Cover Image: The Violence

The Violence

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Member Reviews

What if Covid finally went away but a new virus showed up? A new virus where instead of you getting deathly ill, your illness causes you to bring death upon someone else?⁣
This book takes place in the near future where this is exactly what is going on in the world. It’s hard to not say too much and give anything away but the book revolves around three generations of women who need to reinvent themselves to survive, literally, in this new reality. ⁣
It’s different and unexpected and funny and surprising and sad and thoughtful and will most likely make you angry at parts. Even those characters not infected by the violence still behave pretty damn badly. ⁣
I found myself trying to read whenever I had a few free minutes. This wasn't a book that I read because I had to (even thought I got it for free in exchange for an honest review.) Its a book that I kept picking up because I wanted to see what happens next. I highly recommend this one.
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This really surprised me. It is so outside my comfort zone, but something about the blurb just intrigued me.

Chelsea's husband is a jerk. Everything has to be his way. Especially when he's been drinking. It's one thing to treat her bad, but she's starting to worry about her daughters. What if they make him mad? She has to leave. But she has nowhere to go. Her husband has made sure she has no friends, only him. Her mom is too busy with all of her rich friends and vacations. What can she do?

There have been some crazy news stories about this new disease called the Violence. Apparently people just go nuts and beat other people to death. Could this be Chelsea's way out?

This is a story about generations of abuse. Whether it's physical or mental, it's abuse. It's a story about ending the cycle. It's about the differences between the rich and the poor. It's about a horrible government. So many different things are addressed in this book.

My thoughts on this book changed so many times. But I found myself completely invested in the characters. I thought it was great.
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I loved this book. It's a crazy story but a great one. Its definitely not your typical psychological thriller book and that's what makes it so great. 
It goes from your typical domestic violence story to surviving a second pandemic. The disease is not as deadly as Covid but in some ways is even worse as people are dying but in violent ways. Imagine getting a disease that literally makes you kill the first person you see. Then you snap out of it with no memory of the assault at all. 
One of the hardest scenes to read was when Chelsea killed Olaf and when Brooklyn attacked Patricia. 
Overall I loved the book, but would offer one suggestion. I did notice several grammar mistakes throughout the book.  
Thank you to NetGalley for granting me an ARC of this book, it was a great read.
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"In violence, we forget who we are." -Mary McCarthy

Well, well, well, what do we have here? This book was a gem - a very violent gem! You need the stomach for it, but if you have it, you will most likely enjoy this one. A plague which causes random bouts of blackout violence is sweeping across the nation. If you have it, you must turn yourself and be sent to quarantine.

Chelsea Martin is married to her high school sweetheart. They have two daughters and looking in from the outside, things look copasetic. But their house is not a happy one. Chelsea and her oldest daughter, Ella walk on eggshells. Her husband is abusive and has controlled everything in her life. Then a terrible, horrible illness begins to sweep the nation...

Chelsea turns to her image-is-the-most-important-thing mother, Patricia for help. Most mothers would be sympathetic. Most would open their doors with open arms. Patricia is not like most mothers.

The synopsis drew me in and after reading a couple of pages, I was onboard but put this aside to finish some other books, when I came back to reading this, I was reminded how much I enjoyed the first few pages. AS the pages move along, one might think "too soon" after Covid, as well as seeing similarities - quarantine, masks, vaccine, etc. I didn't mind and enjoyed how this book went a little over the top at times. Am I the only one who got vibes of The Walking Dead and Contagion while reading this?

I found this book to be well written, compelling, entertaining, and hard to put down. There are some things in her which will be difficult to read -domestic violence, harm to animals, and violent attacks. Again, not everyone is going to be able to stomach this book.

This was such a well thought out and executed book. It's slightly over 500 pages but this book never felt long. While reading, I kept thinking "this would make a great movie!"

Gripping. Violent. Hard to put down.

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This book took me a bit to get into. Chelsea Martin appears to have the perfect life but her husband is a violent man who terrorizes the entire family. Then a plague that causes infected people to become extremely violent spreads throughout the world.  Chelsea has nowhere to turn but sees The Violence as a potential way out. After the explosive introduction, the story dragged until about halfway through. The characters were not particularly likeable except for Brooklyn, Chelsea's youngest daughter. The ending was predictable but once Chelsea makes her decision it is at least entertaining. I did appreciate the author's political digs although I could see this offending some readers. Overall I would say it was a decent story about a second more terrifying pandemic but some of the family story gets in the way.
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This is a story about all the women who were never violent. 28 days later meets Glow!

I liked this book. It was uncomfortable, and the characters don’t immediately endear themselves to the audience… but ultimately I cried & cheered. For a book about a pandemic, it was surprisingly funny, and the violence as safety concept in the pages has an uncomfortable edge of relatability at points.

Thank you so much Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey for the eArc!
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This was an interesting read and a mixed bag for me. The book has flashes of true brilliance, and is insanely creative with an awesome and thought-provoking message. Ultimately though the story got a little too bogged down in pandemic zombie-style violence for my tastes. But I enjoyed the intriguing read and am very interested to see what else the author produces.

The book is about a new post-COVID pandemic called The Violence - in which afflicted people suddenly have bursts of terrible brutality, attacking whoever is near. This book was at its very best when it used its sci-fi structure for social commentary. I felt actual chills when a character who had been for years experiencing domestic violence decided to turn her husband in for being afflicted by The Violence - when in reality, her husband was just a regular everyday domestic abuser (which the society in the book, similar to our current one, doesn’t really view as a serious problem, as opposed to a virus). I also really liked what the book had to say about us as a society and how violence is a part of everyday American life. What I didn’t like as well is where the book went plot-wise in the second half. There is also a lot of brutality in the book, which I understand and agree is necessary to make the point the book is making, but also a difficult read at times. Also the focus on the youngest kid, Brooklyn, didn’t work as well for me as the earlier focus on the adult characters.

A very interesting and ambitious effort from a talented writer that didn’t quite work for me plot-wise, but a worthy read and I’ll be extremely interested to see what Delilah Dawson writes next, and will definitely read it. 3.5 stars.

With thanks to Random House, NetGalley and the author for the ARC.
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Page-turning  thriller in post-COVID times where a new pandemic takes hold called The Violence cause hose infected to “storm” I.e.  brutally kill whoever is nearest to them. Very well done and ultimately an empowering messsage.
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This was a 5-star read for hooking me from the beginning and keeping me drawn in until the end. 

The Violence is an incredible novel that combines the story of a woman's struggle with domestic violence with the story of a new pandemic sweeping the world.  When someone becomes infected with the virus, they suddenly snap, brutally attacking, before coming out of a trance-like state and back to reality, having no memory of what happened.  Hence, the name of the virus, The Violence.  While this is definitely gruesome, the author writes about it in a way that is matter of fact, and weaves it into the storyline of Chelsea and her family in a way that works. 

Chelsea is the mother of two girls, a seventeen year old named Ella, and a five year old named Brooklyn.  David, Chelsea's husband, is a violent and controlling spouse.  Her mother, Patricia, is cold and emotionally distant, so Chelsea feels trapped and alone.  Then, the new pandemic hits and she wonders if she has found a solution after all.

While a novel centering on domestic abuse is a trigger for many, it is an important story to be written.  The author writes with heart, from a place of intimate knowledge on the subject, and draws the reader in to the story so they can truly understand how easy it is to become trapped in an abusive situation.  This is a beautifully written novel, about women's empowerment and facing trauma head on. 
One of my favorite quotes from the book is from a character named Arlene  "...trauma doesn't mean you're broken... it becomes a part of you, and if you can face it and shake hands with it and find a way to move on together, you'll always be better off than people who shove theirs down..."   This resonates strongly with me as we all have had trauma in our lives and this quote is an encouragement to face that trauma head on. 

Thank you to #NetGalley and #DelRay for an ARC of #TheViolence by #DelilahS.Dawson in exchange for an honest review.
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Out now! [Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a free eARC in exchange for an honest review!]

Rating: 5/5 stars (my first 5 star read of 2022!)

THE VIOLENCE is the story of a fictional pandemic that turns its victims into mindless murderers, and an intergenerational story of domestic violence and trauma told from the alternating perspectives of a grandmother, mother, and daughter.

We’re only 36 days into the year, but I feel pretty confident saying that this book will end up one of my favorite reads of 2022. It isn’t for the faint of heart (please see content/trigger warnings below and research them carefully beforehand if you have any concerns—bottom line, read this one with care) but it manages to be both a propulsive and heart-pounding gory thriller and a warm-hearted (and almost, at times, quirky) story about finding (or reinventing) yourself in the aftermath of trauma. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, equal parts horrified and touched, and always in awe at Dawson’s writing, which managed to be alternately hilarious and poetic, filled with both deep truths and moments of much needed levity. I could go on, but honestly I don’t know that the words exist to convey how much this one resonated with me. Go read it as soon as you possibly can!

Recommended for anyone, but especially those who like: revenge stories; feminist narratives; zombie/apocalypse fiction (this isn’t really a zombie story but it definitely felt like one a few times!)

CW: Violence in pretty much every form, including extremely heavy discussions of various forms of domestic/family abuse; graphic depictions of animal and human death; pandemic, both fictional and the current reality.
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The year is 2025, a few years after COVID, Ruth Belmont of Land O'Lakes, Florida, is whopping at a store, she is a peaceful, religious grandmother.  As she is putting a tub of mayonnaise in her cart, she drops it, and picks a large glass bottle of salad dressing and beats a 24 yr old woman to death.  She places the bottle of dressing back on the shelf, picks another and continues shopping.  This is the first recorded incident of the Violence.  Where people are infected by mosquitoes and "rage" during a blackout state.  They focus on one person and their only focus is on one person to beat to death.  A vaccine is available but only if you can afford it.

Chelsea is a woman that has been beaten down for years by her abusive husband.  She fears for the safety of her daughters, teenager Ella and 5 year old Brooklyn,  When the Violence touches their lives, Chelsea takes the opportunity to be free of her husband.  Chelsea goes to her mother for help, but Patricia has no interest in helping her.  Patricia is married to a judge, and lives in a gated community, and is more interested in keeping up appearances than helping Chelsea, or taking any interest in her granddaughters.  She is the last person Chelsea wants to go to for help but she is the only person she can go to.  Chelsea is met with one of the biggest challenges in her life, learn to believe in herself and find her strength and courage to survive and save her daughters.  Each of the Martin girls goes through their own self-discovery during this plague.  

The author does put a trigger warning at the beginning of the book for domestic and sexual abuse.  I am a survivor of both and it was not triggering for me at all, but everyone is different.  This book had a dystopian feel to it, which I enjoyed as I went through a time when all I read was Dystopian novels.  Chelsea was not only fighting for her life but the inner battle of finding herself again.  She reflects on what she gave up for her husband and how he started grooming her back in their high school days.  I enjoyed the self-refection that Patricia, Chelsea and Ella undergo, as I think many who have undergone trauma do.  Chelsea, like many abused women, feels very alone and doesn't feel she has any place to turn to for help.  I will think about this book for a long time, not just about the domestic violence aspect but how society is.  

Thank you to Random House Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced ecopy in exchange for an honest review.  Delilah S Dawson is an author that will be kept on my radar.
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Ms Dawson has found a niche in writing sci-fi horror with her development of both the characters and how this mysterious Violence pandemic affects the people.  In all too realistic accounting she defines the issues surrounding this pandemic based on the exact same things that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to be in the not too distant past.  A president not invested in getting help to those stricken and knowing there is a vaccine but only for those who can afford it, is understably realistic.  The story revolves around a family where the women in it are all victims of abuse prior to the Violence.  And in a twist, the Violence allows them to break free of that, but at what expense?  We follow three generations of women as they navigate the danger they find themselves caught up in and learn their own strengths.  The back-story of Chelsea, her mother Patricia, and her daughters Ella and Brooklyn is told through as they learn the importance of family and deal with past demons.  While this was a tough read at times with the violence portrayed, it was still an interesting read. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing-Ballentine for the opportunity to read and review this advance reader copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  #NetGalley  #TheViolence
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This was such an interesting, unique book. After COVID there is another plaque called the Violence that is from mosquito bites. It causes the person to black out and kill someone without any memory of it. There is a vaccine but only available to the very rich. Chelsea and her daughters live in an abusive home and find the Violence provides opportunity to change their circumstances. The wrestling gig she ends up with is random but it provides her with security and a family that's she has always needed. There are some graphic scenes and animal violence do be aware of that. It also touches on some political issues and the way COVID was handled. Overall, it was intriguing but I will say it was a little too long. I appreciated the authors note in the beginning. It sounds like this was very cathartic for her. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC for an honest review.
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After the covid pandemic has calmed down a new disease has taken warm hot climates by storm. Carried by mosquitoes if you get it you will go into a violent rage and kill.  There is a vaccine but only for the rich. 

The story is told between Chelsea, her oldest daughter Ella and her mother Patricia. None of these characters are likable. 

I think this book started out super strong and the only reason why I finished it. But when Chelsea joins an underground wrestling traveling circus…..I couldn’t take the book seriously after that. I know this is a dystopian like novel but others aren’t so cheesy. 

I literally skimmed the last 30% of the book just to see how it ended. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy!
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I loved this so much, but I could have done without all the jabs to the president. That made me want to stop mid way through and not pick the book back up but I pushed through and even with all that I really enjoyed it.
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It’s 2025.  The world has struggled through Covid and is on the other side when a new pandemic arises: a mosquito-borne pathogen known as The Violence (big V) that causes a blinding, uncontrollable rage in the infected, which invariably results in the brutal death of the target.

This story is told through the lens of three women – Chelsea, her daughter Ella, and Chelsea’s mother Patricia – who are no strangers to violence (little v).  They have suffered through generational trauma of physical, emotional, and financial abuse.  Now they’re trying to navigate an even more violent reality – but could the horrific new virus actually be their ticket out of their domestic nightmares?

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting from “The Violence”, but wow!  The plot is ingenious and slightly over-the-top but in a way that feels totally plausible too.  It definitely delivers on the horror aspect, but there’s so much more to it.  It’s graphic and hard to read at times, but I’d argue that’s necessary given the subject matter.  It’s also a dysfunctional family drama that explores themes of abuse, misogyny, class disparity, and self-discovery.  The characters’ development and their arcs toward strength and empowerment are outstanding.  If feminist horror is your thing, you’ll definitely enjoy this novel!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an advance copy of this book.
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Originally I was going to decline to provide feedback on this one because I did not finish it and did not get very far into it. But then I realized I was doing the author a disservice this way, so decided to leave my feedback anyway. And yes, 4 stars despite a DNF - and that's entirely on the strength of the writing. 

This book is clear up front on what it's subject matter is. It is about violence. It is specifically about domestic violence. I knew that going in certainly, and yet was still stunned cold by how explicit and aggressive and disturbing the portrayals of violence were. But that's precisely why I want to leave a review - the writing in this book is absolutely phenomenal and the proof of that is that I couldn't read it. The descriptions are so vivid and the menacing sense of dread that pervades every page is so intense that I literally felt sick to my stomach while reading. I was so completely absorbed that it hurt. 

I couldn't finish it. I could barely read 10%. But this is a powerful book and if you can manage it, the writing is unbelievably vivid and the plot a fascinating one. I cannot talk to how it plays out because as I said I did not get very far. But that is on me and absolutely not on the author. She does an amazing job here, coming from a place of incredible violence in her own life, which she references in the opening pages, and it is a powerful thing that she's done. It was just one that I personally could not read...
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The Violence takes on what is sure to be a controversial topic with a story about a post-pandemic illness that causes it's victims to perform acts of extreme violence. I thought it was interesting to think about violence in abuse in this manner, so I took a chance on this title.

It's clear from the start this book is going to be one trigger warning after another, and that was certainly the case. There's plenty of abuse and violence in detail, and it didn't always work for me in the story. It's not just about the Violence illness, it's about broader systemic abuse. Sometimes enough is enough.

Overall, I thought it was a creative and yet fanciful (in a negative way) story of how abuse shapes a person. At least that's what I got out of it. There's a bit of a thriller and dark intensity in there too, but this is definitely a book you need to be in the mood for.
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Huge amount of thanks to NetGalley and del Rey publishing for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my opinion.
Y’all! This is NOT one to pass on! Typically I don’t like to read about pandemic/epidemic type scenarios, particularly given present times. However, I’m glad I didn’t pass on this. 
We have three generations of women that were, or are currently, being abused. We have a epidemic that causes raging violence seemingly out of the blue. It becomes worldwide and the trio of grandmother, mother, and daughter find a way to adapt and survive. 
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I was hooked almost from the first page, and I was pleasantly surprised throughout the book. 
Definitely add this one to your tbr
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This is a tough one. 

It took me a while to get invested in this story, I honestly was only rooting for Ella for most of the story.  About midway though I finally stopped hate reading Chelsea and Patty's chapters.  Then I was very invested!

It may be pandemic burnout but I was hoping for more?

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for an eARC copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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