Review: The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

I'm back with a 2.5 star review. Sorry in advance 😬 

The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

Released February 1, 2022

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Bookshop

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 home 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--until 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. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

This book is filled with gaslighting and horrible men doing the horrible things some of them do and that’s before the “Violence” plague even hits them.

There’s a long setup as we learn about the trio featured in the book. Mother, daughter, and teen granddaughter - all dealing with the terrible, horrible, awful men in their lives. It was hard to read. I’m not even going to try to pretend otherwise and shrug it off. I read so many dark things but I don’t like immersing myself in that kind of realistic thing for too long and this felt as if I were sitting in it for a very long time before things started to turn around. I don’t think it’s the fault of the book. I think it’s more the fault of our current society which allows this sort of thing to go unchecked and allows women who speak out to get shamed for it and then we have the current state of the news which is 100% awful and getting worse every day. So yeah, a book called “The Violence” was probably a bad choice for me at this current moment in time. Guess it’s a case of “it’s me, not the book”. But I didn't enjoy most of it very much and that's the honest truth.

With that said, things did turn around eventually but there were a few things that would’ve still dragged the read down for me because I didn’t feel they worked all that well. I loved the imperfect characters but some of the plot turns and decisions were odd. When a character joins up with a WWE-like fight club and they are immediately all kinds of successful I could not suspend my disbelief enough to buy it. I have wrestling fans in this house who love that stuff and I know it takes years and years of hard work to get good at it without breaking your body so none of this rang true to me and it felt so odd and so out of place. It seemed like a very weird way to gain your power back if you ask me.

Anyhow, I guess that’s what happens when a book isn’t entirely working for me. I start to pick things to shreds so I’ll just stop talking here.

I’m giving this a 2.5 I'd bump it up to a 3 but that wouldn't be honest because I didn't truly "like it" and in the end forced myself through it. Sometimes it's best to quit things.

Content Warning: 

⭐⭐ 1/2

If you just can't get enough of violence plagues, you might want to check out these violent & action-filled films 🠋

About Delilah. S. Dawson

Delilah S. Dawson is the New York Times-bestselling author of Star Wars: Phasma, Black Spire: Galaxy's Edge, and The Perfect Weapon. With Kevin Hearne, she writes the Tales of Pell. As Lila Bowen, she writes the Shadow series, beginning with Wake of Vultures. Her other books include the Blud series, the Hit series, and Servants of the Storm.

She's written comics in the worlds of Marvel Action: Spider-Man, Lore's Wellington, Star Wars Adventures, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, The X-Files Case Files, Adventure Time, Rick and Morty, and her creator-owned comics include Star Pig, Ladycastle, and Sparrowhawk.
Find out more at


  1. Aw sorry this was a bit of a bummer. I get that authors often want to make the realistic bits... well, realistic and set the stage, but sometimes it's too much. Especially in these times, like you said. When I read the synopsis though I was like ooh is she going to use the plague as an excuse to clean this dude out? lol

    That first content warning- yeah that's ridiculous. I hate stuff like that.

    1. There's been so much of it lately in horror/thrillers. I can't stomach it any more.

  2. I'm glad you're back! I'm just sorry this book was so...unlikable and disappointing. And dog stomping? That's awful!

  3. Sorry to hear this book didn't work for you but I don't think it would work for me either.

    1. Yeah, it wasn't good escapism for me that's for sure.

  4. Well, you gave it a try. On to the next!

  5. I'm having a hard time with excessive violence and bullying right now. I can usually handle violence but I just think real life is so full of it and I want to escape it in my entertainment now.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. I switched over to romances for a little bit to give myself a break.


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