Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Genre: teen science fiction, adventure, and mystery
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: Virals, book 1
Pages: 454
Synopsis: Adventure has always been in fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she is the niece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. So when she moves to middle of nowhere Morris Island, South Carolina, to live with a marine biologist dad she's never known. Tory does the best she can to adjust to her new life. There she meets a group of local kids who are just as "Sci-Phile" as she is--science geeks who've grown up exploring the backwoods marshlands of nearby Loggerhead Island. But there's something strange going on at the Loggerhead Research Institute...maybe even something deadly. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them--and their DNA--forever. Now, with newly heightened senses and canine-quick reflexes, they'll have to solve a cold-case murder that's suddenly become very hot...that is, if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends. They area  pack. They are Virals.


I don't know what I can give you after that summary, but I can tell you one thing. This isn't about genetically-enhanced werewolves. It's about human beings who have been exposed to a deadly virus that has added canine DNA to their existing human DNA, giving them canine-like abilities.

This book was very good, which somewhat shocked me. Reichs is originally an adult author, and so I was wondering if she would add too many adult things in her young adult book. But she did very well with the switch of audience, I thought. Tory is very much like a teenage girl. Her reactions to certain situations may not be normal for an average American teenage girl, but her emotions and thoughts were like one.

Overall, Virals was a pleasing book. There was mystery, action, adventure...and so many twists and turns that I just had to keep flipping pages! Reichs did a wonderful job with Tory's voice, although in the beginning, her describing Morris Island and surrounding areas was very close to the tiniest detail, which irked me. But as the story progressed, it became much better.

The Cover: One thing that bugs me the most about famous authors: their names are always bigger than the title of the book. This is what's happening here. Your eyes are drawn to the authors name, not the title. I would like to read the book, not the author.

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