I received violet black from Penguin NZ, through a giveaway on the Turning Pages Instagram, in exchange for an honest review.

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Star Rating:

violet black is a book set in the near distant future, not long after covid 19, where anti vaxxers caused issues with previously handled diseases to come back harder than before, resulting in “m-fever”. m-fever has an extremely high death rate compared to other diseases, however those that survived have started to notice some changes.

i had some conflicting thoughts prior to starting violet black. i’ve read one of the authors previous books, and enjoyed it. but i heard some other reviewers didn’t quite like violet black as they’d anticipated. due to this, i was both excited and nervous. however, i was not disappointed. okay, maybe only slightly.

to start with the positives: the overall storyline. i didn’t quite like the beginning. it felt generic and cheap. the more i read, though, the better it became. as we got to know more about what’s happening to the characters, the more enjoyable the book became.

the pacing at the beginning was very slow, which i presume was just the initial set up. the further in we got, the better the pacing became. (which i feel is usually how it goes anyway).

unfortunately as the story got better, the characters didn’t. i kind of liked violet from the start, and started to dislike her the further in we got. her relationship with ethan didn’t sit well with me. they were far too clingy, (and way too fast for that matter). i guess that could be normal for some people, but i didn’t like it.

and i felt the same about ethan. he was okay at the beginning, but i just started to dislike him the more he spoke. i could’ve done without his chapters.

surprisingly, i didn’t like phoenix when he was first introduced. he was clearly trying to be that mysterious character that everyone loves (and some love to hate). unfortunately, i felt he was trying too hard. unlike violet and ethan, the more i read about phoenix, the more i liked him. as he opened up with his backstory, i realised he wasn’t like what i’d imagined him to be.

as for the other side characters, there’s not much to say. they weren’t really there much, and i didn’t like or connect to them.

one thing i was really excited about was the fact that the news anchor used “they/them” pronouns and dressed in typically feminine clothing. it was fresh to see something like this. side characters are important, and it’s nice to see that they can be used to support important social movements.

contrary to this, violet was found saying how “depressed” she felt, because she missed her boyfriend. personally, i feel that it defeats the purpose of trying to be gender inclusive while including harmful content about mental health. one step forward, one step backwards.

overall, the story was interesting and i’m excited to see where it’s going in the next instalment. i also really liked that it was rather short in comparison to the other books that i’ve been reading lately, it was refreshing.


  1. avatar

    Great review! This sounds like an interesting concept. I wasn’t expecting to see post-covid novels so soon!

    1. avatar

      neither was i! i felt like it’d be another year or so before we started getting covid 19 related books.

  2. avatar

    I have never heard of this book. Great review! And thanks for sharing! I haven’t read any Covid-related books yet, but I’m looking forward to.

    1. avatar

      it was definitely interesting! i wasn’t expecting covid related books until next year!

  3. avatar

    omg violet black sounds like such an interesting book! i’m so glad you enjoyed it! lovely review 💞

    1. avatar

      i was definitely surprised! nz doesn’t have that many YA authors, let alone ones that i actually like. thank you for stopping by!

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