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're a pack. They are Virals.
This cover is perfect for a mystery based novel! I love how the model is looking over her shoulder warily.
These kids are so much smarter than me it's sad.
Let me first say that I've yet to watch an episode of Bones, and haven't yet had the opportunity to read the Temperance Brennan series either! So when I found out that this book was based on that series I was a little worried. Would I be lost? Would there be allusions to things that I wouldn't understand? From the moment I opened the book these thoughts plagued me. I'm happy to announce that I shouldn't have worried one bit. Virals only pulls in a very small reference to Kathy Reich's other work, and is its own amazing story. It has an edgy science fiction feel to it, and I'll be honest when I say that it drew me in right away.
We meet Tory Brennan, Temperance's niece. Right away I fell in love with her personality. She's one of the boys! Not that living on an island gives her much of a choice, but Tory doesn't seem to mind one bit. It was refreshing to see a girl who could hold her own in a group of guys. The wit and sarcasm that effortlessly flew out of her mouth had me giggling, and I was intrigued by her love of science. Truthfully, I see a lot to love in Tory and I'm sure other readers will as well.
What I loved most about this story was the focus on the science fiction aspect versus the paranormal aspect. The story revolves around what the kids feel as they gain their abilities and how they learn to use them. At no point is there a reference to what they've become, in terms of supernatural beings. Again, I use the word refreshing. It was nice to read a book that references what the kids could actually do rather than heavily focusing on what they had become.
The mystery deepens as the story progresses, and I was impressed with the layers of intrigue that this book puts forward. It might seem odd to say so, but to me this is what I like to call a "smart" book. It's a story that doesn't assume that young people don't have prior knowledge. This is a book for all those nerdy girls/women out there (like me) who love to feel like a book is challenging us instead of talking down to us.
Virals is definitely the start of something great! I cannot wait to see what happens next, and this book has prompted me to find more of Kathy Reich's work to read. Amazing. Plain and simple.
Author: Kathy Reichs
Pages: Hardcover; 464
Source: Traveling ARC Tours
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Final Rating:5 Keys to My Heart
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