Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

Well this book was wholly unexpected and so was here for it. It was so unique and original and quite frankly like nothing I have read before. I loved the Originality of this one but be warned this one is not for the faint of heart.
Thank you for an advanced copy!
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When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it! It lived up to the expectations I had, and there were even a few surprises along the way including the author's note in the beginning of the book. It was something I didn't expect, but I'm glad it was included.

This reminded me of the Walking Dead, but with an all female cast as main characters. It had the violence plus all the gore, and it had plenty of people getting killed off☠️ There was nonstop action going on, and I can totally picture this book as a movie!

If you don't like reading about covid/viruses or you are triggered by any of the TWs I mention at the bottom of this review, this might not be the right book for you. But on the other hand, I definitely recommend this to those who love reading dystopians, thrillers, horror, or sci-fi. This book will have you staying up late, because you won't be able to put it down! I can't wait to read more books by this author in the future!

Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the e-arc.

TW: physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, violence, animal death and abuse
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I love a good dystopian thriller and Delilah S. Dawson’s sounded unique. It takes place post Covid, which is always fun to think about, but another type of pandemic has taken over and it’s a terrifying kind.

The story follows Chelsea, her daughters, and her mother through a time when a new illness, The Violence, is running amok and they honestly don’t know how to stop it. Chelsea is a mother of two and man she has it rough. Her husband is a royal jerk. I have other colorful words, but for the sake of this review, I’ll stick with jerk. He’s highly abusive in all senses of the word. Emotionally and physically and Chelsea handles it while trying to protect her daughters. I felt so much for Chelsea. I was mad that she hadn’t left already and I was sad that she had to endure literally walking on eggshells almost her entire marriage worrying about what might set off the dreaded man of the house. The kids broke my heart because you know how traumatizing that could be. This could be very triggering for someone who has been in a abusive situation. So trigger warning!

I love how unique the illness is in this book. It’s also extremely terrifying to even consider, which makes this a nail-biter. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I thought the way Dawson told the story, broken into three basic stories most of the time from three different viewpoints, would bother me, but I really enjoyed watching the same story unfold but from those perspectives. In times of high stress and crisis, it’s always nice to see how different people react, and I think Dawson did a phenomenal job of showing us different reactions.

I especially loved some of the side characters you meet along the way while reading this book. I’m a big fan of really good side and supporting characters and this one had a lot. I love the RV kids (that’s my unofficial name for them), or the fighters (again, my own name). These people were quirky and fun and added so much to the depth of the story.

My one and only drawback that held me back from a full five star review was the length of the story. That may seem weird to some, but 500-ish pages is a lot for a book these days it seems, and can be done very well. This was mostly done well. However, I think that there were many times that we read very descriptive parts that could have been trimmed down with the same information and effect, but also sections that were already explained once before. Maybe not exactly, but general feelings or how they feel about a certain situation. There were a few times I had to force myself not to skip a paragraph just to get past a description.

With that said, I would never have skipped far, even though I didn’t actually skip, only because I really wanted to watch the story play out. I was intrigued from the very beginning and until the very last page. Dawson took a genre that you feel has been overdone at times with the dystopian vibe and gave it a fresh new twist that was more terrifying than all it’s predecessors. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an edge-of-your-seat, thriller with a catch around every corner.
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I'd give this 3.5 stars. 
Overall it was a good story and I was interested in the characters and how the story would end. It could definitely use some refining as parts of it drag. Also, the characters could use a bit more dimension as the women all kind of felt pretty similar. 
The actual violence described didn't bother me too much, but I would have preferred if they didn't have any animal deaths. One thing I couldn't really get past was how quickly they each recovered after an incident of the violence very quickly. They seemed to have a bit too much perspective of the overall pandemic and were able to reconcile their actions pretty quickly. 
Overall a good read though!
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Wow what a book.  The Violence by Delilah Dawson is a page turner with just about everything.  This is a story of three generations- Patricia, or Patty, the narcissistic mother of Chelsea, wife of the wealthy Judge and grandmother to Ella and Brooklyn.  Chelsea is a mother to Ella and Brooklyn, and wife to David. Ella and Brooklyn daughters and granddaughters.  The past has dictated a path for all but do they have to stay on that path or are there other options?  The violence is a plague that comes about five years after the coronavirus and leads to random bouts of extreme violence and rage.  The Violence causes blackouts and memory loss, no accountability for actions. You don’t know if you have it until after your first episode.  Everyone is susceptible so fear is rampant.  There is a vaccine but only the extreme wealthy can afford it. The plague is more pronounced in the hot humid weather of the south so those that can afford it head to cold climates which leaves empty homes and streets with few resources.
D. Dawson did a great job writing this novel and I look forward to others from her hand.
Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey books for an ARC of this book. 
#Netgalley #DelReyBooks
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"In Patricia's experience, few women can honestly say they're special, and the ones that do claim it know they'll be universally hated for it. A woman is supposed to blush or look away, deflect the compliment or pay it back, not just own it." 

The title of this book may lead you to believe that quote doesn't quite fit. But don't judge a book by its cover. Yes, it's violent. Yes, there are murders. But this book is so much more than a gruesome psychological thriller! Dawson does an amazing job writing a timely, believable account of the days we live in, from a very emotional, thought-provoking angle. 

It may be 2022, but this book jumps us ahead three years to 2025 when a second pandemic has impacted the world. This time, humanity has been seized by a disease that's come to be known as "the violence." Victims black out without warning, go into a rage that becomes increasingly violent, then kill the living being in their nearest proximity. Disturbing right? 

As the pandemic takes shape, the storyline centers around three generations of women from a family that is needless to say, completely screwed up. We meet Patricia, the matriarch, who is cold as ice, driven by material wealth and lacking much of a relationship with her daughter and grandchildren. Chelsea is a bruised & battered woman who has been married to David for so long she doesn't know how to escape or save herself. Her main worry is protecting her young daughters, Ella & Brooklyn, from the violence going on under their roof. But "the violence" outside their home proves an even larger problem as these four females must navigate the new world with very little resources besides their own strength. 

Dawson did an amazing job building up the personalities & storylines of each of these characters. I kept turning the pages because I was so absorbed in what was going to happen to them, I barely noticed when I finished the book. This was an amazing psychological thriller with real-life consequences & events, including #MeToo and pandemic impacts. My only issue was that Dawson did pepper in some passive-aggressive comments about the country's political climate, which seemed unnecessary, as they did not impact the plot in any way and almost came off as Dawson subjecting the reader to her own political beliefs. 

Definitely leave the lights on while you stay up late racing through this heart-pounding new thriller!
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The Violence is taking over the world......eerily similar to that of the COVID breakout. People are killing others and not remembering a single thing. 
Chelsea Martin has lost herself in a marriage to a mentally abusive man and she has had enough. What a better cover to free herself and her girls, than to provoke David and have him sent away. With all the restrictions being enforced, Chelsea has no idea how hard this all might be without any help. She finds herself reaching out to the one person she thought she would never have to ask for help, her mother. Despite her own childhood trauma, she has to trust that her mother will protect her own daughters as she figures life out. 
The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson had me reeled in before the first chapter was over; hook, line, and sinker. I sympathized with Chelsea and her living situations, her childhood trauma, and her hopelessness in the future. I did get lost a little in the middle of the book, patiently waiting for the book to get moving again. I liked that the chapters were short and easy to read. It makes it easy to pause if needed and not to lose your place. The book follows in chronological order with the past revealed in the story. I would recommend The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson to others and would like to read other work by Dawson. Special thanks to NetGalley, Delilah S. Dawson, and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey. 4 stars for me. 
#TheViolence #NetGalley
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It's taken me awhile to write this review as I can barely wrap my head around all of the ideas that converge in this novel! It's like the pandemic on steroids...but in the very best way as it addresses so many themes! The Pandemic is over, but The Violence is here and it causes those infected to "storm," rampage, and kill anyone (even pets) close to them who gets in their way. Chelsea has been abused by her husband for years but stays with him because of their two daughters, Ella and Brooklyn. But she's finally had enough and the three of them take refuge with her mother, Patricia even though they've been estranged for years. What follows is a wild ride that will have you gasping for breath, maybe tearing up, and cheering for this sweet family. Dawson addresses so many relevant issues including abuse, vaccine awareness, redemption, forgiveness, and male/female relationships (even the MeToo movement). Yes, it's often gruesome and yes, it's often hard to read through tears, but I ended up loving it as my emotions were all over the place; ultimately it's a timely and unusual but awesome book!
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DNF at 20%. I wanted to love this one! The premise was so intriguing and I loved the idea of an abused wife fighting back and regaining her own sense of self and her power. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t even the graphic violence that ultimately got to me. There were so many ridiculous factual errors (at least to me) that I ultimately could not continue. This is not an indie book so I would have expected more from the professional editors. Just one example: a judge does not attend depositions. 

Please note the trigger warnings (graphic abuse, animal abuse) which I might have gotten past but I am moving on. 

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced reading copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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For the most part, I enjoyed this book. However, I will warn anyone that wants to read it that it's one giant, never-ending series of triggers. While I think violence against women and the cycle of abuse are important subjects, it was a bit out of my comfort zone to read. This is not a novel you can curl up in bed and relax with. While the gore was well-written enough to make me feel sick at times, it didn't actually seem to be the horror novel it was marketed as despite the gore. I wish Dawson the best in life and career since while this was not really a book for me, I'm sure other people will enjoy it. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Ballentine for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange for my honest opinions.
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The Violence was such a good spin on the classic horror book. I would describe it as a mix of "the purge" and covid. I thought the idea of spreading "the violence" as a virus was really smart. Had this book been written years ago I would not have been able to understand the idea but it just worked so well right now. I can't wait to read other books from Delilah Dawson if they are even half as good as this one. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up! You will not be disappointed.
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This was a refreshing take on an old theme... a mystery virus that makes everyone violent and full of rage, with a semi-dystopian, pandemic-esque type vibe and a family overcoming their odds and finding a way to survive. This one however, throws in a huge dose of generational trauma and a little WWE, you know to spice things up.

The author doesn't hold back in describing situations when "the violence" kicks in and starts the book with a large trigger warning regarding the spousal abuse, Chelsea suffers at the hand of her husband. Despite the warning, I didn't feel as though the description was over-the-top or gratuitous... especially at the end when Chelsea stands up to her husband, David. Then again abuse and the rage that follows isn't pretty.

The one thing in this story that I wasn't expecting was the WWE aspect, in order to keep her family together, Chelsea takes her kids to her mothers (and that is a whole situation in and of itself) and joins a group of people who are inflicted with "the violence" and becomes an underground pro-wrestler. I loved this part, you read stories like this and it's all walking dead vibes, but this twist with the WWE is intriguing and dare I say it fun.

The only criticism I have is regarding a few of the main male characters; specifically, David, Randall, and Chad. They came across a little stereotypical and predictable. Male posturing on all fronts, and nothing new to offer in character development. Patricia, Chelsea's mother, was interesting to watch as she struggles to come to terms with her own generational trauma and having to interact with her granddaughter, Brooklyn. The strength seems to lie with the female characters, and I can understand why in this story.

I do recommend this title, but again, be aware of the trigger warning at the beginning.
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The Violence imagines a second pandemic to follow on the heels of COVID, one that causes the infected to erupt in a murderous rage, killing people in a frenzy they do not remember after it passes. The story features three generations of women, Patricia, Chelsea, and Ella who navigate a history of violence and abuse.

Chelsea is married to an abusive man who terrorizes her and the family. Their daughter Ella is not only aware of the abuse but has also been abused by her father. Chelsea has no hope of help from her mother, a woman who has always withheld love from her daughter. When the Violence breaks out in their area, Chelsea sees a chance for liberation for her and her children but the best-laid plans go awry, especially in a pandemic.



I loved The Violence. From the very beginning, Delilah Dawson had me hooked. I cared about Chelse, Ella, and even Patricia. The story was creative and went places I did not expect. I mean, a traveling wrestling show featuring infected fighters? Who could imagine that? I loved how Patricia evolved when caring for her granddaughter. That story arc was so unexpected as well as delightful. The story, however, suffered from cardboard villains. Chelsea and Patricia’s husbands are awful people, so are their husbands’ friends. They have no redeeming qualities which probably makes us okay with their fate, but also makes them less than credible.

But the women in the story are complete and compelling. We come to care about all three and all three seem to come together to love and understand each other against seemingly impossible odds.

I received an e-galley of The Violence from the publisher through NetGalley.

The Violence at Del Rey | Penguin Random House
Delilah S. Dawson author site
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The Violence starts off innocently enough. It starts just like any pandemic (as we are all well-versed in now) with just a couple random infections. An elderly woman at Costco beats a mom to death with a jar, a girl in school beats another student to death in the bathroom. Horrible, yes, but isolated. Until it’s not.

One of the most interesting things for me about The Violence is that Delilah Dawson sets it in a post-COVID world. Except it’s not that far after COVID, a mere 3 years from now. And the idyllic world everyone had hoped awaited for them on the other side is instead a new infection. And this time, people are staying home. Because going out presents the chance of getting beaten to death, or killed deliberately by an infected motorist, or a similar fate.

Dawson is clever with the parallels she draws to our current pandemic. For instance, vaccine production and distribution is mismanaged. Because the same president who was in office when COVID began is back, and working just as hard in his own interest and wanting to be “right.” And while the plot itself takes some crazy and unexpected turns, I think we all know that the incredulous and unlikely are all much more likely in a world where people are scared for their lives and confused.

Luckily, the sickness in The Violence makes our current pandemic look like a cake-walk. But it’s a fun (albeit gruesome at times) look into the what-ifs. Special thanks to Netgalley Ballantine for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now.
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This book was too triggering for me to finish but the story itself felt well written and paced of what I read.
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This book……

I could try to find the right words to say for a week and still may not find them. 

It was amazing/the best/thrilling/ sad/ beautiful. And it left me wanting more. 

I lived in Tampa for several years but Florida for all of my youth and until I moved to where I am now so it was great hearing Florida references. 

But, this book was therapeutic. The author explained things I experienced in my youth that made me who I am. Things I knew made me but didn’t know what it was. I could never explain why I won’t let my family meet my kids or even be around them. I won’t even let them know my address. Because they were bad people. Not all abuse is physical. It was probably not the intent of ms Dawson to provide people therapy with this book and I wasn’t expecting it but I’m so glad it happened. 

The story was more about the characters then about a violent pandemic which I wasn’t expecting. I needed this book. Thank you so much! 🥰
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In the world post Covid, a new virus has emerged called the Violence. The Violence is not spread from person to person, rather mosquitoes, but those who do become afflicted with it will turn extremely violent with little to no warning. Chelsea Martin is a suburban housewife with two daughters leading a seemingly charmed life. However, unbeknownst to others, Chelsea's husband is physically and emotionally abusive. Chelsea knows she needs to leave for the sake of her daughters, but she has no resources. Chelsea decides to use the Violence as an excuse to get away from her abusive husband. Her plan works perfectly, but life outside is not as safe as Chelsea thinks. Chelsea and her daughters go to live with Chelsea's wealthy parents, but they are faced with many additional dilemmas.

The Violence is very well written, and was a different take on a "zombie apocalypse." There are many references to COVID, and the attempts to find a cure for the Violence resembles the government handling of COVID. I really enjoyed this book. The descriptions of domestic violence may be triggering to some. Thank you to NetGalley for alllowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What would you do, post Covid, if another pandemic swept the nation? Would you mask up, get the vaccine(if you could afford it), or even just stay home? Or would you give in to speculation and conspiracy theories saying this is just a ploy by the government to "recharge the birds"? If this pandemic was anything like The Violence, I would take social distancing to the extreme. This was such an interesting take, with three generations of characters to empathize with. The beginning of this story has you feeling like you have absolutely nothing in common with these women, but as the layers peel back you can't help but find a connection to all of them, even if it's just them reminding you of another family member. I won't go too much into the characters, you should go into this novel with an open mind to meeting all of them.

The pacing of this novel is where it struggled for me. The beginning was solid and kept me engaged. However, around the 30% mark it began to lose me. I put off picking it up, and only read a chapter or two here or there. It really took me sitting down with purpose and not getting sucked back in until about the 75% mark. The ending was alright, satisfying enough; but it didn't feel like closure to their stories. I just wish this one was about 100 pages shorter to trim some of the unnecessary scenes.

Three stars as I enjoyed pieces of this one, but won't go out of my way to read it again. Recommended for readers 16+ as there are adult themes including domestic abuse.


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Fight Club 2.0



**Many thanks to NetGalley, Del Rey, and Delilah Dawson for a gifted copy of this book. 

This book intrigued me based on its cover. I have an addiction to anything remotely crime/horror so I thought this would be right up my alley. Sadly, I had a very hard time getting through it even though it was well written.  In a post-COVID world, there is a new deadly threat: The Violence. What is it? A disease, spread by mosquito, that takes the infected from 0-60 and leaves them in a blackout-type state where they demolish whatever or whoever stands in their way. Chelsea Martin, mother to teenage daughter Ella and 5-year-old Brooklyn.  In the first few chapters I found myself yelling at the abusive husband and Ella’s boyfriend in equal measure.  I was thrilled that a plan was constructed to get rid of the husband for a bit to give the girls a break from the abuse.  This book took me about three weeks give or take a day to read even though it was well written.  For me this had moments of greatness but because we are still going through the motions of covid that it was much to process.  Overall, it did have a storyline that was well written which makes me hopeful for another read by this author. Three stars from me which is really good considering how much of a hard time I had with it.  Very interesting concept looking forward to seeing what comes next from this author.
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This was such an incredibly clever and unique read and this pandemic thriller sure packs a punch!

It’s such a contagious (😉) story that I still found myself flying through it despite it’s length of 512 pages! I saw this advertised as “horrifying and inspiring” and was immediately intrigued by that combination and after reading it, I can fully agree that this is the BEST way to describe this one!

I always love a good genre blend and this one has a bit of everything! Predominately addressed as a horror story, it also has thriller and dystopian aspects and even serves as a family drama plot. I found it to be extremely well done and relish when a book can be disturbing but equally emotional.

As the title suggests, this one is quite violent, so trigger warnings beware!
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