Cover Image: An Ordinary Violence

An Ordinary Violence

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Member Reviews

I was excited to receive an ARC of this title. The idea for the story sounded so intriguing but the story moved so slowly and timelines muddled the story. There were times when I was just ready for it be over. I appreciate the intent, it did not land well.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Deeply moving, disturbing, and magnificent. Extreme well written, it feels as if you're drowning in a foggy sort of madness along with Dawn, the main character. The sheer raw nature of the storyline is dread inducing, it starts out with subtle foreshadowing then just ramps up to pure horror. Chartrand knows how to create an absolute psychological terror and keep the reader enthralled until the very last page. The real horror comes from the very human emotions that are at times uncontrollable and the weight of guilt that occurs after tragedy. This is raw, visceral, and real life horror. I cannot recommend it enough!

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Extremely intriguing. Loved the premise and the writing style. Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys horror/thriller.

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I had high expectations for "An Ordinary Violence," being a fan of horror books, but unfortunately, it didn't resonate with me.

The protagonist, Dawn, receiving messages from her deceased mother, returns to her hometown, where her brother, Cody, recently released from prison for a violent crime, reenters the picture with Tyler, a friend from prison. The 272-page book unfolds slowly, incorporating flashbacks to narrate parts of the story and introducing a supernatural element.

Despite its unique and atmospheric qualities, much of the narrative felt elusive, leading me to re-read sections in an attempt to grasp the storyline. Unfortunately, I struggled to form a connection with the characters or immerse myself in the unfolding events. By the time the supernatural element took center stage, the book had already lost me.

While some readers may appreciate the darkness and atmosphere, I found that this particular type of horror book didn't align with my preferences. The pacing contributed to the sense that the book felt longer than its 272 pages, and the narrative complexity left me feeling detached.

It's worth noting that many readers enjoyed the book, but personal preferences play a significant role in one's enjoyment of horror literature. As the description accurately indicates, "An Ordinary Violence" is dark, but for me, it fell short in terms of engagement and connection.

I want to express my gratitude to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. While this might not have been my ideal horror read, I acknowledge that individual preferences vary, and others may find elements to appreciate in the narrative that didn't resonate with me. All thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.

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I can't categorize this book, couldn't even if my life depended on it. I'd say it was character driven rather than.plot driven, but only because I'm unsure what the plot was, exactly. DAWNS Criminal brother, Cody, his criminal friend, and a few neighbors are doing a thing. What is the thing? Dunno. Why do the thing? Dunno. Why does thing fail? Dunno Repercussions? None, apparently. There a few weird incidents but admittedly Dawn was wasted 90% of the time, so who can say. Her dead mom pops in occasionally to drop a few words that are generally less than helpful. Dawns character arc culminates in her getting a job and an apartment. So...lessons were learned. I guess. Anyway, it was a book length document with some people.

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There's so much in AN ORDINARY VIOLENCE that I enjoyed, but it ultimately had me asking WAY more questions than I thought necessary. Following Dawn, a mixed indigenous woman, who finds herself back in her small town after a few years in the city, the audience quickly realizes that she is... not okay. She sees things and hears her dead mother speaking to her, and all gets significantly worse when her brother returns from prison. It's implied that her brother, Cory, has done something terrible in the past, and we spend much of the book slowly revealing what, and why, it happened.

I liked Adriana Chartrand's engagement with the various degrees of violence that exist against women and indigenous people. Whether it's interpersonal or systemic, there is an extra weight that people like our character Dawn must carry -- a weight that can ultimately feel crushing. Moments of this book were very spooky, and I enjoyed how Chartrand wrote the horror elements to build increasingly alongside Dawn's disconnection from reality. But, to me, horror needs to build towards some type of answer or conclusion that makes sense, within its contexts, and that felt completely missing from the pages.

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Well that was unsettling. This book was definitely outside my normal wheelhouse in that I don't typically read horror. I found that it left me a little unsatisfied at the end, but I did really enjoy the read overall. The story is intriguing and kept me guessing. The main character's back story was interesting, and I almost enjoyed it more than the present day story, but that could have been because the present day was so creepy. Chartrand does build an excellent amount of tension throughout which is not entirely released by then end. I do think it was worth the read, and I would recommend it especially to readers who like something a bit out of the ordinary.

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Fantastic book about grief, violence, and how they can consume us. Creepy atmosphere with a very compelling main character and a narrative that touches on the experience and treatment of Native women in Canada. Just beautiful!

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Thank you for approving me for the title. Unfortunately I just could not get in to this read and that is completely okay. I know others will LOVE this book. It just wasn’t meant for me :)

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing a review copy.

I spent an insane amount of time reading this book. If I was lucky, I would pick it up, read a few pages, maybe a chapter, and then put it back down. In theory, the plot sounded cool, in reality, there is barely any plot and the entire thing is character-driven. It moved so slowly that it was painful. The most engaging parts were flashbacks which were not enough of the book.

I feel bad for disliking this book, I do. I would have DNF'ed if it wasn't an arc. This book fits my reading preferences, so I can't even say I wasn't the target audience. I saw a review on StoryGraph that said it was a cosmetic horror. Going into it with that mindset would probably help but I'm not 100% convinced that would be the case.

I'm not sure how a book that is character-driven has characters that fall so flat that you don't even learn much about them. I ended this book with not a single connection to a character, an understanding of everyone's purpose. Not to mention, the random one-off POV change at ~84% of the book was an interesting choice. It didn't even add anything. Dawn could have overheard all of that information when Cody was being filled in or something.

Overall, this was a teeth-pulling experience. It should not have taken almost a month to read a less than 300-page book (at my reading speed, definitely not shaming anyone who may take that long).

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the e-arc.

This book is my kind of horror. Slow burn, cosmic and so bleak!! Adriana Chartrand’s style of writing is beautiful and so dark!! There’s a scene that gave me goosebumps. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m looking forward to reading more books from this author!

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Some author's and their writing just click with me. There is no pre-determined formula, it is merely happenstance and highly random. Chartrand's voice just resonated with me. I found the writing style, austerely atmospheric setting, and our main character-Dawn-to be absolutely compelling and beautifully conveyed.

The plot drove me through the story and I was impelled to figure out what was going on with the eerie and doom-like feeling that clung to Dawn once she returned home. The slow build towards the conclusion made this cosmic horror with an underlying commentary on Dawn's Indigenous roots an absolute pleasure and delight to experience.

The only con is that Adriana Chartrand does not have any other published books for me to move, until then, this definitely goes on my 'read again' book list.

Thank you to House of Anansi Press Inc. via NetGalley for allowing me to respond to this book with my honest opinions.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, I have to DNF this books. I really thought I would like it, as I usually love horror books written by Native authors. But the writing style of this book just was not easy to read at all, and I really think it needed more editing.

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Unfortunately, I don’t think this was the horror book for me. There were a lot of flashbacks and I felt like I was getting lost. The supernatural element was interesting but didn’t seem completely flushed out. This book was very atmospheric which I did enjoy. Maybe this one just went over my head

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*thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review*

I went into this with high hopes because Indigenous Horror is one of my favourite sub genres. But I felt left down in this. It took me way too long to read, and I wasn’t satisfied after reading it like I usually am with Indigenous Horror. It’s a shame because the cover is so pretty.

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I am not sure how I feel about this gorgeous book. It was weird. I love books where the protagonist is forced to go back to their hometown. I think I have friends who would love this but I am maybe not smart enough for this. Of course, I do have Covid. I might want to give this another read when my brain is working again.

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I'm an absolute SUCKER for a horror story gone horribly wrong and I am so thankful to Adriana Chartrand, House of Anansi Press, and Netgalley for granting me advanced access to this behemoth before it came out on October 31, 2023.

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Dawn begins to create a life for herself away from her family in the city. But she never quite settles in and rushes back to her father’s house after a violent incident. Her arrival coincides with her brother’s release from prison. This may be her chance to reconnect with her brother, but he isn’t alone—he’s brought a stranger home with him. Together, the two men are involved in something unsettling—Dawn doesn’t know the details, but the signs that something is wrong are there.

🐈‍⬛ The cover and title were irresistible. I had no choice but to read this after seeing it.

🕯️This is a very bleak book. Moments of levity or comfort are rare.

💀 The structure is quite jumbled. As a reader, you are dragged through different moments in time and different mental states from the main character. Chartrand is very intentional about this, and I think it really adds to the reading experience.

🍁There are a lot of layers to this story, and you could easily pick a lens or question to consider as you read. I enjoyed thinking about the concept of an “ordinary violence” and ownership of stories.

🎃 I liked this, but I wanted a little more from it. From my reading experience, I think it would have done better with an additional revision to tighten the story and more consistently weave the spooky elements throughout. There are so many different things going on in this story that it’s difficult to follow the threads at times. I like the ideas in it, but I felt like it didn’t quite reach the heights it could have.

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"An Ordinary Violence" left me feeling disconnected and somewhat lost in its narrative. The writing style didn't resonate with me, and the use of flashbacks to tell the story made it challenging to follow. This structural choice left me feeling disoriented and struggling to piece together the plot. Additionally, the pacing felt lethargic, and not enough seemed to be happening to maintain my interest. While every reader's preferences are unique, this particular book didn't align with my taste, making it a less enjoyable read for me.

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Thank you NetGalley, Adriana Chartrand, and Spiderline for an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I had to DNF this novel around the 30% mark. Although the writers style may connect with others, it just didn’t connect with me.

This is a very bleak story that uses flashbacks to fill in the blanks. It was also a bit hard for me to follow.

I really love the cover of this book and I am good with a slow burn horror but this one was just too slow for my taste.

Overall, I’ve seen good reviews for this book & I was really hoping to like it as indigenous horror novels have always been able to catch my attention but it just fell flat for me. But just because this isn’t for me doesn’t mean others won’t find it enjoyable!

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