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Monday, March 7, 2022

Review: The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson #ATBR2022

The Violence
by Delilah S. Dawson 
Narrated by Hillary Huber

A huge thanks to PRHAudio and Del Rey Books for these gifted copies.

Publisher: Del Rey Books & Random House Audio
Publish Date: February 1, 2022
18hrs 22 min
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Three generations of abused women must navigate their chilling new reality as a mysterious epidemic of violence sweeps the nation in this compelling novel of self-discovery, legacy, and hope.

When Chelsea Martin kisses her husband hello at the door of their perfect home, a chilled bottle of beer in hand and dinner on the table, she may look like the ideal wife, mother, and homemaker - but in fact, she’s following an unwritten rulebook, carefully navigating David’s stormy moods in a desperate nightly bid to avoid catastrophe. If family time doesn’t go exactly the way David wants, bad things happen - to Chelsea, and to the couple’s 17-year-old daughter, Ella. Cut off from all support, controlled, and manipulated for years, Chelsea has no resources and no one to turn to. Her wealthy, narcissistic mother, Patricia, would rather focus on the dust on her chandelier than acknowledge Chelsea’s bruises. After all, Patricia’s life looks perfect on the surface, too.

But the façade crumbles when a mysterious condition overtakes the nation. Known as the Violence, it causes the infected to experience sudden, explosive bursts of animalistic rage and attack anyone in their path. The ensuing chaos brings opportunity for Chelsea - and inspires a plan to liberate herself and her family once and for all. 

My Review:

You think COVID is bad, wait until you get THE VIOLENCE.  Welcome to the post-COVID world where anyone can get THE VIOLENCE.  A disease that causes its victim to kill whomever is in their way.  They have no recollection of it and come out of an episode in a haze.  If you're reported with The Violence, then you're sent to a camp.  You want to vaccine?  That'll be $10,000 please and thank you.  'Cause you know, we ALL have that kind of money hanging around.  Once again, the world helps the rich... sounds all too familiar, eh?

While this disease is definitely a major point of the story and plays its own part, the main focus is on Chelsea's family dynamic and what they are enduring.  While it may seem much for three generations to go through the same abuse... it's also quite truthful in how the dynamics we see as children can bleed into our adult lives.  I fell in love with the kids, Ella and Brooklyn and my favorite arc was of a character I won't mention but that I was happy to see.

Now, regardless of the title, I didn't think there was *too* much violence within the pages - at least not for the 500+ pages that we get.  But I also read a lot of horror so my idea of a lot of violence is probably different than yours.  Not to say that some scenes may shock you so those with a low tolerance may find it a bit gruesome.  I did kind of have to laugh at the VFR - which is basically pro wrestling for those with The Violence and while that might have been a little shark jumpy, let's be real - I could absolutely see people doing this because unfortunately... that is how this world works.

The narrator was amazing and for such a long book, I was riveted from the very beginning and well worth the 18+ hours of listening.  Come for The Violence, stay for all the underlying themes and domestic suspense.


Jessica's Review:

When picking up THE VIOLENCE by Delilah S. Dawson, I will say that I was mildly intimidated due the 500+ pages and most books I read lately are in the 300 page range. Let me tell you, don’t let it deter you from starting because it went by so fast! There weren’t any lulls and everything had its purpose in the book – which is refreshing because a lot of times longer books can usually cut out some unnecessary things.

We have a new virus sweeping the nation being called The Violence. Why is it called that? Well, those infected with it can go into bouts of intense rage and can kill anyone that gets in their way then they wake up from a haze. Meanwhile, we meet Chelsea and her family. For multiple generations they have been stuck in a horrible cycle of abuse but this new virus might be presenting a unique opportunity for Chelsea and her kids. I think the synopsis gives the perfect amount of information without spoiling anything.

I loved the writing and this is so different from the other books I’ve read with Dawson cowriting (the Tales of Pell series, which is a fun series of funny fairytale adventures). If you’re not a fan of gore and blood then this might not be for you, because I feel like it’s pretty obvious to say there are some violent and gruesome scenes. I can’t wait for more from Dawson!

5 stars

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