Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley for sending me the ARC! This was one of the oddest books I have ever read. I really don't know what to think except I liked it. Strange, violent and add in some GLOW with bit of a story. I rate it a 3.2

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4.5 Stars

First, I will like to thank #netgalley and #DelReyBooks for the free copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

Did I know what I was walking into with this book? Kind of. Did it exceed my expectations? ABSOLUTELY

This book takes place in the future. The pandemic we are all still living through is just a thing of the past, and now there is a new one where people break out in bouts of violence with no memory of what happened. This novel reminded me so much of The Stand by Stephen King in the description of just lawlessness that takes over. It was so interesting to see how this story evolved, and I was EXTREMELY invested in all the character's stories. This book was truly unique!

With that all being said, I cannot recommend this to anyone blind. There is a lot of description of violence/death. As well as domestic abuse/violence and so much gaslighting. Additionally, they talk about the response to the COVID pandemic. Therefore if any of those topics are triggering for you, I would advise you to skip this one (because your mental health does matter!).

But with that being said, if you are a fan of horror and dystopian novels, you will undoubtedly eat this up as I did. I cannot recommend this book enough!

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This BOOK!!!!! Wow! From the first sentence, I was in! This book read like a Stephen King novel and was a steamroller, picking up the pace with every single page. I LOVED IT! Chelsea, abused Mom, kept small and unworthy!! by her crummy abusive horrible, creepy husband, is the perfect protagonist. Add to that her two girls, one 5 years old, the other a teenager (also in an abusive relationship), and added to that is Patricia, the abusive Mother of Chelsea..well, you just have the perfect storm of a book. The new virus is called the Violence, and it creates zombie killers! I mean, this story just layers all these crazy awful things, and it is a wonderful mix! Thank you to Random House and to Netgally for the epub!

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This was a really well told story. We have 3 generations of women who all went through a heck of a lot to make it out the other side mostly whole.

The Violence was a virus? sickness? that infected people via mosquito bites. As the name suggests, it makes you volatile and you attack and kill.

So Chelsea was the abused mother of Elle and Brooklyn, who were also abused. Chelsea's mother was not a good person at all and knew she was being abused but thought her survival was more important so basically turned her aside. I won't go into the details of everything that happened (just as a heads up, this book is dense and very detailed) but due to circumstances, Chelsea and Elle end up on their own while Brooklyn ends up with Pat, Chelsea's mother.

Chelsea gets hired as a pro wrestler and becomes very popular.

They all find a way to get back together, but dear old dad shows up and Chelsea finally gets her revenge.

I really liked the political commentary in here and it fit the world we just lived through.

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4.5 stars.

A nice, gritty dystopian centered around a virus that causes the host to strike out and kill others randomly. Set in near present day, The Violence gripped me. With several references and parallels to the Covid epidemic, there were several points where my stomach turned at the realism. But let me tell you...I was hooked. Such a clever book.

The multi-POV feminist plot was a fantastic choice. The trauma is framed through the eyes of three generations of women. These characters felt real and age appropriate in a narrative that flowed effortlessly. The plot is a bit of a pulp fiction style slasher and I ate it up.

Be forewarned: there is a lot of graphic violence and the story can definitely be difficult for those who already feel overwhelmed by Covid culture. It is a semi-dark read, but so well crafted. If you can handle the grit, I highly recommend giving The Violence a go.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

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#The Violence by # Delilah S. Dawson has a cover that is eye catching.
And like #Stephen Graham Jones from New York Times says " A novel that defines this era". It's a surprise and not what you expect.

They call it The Violence: a strange epidemic that causes the infected to experience sudden bursts of animalistic rage., with no provocation and no memory of the crimes. While it tears the nation apart, one woman sees something unlikely -an opportunity....

Thank you for the advance copy,
#Netgalley, # Delilah S. Dawson, and # Random House

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book before publication.

I haven't read anything by this author previously so I was eager to try this out.

This book jumped right into it from the beginning and kept it going. It dig drag on a bit, but overall it was a great read.

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What a book!! I absolutely LOVED this story, it was unique, crazy, and riveting the whole way through. This is not a normal genre that I read but after seeing some great reviews I was intrigued and added it, and am so glad I did. The audio was great too as an fyi. Chelsea is such a great protagonist, I was rooting for her, especially when she finds a way to get out of her abusive marriage and that is all I will say. This was brilliantly written from start to finish, and I cannot recommend this one enough. It will probably be in my top reads for the year.

All that being said, I have to note that this is graphic, and there are some disturbing scenes in here, one including animal violence. I was able to see it coming and could skip past it in the audio, but I thought it was additive to the story and not included for shock value. The author also does a great job of highlighting all of this up front which I appreciated.

Thank you to Del Rey Books and NetGalley for the ARC and digital galley to review. This one is available now and I definitely recommend, with the warnings noted above.

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Delilah S. Dawson, despite being wildly prolific in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, wss unknown to me until I requested a NetGalley copy of THE VIOLENCE on a whim. If others in a similar boat had the same reaction to this book I did, she will be known to many others before long. THE VIOLENCE is a tremendous book, synthesizing elements of plague fiction, the revenge novel and kitchen-sink realism into an original and page-turning saga.

All of the point of view characters - Chelsea, pushed to the brink by a psychopathic abusive husband, Ella, her whip-smart teenage daughter stuck in a different type of abusive relationship, and Patricia, Chelsea's mercilessly cold mother - are incredibly well-drawn. (Dawson clearly has the most fun writing the internal monologue of Patricia, the single mother turned elitist socialite trophy wife. There are times when this flirts with cliche but virtually everyone has known a Patricia, and/or her male equivalents.) David, the abuser, is depicted exactly as you expect, because that's how abusers behave in nearly every account I've read or heard. His sidekick, a cop named Huntley, is in some ways scarier as a man who either endorses David's behavior because he practices it himself or doesn't but wishes he could. Vicious men always seem to cultivate these guard dog types.

As the trio of women reckon with the rage-plague known as The Violence in various ways, Dawson takes us through a world little different from the contemporary U.S. COVID has come and left, Trump hasn't and is bungling this pandemic as badly as the last. Dawson's portrayal of what isolation has done to human interaction is brutally accurate. When depicted, The Violence is remarkably gory, but that's appropriate - you can't be coy about a rage-plague that makes people black out and beat the nearest living being to death.

THE VIOLENCE is a thrilling and also deeply sobering narrative. The disease is an interesting bit of fiction; what Chelsea, Ella and (to a lesser degree) Patricia are most traumatized by is something that occurs every day.

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The Violence is a perfect blend of creative revenge for the abuse that three generations of women in the family suffer.

Trigger Warnings: The beginning part of the book is brutal to read... trigger warnings galore and the author does provide an honest warning at the beginning so please read the warning before reading the book.

That disclosure out of the way, this book is fast paced, action from the beginning with really defined characters. I felt like I knew these women by the time I was part way through the book and then their inner strength emerges and now I really got to know who they are. Originality points for having a different plot and idea for the book, it is not a typical pandemic book at all. The journey that these women take has stayed with me, healing parts of me, uplifting other parts! Definitely an intense and good read that I highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group, and Delilah S. Dawson for this digital review copy for me to read and enjoy. As always, my reviews are voluntary and my opinions are my own.

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THE VIOLENCE was a book that I did enjoy despite the fact I found some of the subject matter to be difficult, as someone living in the middle of the age of COVID-19. This book takes place in the future once COVID is over, and a new pandemic takes place where the disease in question causes people to lash out in violence to those around them. First thing first, be sure to check out trigger warnings. This book deals heavily and, I believe deftly, with spousal and child abuse. It was really interesting seeing "The Violence" juxtaposed against the abuse that Chelsea and her daughters face at the hands of her husband, David. The story focuses on grandmother, mother and daughter all fighting for survival and that of the people they love. It's definitely one of those books that is an important commentary on how the US has handled our current pandemic which is absolutely something that needs to be said. Some will accuse the author of being political, but good literature often is a critique of society, and that is what THE VIOLENCE IS: a story of family bonds, government neglect, and a fight for survival against a powerful disease, one that kept me turning pages and desperate to see how it all ends.

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DNF at 26% :(
the HEAVY comparisons to COVID killed this for me. I was expecting this to be more so focused on the women and be more of a feminist revenge story but at the point I put it down it was waaay too focused on the pandemic aspect for me. normally I feel like I would push through with these feelings, but with how long this is I don't think I can.

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I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get into this one. I’m not sure what it was exactly. It seemed ridiculous to me and hard to suspend disbelief when it’s so out there. This one was a miss for me.

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“Never make yourself smaller to suit someone who wants to feel big.”

This is a tough one to review - mostly because my very favorite things about this book would be spoilers. The Violence is really about (at least) two things. First, the violence illness, which makes people going about their normal activities turn homicidal and then forget what happened. And also, the violence that happens with abuse, which was more disturbing and chilling than the illness.

We see the story through the eyes of three women - Chelsea, who lives a seemingly perfect life that is really full of fear of any transgression. Ella, Chelsea's daughter. And Patricia, Chelsea's mother, who is demanding and critical. I thought all of their stories were interesting and...that's all I can say about without spoilers.

But big shoutout to the idea of including underground professional wrestling. I knew that was coming, couldn't imagine how it would work, but that group of people was probably my favorite part of the book.

Finally, I just want to compliment Delilah Dawson - she wrote this book from a deeply personal place and experience, and that shows. Her experience, compassion, and empathy make this story come to life, in all of its violence.

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Hopefully, if you pick this up, you know from the title what you're getting into, but yeah, this is an incredibly violent novel. It's also fantastic and unapologetically feminist. .

In the near future, the country's falling apart, as Trump and the Republicans are back in power, and undercutting infrastructure once again. So when a new disease hits, no one is prepared, especially for one so hard to isolate. In warmer climates, people will in a blink turn into unstoppable killing machines, beating a person to death and then immediately forgetting that it happened and moving on with their lives.

Set against this are three women, each abused by men in different ways. Chelsea married her high school sweetheart after he got her pregnant, and his controlling ways eventually turned physical. Her mother has let herself essentially be arm candy for her latest husband, and in turn has frozen out Chelsea and her grandchildren. And Chelsea's teen daughter has realized that her "perfect" boyfriend is controlling and potentially violent, just liker her father.

As The Violence (as the disease is named) takes its toll on Florida, all three find themselves dealing not only with their own oppression, but also the disease itself and the new ways society is changing.

As noted, there's a ton of actual violence here, but the characters are strong and keep things moving forward. There's only one point where we get deus-ex-Violence (one character is literally saved when a bout of the disease comes on), and each of the three women is believable and well-developed, keeping their stories interesting even when it's not always easy to cheer their choices. There's some cheesiness (a Violence-themed pro wrestling organization plays a large role in the story), but it never overwhelms the rest of the book.

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This was the second post-covid book centered around women I've read (which seems like kind of an odd subgenre) but it was still fairly enjoyable. The book was definitely difficult to read in terms of the subject matter, but I never quite connected. At times it seemed dark for the sake of being dark. Chelsea wasn't quite likable, but with a character like that, I can't quite blame her.

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This was a great, gripping story that was strongly grounded in a pandemic reality, though admittedly, I would have loved it even without that added layer of extra tension. The core of the story itself - and I mean the abusive relationships and violence at the hands of men - was emotionally gripping enough! This book had me by the throat from the first chapter. Some of its steam deflated along the way (the first 1/3 was intensely suffocating and almost paralyzingly scary), but it remained a thoroughly captivating read through and through.

Told in multiple POVs, this book follows three generations of women in one family, all entangled together in a web of ongoing abuse and suffering caused by the men in their life. From the power tripping, violent husband who enjoys choking his wife unconscious, to a rich and powerful judge treating his wife as nothing more than an accessory to be discarded when no longer needed, this book explores different degrees of emotional and physical abuse, and it does so in an engrossing, unflinching manner.

I thought this book was spot on. The pandemic part was okay, I guess, but I was mainly here for the family dynamics and calling out the patriarchy. That part was flawless.

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I've never read anything like this before. This story follows 3 generations of Martin women, all very different from one another, but as we learn over the course of the book that they have more in common than they think. THE VIOLENCE takes place in 2025, where we are post-COVID, but are suddenly thrust into another pandemic. One where one suddenly loses control and kills the person closest to them. From that initial case, the world is once again thrust into chaos, and lines in the sand drawn. Chelsea, the mother and second generation of women, notably goings a WWE style wrestling endeavor in order to try and access a better life for her and her kids. Over the course of this book, the women learn what it means to be themselves and take back their own stories.

This book is not typically what I'd pick up for a number of reasons but I picked this one up because I've enjoyed other books by Dawson and because of the killer (pun intended) cover. Overall, I was really surprised and impressed by this book. These characters are vividly created and as wild as the concept of The Violence is, Dawson really makes it feel tangible and accessible as she connects it to our current present. As I read on, I found myself invested in the Martin family, even though I sometimes was frustrated by their decisions. This is a book I'd recommend to readers looking for generational family stories that feature women who learn to stand up for themselves after abuse. If you're a wrestling fan or have personal gripes with the state of Florida, you'll probably enjoy this book!

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I was so thankful to get this from Netgalley to review because this is my most favorite of all the genres and I was so glad I enjoyed this book after all the hype I heard surrounding it! Fun characters, a plot that kept me turning the pages, a really fun read. Highly recommend to book clubs! Great fun to discuss after reading with friends!

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DNF after about 40 pages, this was not the book for me. But if you read the blurb and think hmm should I try it, you definietely should, you never know what is for you until you try!

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