Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

The Violence takes place right after the Covid pandemic.  A new pandemic has emerged.  Dubbed “the violence”, it is a disease that causes an individual to black out, go into an extremely violent killing rage, and wake up not remembering a thing.   The story follows the individual journeys of three generations of women as they make their way through the new pandemic and, at times, using it to their advantage in a variety of ways.   I found this a very unique story that did not shy away from showing that most of the world lives behind a façade and violence simmers inside of everyone.   One thing, while I was very sympathetic towards the women and what they endured, I found them rather unlikeable characters.  Not sure if this was something done on purpose by the author or just me.  Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I love The Violence. It took me a few days to get this review together, which is funny because I read the book in two sittings. I normally don't do that, I like to take my time. This hit me on such a core, visceral level. A cathartic release I absolutely wasn't expecting.

The Violence is a disease that triggers uncontrollable murderous instincts in an individual, and an abused housewife sees this as an opportunity. Trigger warnings aplenty, but as a daughter of an abusive household, this novel was riveting. I saw myself in all three of the women, and I loved the theme that intentionally or not, as a victim of abuse you can perpetuate (and break free) from the cycle.

Not a comfortable or comforting read, but worth it nonetheless.
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"Never make yourself smaller to suit someone who wants to feel big." 

TRIGGERS: domestic abuse, physical abuse, gaslighting, animal death, violence, murder, abuse of power, COVID, emotional abuse

Dang this book was CRAZY !!! think... Bird Box meets Big Little Lies meets WWE... yeah that! 
Told from the POV of 3 generations of abused women.... doing whatever they need to, to survive their own personal hell. Add on top of this "the violence" a disease that causes you to black out and literally act insanely violent towards anything or anyone around you... no control. 

This book is about surviving, not only a deadly, violent disease you have no control over.... but also being a survivor of domestic abuse, realizing that you are worth it and no one should ever make you feel less. I loved the character development in this book and how strong and brave each woman was on their own, but also together. It was such a crazy, unique story and a really nice change from a normal thriller... loved it. 

The only thing I would change about this book was the length. it was a bit long and could have been shortened a little I think.. but still a fantastic book !! Highly recommend !!

Thank you Netgalley, Del Ray books and Delilah S Dawson for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Everyone in the world is ready for covid to be over, but what happens when a new virus breaks out, causing black out episodes of violence? Three generations of abused women. A new pandemic that causes people to suddenly become violent. A cycle that needs to finally be broken. Can this be the answer? 
Thank you to Netgalley, Delilah S. Dawson and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read and review this book. First and foremost, there are a lot of triggers in this book, including domestic abuse, death, and the pandemic. This was one amazing book! It was like covid meets The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed seeing the characters growth and development throughout this book. It was a bit lengthy and took me a bit longer to read, but it had a great storyline that held my attention throughout the entire book. Definitely a must read if you're into sci-fi, mystery and a thriller all rolled into one. ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 rating for me!
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This is a powerful personal exorcism of a history of sexual violence which is painfully familiar to all too many people, women in particular.  Set in the not-too-distant future during a second Trump term, the country that barely survived COVID is now suffering through a new pandemic known as The Violence."  Transmitted by mosquitos, the vaccine which both cures and prevents the disease is cost prohibitive for most Americans.  The disease, which appears to predominately plague the powerless, causes its victims to unconsciously commit senseless acts of graphic violence.  The novel focuses on three generations of women who have been physically and emotionally abused by men, who go on their personal journeys to escape and transcend these histories.  The novel's surreal aspects will appeal to fans of The Handmaid's Tale, The Stand, and Kafka's Amerika.  4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  Highly recommended.     

Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for providing me with a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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In a future where the world has only recently moved on from Covid, a new pandemic arises. Those afflicted with this virus ("The Violence") will spontaneously physically lash out at someone, generally resulting in a fatal outcome for the ill person's target. Needless to say, tensions are very high. Against, this backdrop we are following multiple generations of women within the same family and how they cope not only with the pandemic but also with the men in their lives.

What kind of novel is this? While it has a bit of different elements of different genres (thriller, horror, dystopian sci fi), it isn't just one easily nameable genre. Rather, it's ultimately about survival and hope.

Having said that, this book is very much *not* for everyone. The author is extremely up front about that in the very beginning and shares that she is an abuse survivor herself. There is both explicit and implicit violence, including toward animals. It certainly shook me up several times.
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I really tried, and I thought I would like this one, but it just didn't draw me in or keep my interest. It seemed like my kind of thing, but I guess not.
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Difficult to read this while still dealing with COVID variants and lockdown.  The setting is the very near future, post-COVID but still in that recovery phase... and along comes another virus, more virulent and leading towards an anger that leads to blinding violence for a few moments and then?  Shock, horror and dismay they they caused this kind of deletion and mess.  How society reacts to this new problem, and what the stratification of society leads to regarding health and access to the vaccine, are the two major themes.  There's even a whole "running away to join the circus" part and reintegrating with family subplot.

eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.
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What a crazy, violent ride! I loved it! 
The new pandemic is "The Violence" that overcomes people and makes them black out and kill. 
I enjoyed this different novel and read it very quickly. The family dynamics were well explored, loved the ending. 
Thankful for the ARC!
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Thank you Netgalley and Del Rey Publishing for this advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

Wow. This book was intense. Forewarning: there are several triggers in this book, including murder, abuse and animal cruelty which makes it not for everyone. That being said, if you can handle sensitive subject matter, this is a great book.

This book is told in different parts, and through three different perspectives. Three women who have loved through abusive situations. Chelsea, a wife and mother who is severely abused by her husband; Chelsea's mother, Patricia, a cold, uncaring woman who has a strained relationship with her daughter; and Ella, Chelsea's teenage daughter. 

Three years post Covid, the world is swept by a new pandemic known simply as, the Violence, as it causes people to go into a murderous rampage. This is the story of three women trying to brave this new world.

Possible mild spoilers ahead:

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and I really liked the original storyline. It was a clever, early dystopian tale of resilience and strength. It's also a story about a mother's love and the lengths we will go to for our family. As much as I liked this book, I wasn't a huge fan of the Violence Fight Ring. I thought it was a little weird and unrealistic. I understand why it is a part of the story, but I just think it's odd. I also thought the ending was a little too anticlimactic. It was predictable and rushed. Parts of the book seem to drag on, but the end felt hastily put together. There could have been more suspense at the end. All in all, 3.5 stars.
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This started out really good and went downhill. The Violence is a disease that causes people to veg out and violently kill. A societal disease with a commentary on how we treat one another without empathy. I think if the author would have stuck to those who abuse head on, the story could have been powerful. However, it becomes  a circus of sorts and loses its message.  It dragged on too long and the violence to animals seemed excessive.  Not for me.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
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This was definitely a different kind of thriller, at first when I began reading it I thought what have I gotten myself into? And I didn't think I would like at all. But as I read, but i further and got engaged with the characters especially our main character Chelsea and her daughters I really enjoyed it. A new epidemic has begun.. But its called The Violence for people who have it turn violent without warning,, and continue to rampage until they kill.. My apologies to the author it took me a few extra days to read it, but I recommend it as a thrilling  and inspieiing read! I want to read more of Dawson.
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Chelsea Manning flawlessly manages her appearance, immaculate house, and daughters’ schedules, always having a chilled beer for her husband David ready for his nightly homecoming. 

The stakes are high: David punishes any mistake or perceived transgression. Chelsea became resigned to the pain, the bruises, and the self-doubt, but recently David started targeting their seventeen-year-old daughter, Ella. Meanwhile, Ella, in the throes of young love, overlooks how her boyfriend manipulates and controls her. 

Chelsea’s mother, Patricia, who scraped by for years, has finally found financial security married to the Judge, and prefers focusing on appearances, not that she would ever engage in an honest conversation with Chelsea.

The three generations of women seem entrenched in their situations until a new pandemic emerges. Called the Violence, it causes infected to become overcome with rage as they brutally, and usually fatally, attack their target, later having no memory of their actions. 

With vaccines $30,000, most handle the Violence through quarantine, masks, or the government’s hotline. Just a few years post-Covid, everyone is familiar with the routine but the threat of immediate harm provides a greater incentive to cooperate.

At first, Chelsea is as terrified as the rest of the public, but then she sees an opportunity in the chaos for her and her girls to escape David’s unrelenting control. While her plan succeeds, she ultimately needs to seek Patricia‘a help, and Patricia learns that there are some things money can’t solve.

The narrative alternates between Chelsea, Ella, and Patricia as the three are separated, forced to survive as they confront difficult truths about their identities and relationships. As much as this is a pandemic/dystopian book, with the excitement, thrills, and anxiety inherent to them, it is also a family drama and a story about women tapping into the strength they always had. 

I particularly liked the fabulous details providing the novel’s world-building. For example, at different times, the three women pass a flooring shop with misogynistic signs. The scenes showed differences in the women as well as the progression (devolution?) of society. And the Epilogue was not just satisfying but perfect!

TW: Definitely take the title as a trigger warning. The book has violence towards people and animals, domestic abuse, and gore.
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When I first started The Violence I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I kept reading, and I’m so glad I did. The Violence is told through multiple points of view, which takes a minute to appreciate at the beginning. It begins with a random brutal attack in a grocery store. No one is sure what triggered the attack. The only thing they know is that one second the attacker is shopping for groceries, the next they are beating someone to death with a bottle of salad dressing. Once the act is committed the attacker snaps back to themselves and continues shopping like nothing happened. Random acts of violence pop up everywhere after that, and quickly everyone begins to quarantine at home in an attempt to stay safe. 
The story follows multiple generations of a family as they struggle to adapt to the newest pandemic. Chelsea is a stay at home mom who struggles to navigate her husbands shifting moods and his endless demands for perfection. Ella, Chelsea’s daughter, watches her mom prepared to call 911 at a moments notice, while protecting her little sister Brooklyn. Patricia is Chelsea’s mother, and they have an extremely strained relationship. Patricia went from struggling single mom to trophy wife to a prominent judge. The Violence simultaneously tears the family apart and brings them together. All of the women, must find their own way to keep going during the pandemic never knowing who could catch The Violence. 
This will be one of my top reads for the year for sure! Once The Violence sunk its claws into me I was hooked. I had to know how the family would survive and if they would find a way back to each other. 

This book does come with some trigger warnings which the author thoughtfully provides at the beginning of the book. It contains depictions of physical, emotional, and (mild) sexual abuse. There are also descriptions of animal death and graphic violence. Normally animal death is a no go for me but it was tastefully done so that it wasn’t too distressing for me.
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There was a lot about The Violence that was intriguing and pulled me in. Taking place in the near future, a second pandemic has hit - and this time when someone is afflicted they are subject to “storms” - extreme violent outbursts where they can brutally kill with whatever items happen to be nearby and then they come back to themselves and carry on as normal.

We are pulled into the story via 3 generations of women in the same family. Chelsea who is in an abusive marriage, her narcissistic mother Patricia and her teenage daughter Ella. 

There was so much potential here - for a while I really thought this could be a book taught in schools in the future. I wished I was reading it with a book club to discuss especially when I got to lines like this:

“It’s almost funny, how America didn’t take COVID seriously because it was ‘just like the flu,’ but now that a pandemic could result in being beaten to death, they’re a lot more willing to stay home.” 

However this book lost me somewhere in the middle. I feel like I’m just slogging along. This book is 512 pages but I think could have been a really solid 350 page book. I ultimately decided to DNF because I find myself not wanting to pick it back up - which is a shame because I think the messages here are super interesting and I love the writing but this just isn’t for me or at least not right now.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free advance reading copy.
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I just reviewed this on my new site...please read when you get the chance!

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I received an advanced reader copy of The Violence from Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine via NetGalley, in return for my honest opinion.

The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson is a story about self-discovery, survival and family. From the outside Chelsea Martin looks like the perfect housewife, but they don’t know that her husband, David, is abusive. Chelsea and David’s teenage daughter, Ella, is trying to extricate herself from a relationship she doesn’t want to be in. Chelsea’s cold and manipulative mother, Patricia, has reinvented herself many times to prove her worth to society. Chelsea doesn’t know that Ella and Patricia are suffering, she’s just trying to stay alive.

The Violence is a new pandemic, which has arrived shortly after the Covid pandemic. Infected individuals enter a trancelike state where they become enraged and hone in on bringing physical harm to a specific person. While the world descends into chaos, Chelsea hatches a plan to free herself.

This was one a fantastic story that pulls you in right away, has you rooting for the main characters and is filled with girl power. Please note this book is not for everyone as there are some gruesome scenes. The Violence is available now.

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Delilah Dawson’s book The Violence is a very hard book to get through, but an important read for those who have been abused in some way, shape or form. Which probably embodies all of us. But as Dawson writes at the end of the book, “Living well is the best revenge.”.

Chelsea Martin’s life looks perfect on the outside. Perfect husband, two daughters 17-year-old Ella and 5-year-old Brooklyn in a perfect house. Pretending is exhausting. Her husband David physically and emotionally abuses her, he makes sure she has limited money and no access to accounts, he demands they all greet him at the garage door when he comes home from work, the meals they eat are all his favorites, and when he begins to drink at dinner…well… that’s when most of the physical abuse begins, something Chelsea has tried desperately to keep hidden from her children. Unfortunately, David has set his sights on Ella and now Chelsea fears everything is escalating.

David’s best friends are a police officer and a lawyer, so Chelsea’s escape seems unattainable. Her mother, Patricia, is a self-absorbed, egotistic woman who cares only about herself and money. After an abhorrent childhood, and abusive relationship, she feels she is due the wealth and security she now has with her husband who is a judge. Yes, so she has seen her only daughter Chelsea with a few bruises, but she believes Chelsea should just try harder to make her marriage work. And help her leave financially? Well, that’s just not her problem. Chelsea’s children are spoiled as it is.

But Chelsea begins to finally see a way out of this abuse. After the Covid pandemic, another type of sickness has begun. It seems to have started in Florida where they live. No one knows how, but people are being affected. They are calling it the Violence because it causes a person infected to explode into a horrible rage physically mutilating anyone around them, be it person or animal. Then, the rage leaves and the infected has no idea of what they have just done.

Chelsea devises a scheme to get David out of their lives. And it works, but the real problems truly begin when she goes to her mother, Patricia to ask for help because she has no money and needs to get out of Florida. Patricia refuses to help her but agrees to take her children. Left with no choice she leaves them with her uncaring mother, promising she will come back for them.

But this is a pandemic like no other and through no fault of anybody their lives take separate paths. And then David comes back and wants to get his revenge on them all. Each of them will be challenged in ways they could never imagine. They have three options, fight for themselves, fight for each other or fight together against both the Violence and David. Can these women finally face their pasts and create a new future?

This is a powerful story about generational abuse and how it is possible to break the cycle by strength, love and forgiveness. Again, living well IS the best revenge.

Thank you #NetGalley #DelRay #DelilahS.Dawson #TheViolene for the advanced copy.
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I really wanted to like The Violence, but it wasn't for me. The premise is incredibly intriguing, but I found reading to be a bit of a slog. I made it 25% into the book but am giving up. The characters seemed a little superficially written and the story didn't grab me. Some of the actions seemed incredibly far-fetched. I might have stuck it out a little longer had the book been shorter, but at around 500 pages, it doesn't seem worth it. 

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I thought this was pretty good. It took a turn in a direction I didn’t think it would take but I still enjoyed the ride. Scary to think of during Covid.
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