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Monday, October 25, 2010

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Title: Virals
Author: Kathy Reichs
Release Date: November 2nd 2010
Source: Traveling ARC Tours
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

In some ways Virals was what I expected, in others it wasn't. For instance, I expected there to be mystery, I didn't expect it to take place on two practically deserted islands. I was expecting Tory to have friends, just not the friends that she has (who I absolutely love!). I also expected the Virals part of the book to be bigger than it was. They didn't even have a clue about it until about halfway through the book, and only started to understand it by the end. I'm sure that it will be focused on more in the coming books.

Tory was a really, really awesome MC. She's smart, headstrong, and compassionate. She recently moved in with her dad, who didn't even know of her existance, after her mothers death. They live on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, and she quickly became friends with the three boys who live in her area. Ben, the strong silent type, Hi, the pudgy, awkward, enigma, and Shelton, the tech genius. I love them all! They're so quirky and intelligent. They all care about each other and are true friends. There was only romance in this book if you look for it, and then I would hardly call it romance. More like what could be romance.

I thought that the pacing of this book was a bit slow at parts. Reichs likes to explain things in detail, and though it helps when trying to picture the setting, it tends to slow things down. Towards the end the pacing really picks up, as the entire mystery unfolds. It's quite a mystery indeed. There are so many factors that I had no idea how they all fit together until the end. And I was really shocked at a few parts of the puzzle!

I wish that there had been more of Kit, Tory's dad. He was barely in the book, and I feel like I don't know him at all. For most of the book Tory and her friends run free, and easily escape there parents watchful eyes. I got the sense that they could really do whatever they wanted. It was kind of strange, actually. They had school, but after school they were completely free, and could be out until after dark. I guess that I think it's a bit unrealistic.

Basically, I really enjoyed this book, but I wish that it had been paced a bit faster and that Tory's dad was in it more.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Title/Cover Comments: The title fits well for the series, but not this particular book. The cover is good, I like that the girl is running, and the dogs in the letters.


  1. I'm dying to read this one - anything that remotely has to do with Bones is fine by me! Great review :)

  2. I'm really excited to read it, glad you liked the MC :)

  3. I loved this book and am so wanting more from Reichs. I think it is a perfect middle school novel and one I am anxious to turn my students onto.


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