Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

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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As the world recovered from Covid-19 an even more insidious virus had possessed the world, The Violence. As The Violence was shaking up the world  Chelsea Martin was doing everything she could  at the time just to survive her abusive husband. She was also worried about her children Ella and Brooklyn because she had to protect them from their father. Then realized she had The Violence and her children are not safe around her either. Where does she turn? What should she do with her children? She has no one to turn to because her husband David has effectively scared away all of her friends and her mother Patricia is a narcissistic monster. Chelsea has to take drastic measures. Will she be too late to save herself and her children? Will The Violence take over the world and win? I  loved the twists and turns this book took and how each person dealt with The Violence and how it changed them in ways they never expected. This book had a very unique plot and made me very invested in what happens to each character.
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Thank you to Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine, Del Rey and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this early.

This book works in the end as a good yarn but, for me, it was a struggle getting there. I enjoyed the structure and they way we're brought to the climax. Once the setup is established, the main characters each get their own alternating chapters which moves the plot along and drives the narrative towards the big ending. I thought that was clever and reminded me of the structure of some of Stephen King's earlier books where you have multiple characters and plot lines converging. 

What I struggled with was that several of the main characters and many of the secondary ones seemed to be extreme caricatures as opposed to well-captured believable characters. I kind of understand why the author chose to do that - I don't want to go into spoiler territory to expand on that - but I felt too many of them leaned too far towards extremes - the bad were very, very bad, the good were very, very good, the narcissists were very, very narcissistic. Made them less believable as characters and they lacked the ambiguity that real people display.

The 'science' in the novel was also barely believable. Again, hard to go into that without giving away key plot points or the narrative but it was difficult to accept that anything like what was described in the discovery and treatment of the virus could ever happen in real life.

What was, however, very believable were the depictions of domestic violence and familial abuse of the psychological kind. Also very believable was the role that politics and capitalism could and would play in such a scenario. Those parts were well written. 

One final point, I was drawn to request this by the suggestion in an email that it was ideal for fans of CJ Tudor. I've read a couple of CJ Tudor's books in the past years - The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls - and I didn't see any aspect of those books in this one.

All that said, I did find myself being drawn along during the last third of the book as all of the strands began to merge and you begin to wonder how it will all play out and, for me, that final third makes the read worthwhile.
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Bashing a stranger in the head with a bottle of salad dressing — that’s how the Violence pandemic starts.   Then we meet three women: a teenager, her mother and grandmother.   They’ve been abused,  the Violence adds to it.

   Great plot, great character development, chapters ended with great suspense.  

   The author Dawson opens with a note warning of trigger points:  abuse, animal deaths, graphic violence.  
Many thanks to Netgalley, Random House-Del Rey publishers for one of the best reads of the year.
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I needed a book to break a reading funk, and was immediately drawn into The Violence. Completely believable and impressive in a post-COVID world, I appreciated the different stories, choices, and character development. I will definitely be looking for more of Ms. Dawson's books.

I received this book to read via NetGalley.
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Definitely something different but in an amazing way! The characters are fully developed and easily relatable. Chelsea and Ella's journeys were ones that are truly engaging when reading this story. Although, the scientific part of this story was vague; however I can understand why. The in and out virus is complicated. The ending was satisfying and yet not when it came to David. It was a great read. 

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for letting me read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Is it too soon to say that The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson is going to be one of my favorite 2022 reads? Nah, didn't think so.

As per my aforementioned statement, I devoured The Violence in two sittings and, readers, this book is not short. It follows three generations of women within the same family, all victims of abuse, and how they navigate the strange illness sweeping the world (called The Violence) five years after the end of Covid. This is where I thank the publisher and author for the author's note at the beginning of the book with the content warnings. This allowed me, a survivor, to reframe my mind to jump in and enjoy this book to its fullest. I rooted for each of the characters, cursed their abusive partners, and hate-read the chapters where Patricia was at her narcissistic height. But as each of these women grew, discovered their agency (and their hearts) kept me invested and turning pages. So yeah, this book is hard to read at times, will push and pull at your emotions, but for me it was cathartic and empowering. And Chelsea's storyline is SO MUCH FUN and not at all what I expected. No spoilers, but I can definitely say I would tune in, fresh popcorn in hand.

Quick mention that I loved the queer side character inclusion, especially a teacher who uses Mx. I use Mx. and it is so wonderful to see used casually in fiction. Thank you!

And because I am who I am, when I shared this book on my IG, I made a fancy blurb that no one asked for:

"Harrowing and thrilling, Dawson has delivered an undeniably cathartic pandemic story with one major consequence: me, unable to put the damn book down."

Thank you for approving me for the eARC! You bet I'll be in touch for a physical copy.
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Dawson REALLY understands how to write something incredibly suspenseful - I didn't want to put this down as I was HOOKED. I wasn't expecting this book to be a pandemic novel, and I've typically not enjoyed any content I've consumed that mentions covid-19, but this really works -- primarily because it explores domestic abuse and the pandemic is used as a tool here, rather than the singular large event of the text.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine  and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. 

Didn’t want to put this one down. I hated finishing it too. Thrilling, suspenseful story with twists and turns.
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Excellent story! Totally engrossing!.  Looking forward to reading more by this author! Could not put this down!
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Kudos to the author addressing such a strong and sensitive subject of abuse. The author’s note at the beginning gives us insight of her warning that there will be much of this topic mentioned and that she lived through such an awful ordeal herself. So big trigger warning that this book is heavily covered in talk of being abused in many ways from spouse to children. That being said I felt it lacked a bit more of a plot point being so focused on this topic. I felt it was being drilled into my head of the many scenarios that can happen in abuse and while I know that is a big part of the book I was missing the mystery thriller part of it all. The Violence which is to be a spin off of COVID with a big aggressive horror factor just felt lackluster. It also was overly lengthy and could have been told in much less wording. Unfortunately this book just wasn’t for me.

Thank you to Random House and netgalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow!  The Violence felt so real.  Delilah Dawson has written a book so rich in detail and description, I could picture it happening.  If we thought Covid was bad, The Violence makes it look like a cold.  It's 2025.  A new pandemic has arrived.  One that turns people into killers.  The President voted in 2024 election has served during the last pandemic.  He is useless again.  Only the rich can afford the vaccine.  We see how Chelsea, her daughter Ella, and mother Patricia cope and try to survive.  All of them have suffered from abuse.  None of the abusers feel they have done anything wrong.  Thank you, NetGalley for allowing me to read this amazing story.
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I loved this! It was so angry and fierce that it almost took my breath away. It's apparent that Dawson is writing from personal experience, which makes this even more harrowing. Ella was my favorite of the main female characters, but Patricia was the most interesting to read about. Is it weird that the most depressing thing about this book is that Donald Trump is still President? I've already recommended this to a coworker at the library and will definitely recommend it to patrons once I have it in hand.
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This book is amazing ! I would highly recommend this book to everyone. I really enjoyed it and the cover is beautiful. Thank you so much Delilah S. Dawson and your publishers for recommending this book to me.
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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review 

I loved this one. Very fast paced, had me turning pages as I tore through it – I had to see how it would end.  The characters were well rounded and the narrative felt believable. Wild ride.. Solid five.  Definitely my favorite of all her books so far
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