitty, men can be shitty, circumstances can be shitty, but through that it’s possible to find strength and a way to something better, even if it’s unexpected.

My one gripe is the pretty constant callbacks to how a certain president handled Covid, I think it became overkill to be brought up so often. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book, it was scary and uncomfortable, uplifting and hopeful. I had so much fun cheering these women on and watching them find strength they didn’t know they had. This was my first book by Delilah, but I will be looking at her other works as well.
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Please note : I did not finish this book. I just couldn’t do it. It was a little too graphic for me. And I was warned before the book started about the graphic violence in it. I thought that I could handle it, but I couldn’t. I got about 25% through the book. My opinion and rating is based off of the first 25% of the book ONLY. I will say this… it was gooooooooooood. LIke really good. The premise was scary good and the execution (that I read), was done perfectly. I really wish that I had a stronger stomach for those things, because I really want to know how this book goes. But I also feel like I would not be doing the book the justice it deserves by skipping to the final few chapters and reading those to see what happens. Maybe one day I will finish it. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. I am truly sorry I couldn’t read the book in its entirety.
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Let’s meet a therapist, who actually cares about her patient. One of her patients, Finely, divulges in her session that the pharmaceutical company she works for has manipulated data on a drug, so that the FDA will pass it. However, this drug  kills people, but big pharma was only looking at the bottomline. Her patient confided in her, but was afraid to uncover it, because she had seen what is done to whistleblowers. Avery decided to take it upon herself to call an anonymous tip in, so the company is being investigated. Will big pharma find out who did this? Will they come after her? Avery also has another patient’s girlfriend who has caused issues for her, because she instructed the patient to leave a very manipulative and abusive relationship. Because of something Avery did which was a little unethical to protect her client, the girlfriend filed charges against her and Avery lost her therapist license.  However, now she can see and treat patients as she sees fit as a consultant. 

Marissa and Matthew Bishop come to her, because Marissa has hidden her infidelity from her husband. How will Matthew react, when he finds out about the infidelity, that will be uncovered during this first therapy visit. Avery has a 10 session plan, that she feels will help the (Golden Couple). They both seem to be very stable and quite rich. As Avery delves into their relationship, she finds that things are not always as they seem. What does this couple have to hide? Will the murder of 20 years ago rear it’s ugly head? What will Avery uncover? Will the man appear, who had an affair with Marissa? Will Avery constantly have to look over her shoulder, because of big pharma? This books’ plot was ever changing. Every time the reader thinks they have it figured out, there’s a new twist. The plot was genius. The character development was great. The reader could relate to all the characters in this book. The person who the reader thinks is the protagonist ends up as the antagonist. What an ending!! I didn’t see it coming. This book kept me reading and on edge throughout the book. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next one by this author!!
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Ok. So. Ugh. This book doesn’t come out until February 2022. But. Y’all. #theviolence #delilahsdawson is a book that just 🤯it wasn’t anything that I thought it would be. It. Was. Better. We have three generations of woman. All #triggerwarnings of these women have suffered some form of abuse. Be it emotional. Mental. Physical. The journey of their lives. A new pandemic that comes after Covid. It’s called the #violence. No one can predict it. You don’t know that you have it. It’s deadly. This is such a phenomenal story telling I just …. There are no words to describe how this story grabs you. You feel for these characters. I can not recommend this book enough. Ten out of five stars. This story is definitely going to stick with me for a long time. #randomhousepublishing #ballantinebooks #netgalley #bookstagram #readersofinstagram #netgalleyarc #bookrecommendations #readit #bookrecommendations
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I really enjoyed this novel. All the aspects of a great read were found within these pages. Be sure to pick up this title!
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The Violence 
by: Delilah S. Dawson
Pub. date: February 1, 2022
Review date: October 22, 2021

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine &  to NetGalley for allowing me access to this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Violence really, Really caught my interest & held it, through to the end. It’s a great storyline, Especially considering the fact that we’re living through a pretty violent pandemic ourselves these days. People might not be going around killing other people like they are when affected by The Violence in this book, but Covid has claimed far too many lives itself to Not be considered a Violent killer.
I loved this book & would definitely recommend it as a must-read for those who enjoy a nice, gruesome, gory story. The Violence gets 4/5 stars from me.
#TheViolence  #NetGalley
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Finally, the fear from Covid-19 has ended. when suddenly, a new threat appears. A grandmother reached for a bottle of Thousand Island dressing, and with no provocation, beat a fellow shopper to death. People losing all control; reasonable people, violent people, poor people, and wealthy people. The Violence, like Covid, does not discriminate.
Chelsea Martin seems to have a perfect life. Her husband, David, earns enough for her to be a stay-at-home mother to their two daughters, Ella and Brooklyn. But she has known violence for many years, as David likes things a certain way, though that particular line in the sand moves often. She comes to view this disease as a potential savior. After all, once the damage is done, the infected person has no recollection of what they did. Could this finally be her way out? Time will tell.
But Chelsea winds up infected, and fears for her children's safety. She has no choice but to ask her extremely critical and cruel mother, Patricia, for help. Soon her plans unravel, separating her and her girls. Brooklyn is with Patricia, and both Ella and Chelsea wind up alone. These three women must uncover the inner strength that they each possess if they hope to find their way back together.
Parts were horrific, as The Violence took people and animals(trigger warning), parts were laugh-out-loud funny(Chelsea's job), and parts were heartbreaking(Ella's journey). An engaging plot, characters I rooted for, and some I hoped would get what they deserved. One character, who shall remain nameless truly surprised me by becoming a much better person. A story of abuse and survival that spoke personally to me, as a survivor of a horrific childhood. 4.5 stars.
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Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved the premise of this book and found it to be very enjoyable, although pretty graphic. In a post-Covid world, a new pandemic rages where people randomly break into violent fits and attack whoever is closest to them. The characters were richly developed including Chelsea, a woman who's dealing with domestic abuse on a daily basis and finally decides she's had enough. I'll definitely read more by this author in the future!
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Thank you so much #netgalley and @delilahsdawson for an ARC of The Violence. I want to acknowledge that I don’t tend to read feminist literature all that often. I usually dwell in the rom-com sphere of the literature world. But, recently The Grace Year and Iron Widow have helped me into that world of books. When I was browsing Net Galley’s coffers I saw the cover for The Violence and I knew immediately that whatever the book was about it was going to be amazing. And I was right. 
The Violence follows three generations of women in the same family and how they deal with violence against women. But, abusive relationships are not the only focus in this book. There’s also the outbreak of a mysterious virus across the world. Sound familiar? This virus, however it works, causes people to commit acts of gross violence. So while these three women struggle to cope with, and work to rise above their situations, they are also faced with contraction of and falling victim to pandemic. 
The Violence provides pertinent social commentary during a pandemic as well as a look into the trap of domestic violence. It highlights both how women are taken advantage of by predators as well as the systems that allow predators to stay in power. 
To quote the book, “...a bitch is just a woman who doesn’t do what you want and then refuses to feel bad about it”. If this book teaches you anything it’s the importance of being an assertive woman and not backing down in the face of adversity and predatory behavior. Be a girlboss, a gaslight, and a gatekeep. 
Despite the book having an amazing message, I do feel that there were moments when it was too slow and fell into ruts. So I am rating it at 4.5 stars. Nonetheless, this is definitely a must-read for 2022.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
This book sounded so intriguing.  
I really liked how the author slowly built up the characters.  The ones you love and the ones you love to hate.  There were multiple surprises and the ending was absolutely perfect.
I definitely would like to read more by this author.
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I could not finish this book.  It seemed an interesting concept but unfortunately reads like a personal diary of abuse. Every male character is slimy and abusive. The mothers are all nasty and self-absorbed. The plot simply didn't pick up enough to look past all the awful characters.
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Chelsea seems like your typical trophy wife. White picket fence, two lovely children and a doting husband. But no one knows what happens behind closed doors. Her husband is extremely abusive and Chelsea feels there's no way out - until an outbreak of a mysterious disease causes extreme and uncontrollable violence. If Chelsea plays her cards right, she can get away from her husband and save her girls.

The synopsis of the book was intriguing however it didnt quite play out like I had hoped. The choices the characters make at times are not always the smartest ones. If one is hiding from an abusive husband, my first thought isn't to join a televised program, even while sporting costume. Hiding in plain sight? Not even a little bit. The constant references to COVID and the previous president was overkill. Yes, I get your stance. But it takes away from the originality of your own plot when you mention it continously throughout the book. It was an interesting read but I wouldn't read it again.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for an eARC for an honest review.
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Take a family drama, a rom-com, professional wrestling, and a crazy pandemic that causes violence and, in most cases, bloody death. Mix them all together and you have this book. Yes, it sounds nuts, and it is.  And it's also very entertaining, compelling and different.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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