Talk about a doorstopper!
Thanks to Del Rey for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews
THE VIOLENCE – Delilah S. Dawson (Released February 1st, 2022)
A mysterious plague that causes random bouts of violence is sweeping the nation. Now three generations of women must navigate their chilling new reality in this moving exploration of identity, cycles of abuse, and hope
Chelsea Martin appears to be the perfect housewife: married to her high school sweetheart, the mother of two daughters, keeper of an immaculate home.
But Chelsea’s husband has turned their house into a prison; he has been abusing her for years, cutting off her independence, autonomy, and support. She has nowhere to turn, not even to her narcissistic mother, Patricia, who is more concerned with maintaining the appearance of an ideal family than she is with her daughter’s actual well-being. And Chelsea is worried that her daughters will be trapped just as she is–then a mysterious illness sweeps the nation.
Known as The Violence, this illness causes the infected to experience sudden, explosive bouts of animalistic rage and attack anyone in their path. But for Chelsea, the chaos and confusion the virus causes is an opportunity–and inspires a plan to liberate herself from her abuser.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars
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.
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
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!