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Virals (Virals Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Reichs goes YA and Sci-fi

I know some eyebrows went up among my reading friends when it was announced that Kathy Reichs was writing a YA novel -especially those who didn't make it through the dense writing of Déja Dead. But Reich's writing style has evolved over the past ten years into some...
I know some eyebrows went up among my reading friends when it was announced that Kathy Reichs was writing a YA novel -especially those who didn't make it through the dense writing of Déja Dead. But Reich's writing style has evolved over the past ten years into something that is highly accessible. I had no doubt this would be the start of a fantastic YA series - and it is.

Tory Brennan is actually Tempe's great-niece. Remember Kit her screwball nephew from Deadly Decisions? Well, he's all grown up, a marine biologist who works for the University of Charleston, and he's just discovered he has a daughter. Tory is smart but naive and not only does she takes after Tempe, she idolizes her - which is how the trouble starts.

Hanging around on the monkey habitat/research island where their parents work (similar to the one mentioned in Death Du Jours, but this island carries a different name), the teens get bombarded by an angry monkey. Tory realizes that the object the monkey has hurled at her are heavily crusted dog tags and she starts wondering who they belong to and how the tags ended up there. She convinces the gang to break into one of the research labs so that she can clean the tags with a sonicator so they are legible... perhaps they can return them to their owner. This one decision starts a cataclysm of events.

Though it took some time for Reichs to set the exposition, it was worth it - and she gives young readers a prologue straight from one of the action sequences to hook them. While the reader is aware that the teens have become infected, Tory and her friends have to discover it on their own. This revelation culminates with some extraordinary sensory perception and physical capabilities, if only the Virals could control when and where it happens - as it is they're already outsiders at the prep school they attend due to their academic prowess and more modest means.

Once the action starts, Reichs doesn't let up. The teens try to go to the authorities but the local cops opinion is that "academics and their kids are prone to exaggeration". With the adults being uncooperative, the Virals decide to investigate for themselves, both the dog tags, and their mysterious illness with the crazy symptoms.

I think any analogy of Virals as a modern day Nancy Drew story is a bit of an oversimplification. I grew up on Nancy Drew; this is so much better. The characters are more balanced, and far better developed. The plot is tight and the action intense and realistic. Though the story centers on Tory, she couldn't manage with out her friends, each of whom has expertise in different scientific areas. There's lots of action an plenty of mystery. As her friends are all guys, I think the story lends itself equally to teenagers of either sex.

This is classic spell-binding Reichs writing with a new sci-fi twist thrown in...

READ MORE: http://girlsjustreading.blogspot.com/2010/07/jenns-review-virals.html

posted by Jenn-at-GirlsJustReading on July 16, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

It's alright, I guess.

OMG THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME AND I LEARNED A LOT FROM IT THAT A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD PROBABLY SHOULDN'T KNOW BUT I GOT AT A DISCOUNT STORE FOR ONLY THREE DOLLARS IT WAS STILL WORTH THE MONEY AND THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONDENSED INTO ONE SENTENCE BUT IT IS BECAUSE THIS BO...
OMG THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME AND I LEARNED A LOT FROM IT THAT A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD PROBABLY SHOULDN'T KNOW BUT I GOT AT A DISCOUNT STORE FOR ONLY THREE DOLLARS IT WAS STILL WORTH THE MONEY AND THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONDENSED INTO ONE SENTENCE BUT IT IS BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME!!!

posted by 11320693 on June 16, 2012

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    Ehh Okay...

    The book Virals author Kathy Reichs, is about three friends that unlock a secret laboratory and saves a puppy. The three of them then get some kind of superhuman powers. They also stumble upon a murder mystery.
    This story takes place at Morris Island Charleston, SC. The main character Tory and her friends Hi and Ben are called science geeks that have unlocked Tory¿s Father¿s Secret Laboratory and saves a puppy that was infested with parvo. The three of them then experience a strange change from the parvo. They gain superhuman powers like canine features. Then they finds them sleeves solving a murder and there these guys that want the teenagers dead so they don¿t find out. The confusing part about this story is how did the dog give them superhuman powers to turn into a dog? Virals is a murder mystery with a touch of paranormal. I think this book isn¿t that great, but I would recommend this book to someone who likes mysteries and dogs.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    She tried too hard with this one.

    I think maybe she worked too hard on this book. It was long and seemed to go on forever. The story was interesting, but I could take it or leave it. It took a lot for me to pick it up and keep reading. This is for the young adult/teenage audience, but it just goes on and on and on and on. I love her books usually, but this one was way out there. The smart kids vs. the rich kids. Teenagers engaged in illegal activities, sure, but murder and cover-ups for adults from decades ago? The reward wasn't quite up to the task. A secret lab with top of the line security that a bunch of nerdy teenagers was just able to break into without alarming anyone? A virus transfered between human and dog? A change in their DNA? If you need to read fantasy, there are much better ones out there. Maybe the next will be worth reading, but I'm not sure I'll waste my time with it. I was to say the least disappointed.

    Her Temperance Brennen books are very good. Some of the near death experiences are a bit over the top, but not as much as this book was. I will stick to her Bones books and skip these in the future. Its too bad really, having a teenage book line about smart kids was a great idea. Too bad it didn't really fly with the first one.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    disappointed

    really disappointed in this book. not at all like her other books, strange story line. Not worth the $.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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