Friday, September 13, 2013

Julie's Review: Virals

Summary: Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot-if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends: They are a pack. They are Virals.

Review:  I don't read Sci-Fi or YA, so why would Virals? Kathy Reichs wrote it. Also, Jenn suggested it for my YA challenge this year. Being a fan of her Temperance Brennan series I knew that she would tone down the science in this but not dumb it down. Immediately I liked Tory. She's a bright 14 year old girl, who has some sass but isn't obnoxious. And while being smart and a bit nerdy, she's not awkward. What came to mind for me after finishing the novel, is that she's a modern day Nancy Drew. She gets herself in situations where I know I couldn't get out of and yet she does so with using her smarts.

Tory recently transplanted to South Carolina after her mother's death to live with a father who didn't know she even existed. This is how Tory is related to Tempe, she's her great-aunt, which is fantastic for Tory who already idolized her. Tory is a huge dog lover and when she discovers that one of the wolf dog pups is caged up on Loggerhead Island, she decides to free him and take him with her. This is where the one rash decision leads to many outcomes.

Tory and her band of brothers seem to stumble into trouble at every turn. Now it's not your typical teen trouble but maybe that kind of trouble might be easier to deal with.

While I might not think it's realistic, I let it go and just enjoyed the story. Ms. Reichs does a fantastic job of creating teen characters that aren't cartoonish. She does an excellent job of having two plots that end up melding together perfectly in the end. There were a couple twists that I didn't see coming and thoroughly enjoyed that I didn't.

For me, while I found the mysteries interesting, I really liked the dynamic between Tory, Hi, Ben and Shelton. I like that Tory is comfortable enough with herself to hang out with a bunch of guys and be at ease with them. They are her pack.

I will definitely continue with the series (SeizureCode) since there is only a total of 3 right now. I also recommend them to my 12 year old sister and will be passing it on to a 13 year old boy as well.

Final Take: 4/5

Jenn's Review



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