Viral Nation (Viral Nation Series #1)

Viral Nation (Viral Nation Series #1)

by Shaunta Grimes


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After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.
Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.
When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425265130
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Series: Viral Nation Series , #1
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada.

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Viral Nation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Kayaditi More than 1 year ago
Viral Nation is a fascinating time-traveling dystopian featuring a surprisingly well-written autistic girl named Clover. This is the first book in a series that promises to be save-the-world scale saga. Clover is a unique protagonist. I've never read anything featuring an autistic person. And a touch of romance at that. The side characters are well drawn, but none so lovable as Mango, the bulldog. He's a wonderful grounding constant for the reader just as he is for Mango.  There are nice surprises throughout, things I didn't see coming. (So spoilers here) I especially like how the ending sets it up to give book 2 a distinctly different locale and feel. Maybe not, but it's hard to see getting bored with this book. And not just because it's a gorgeous book. Glad I get a paper copy over an ebook. Nice work, Berkley! And thanks for the adventure, Shaunta!
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
This story starts out strong with a bang.  When it jumps forward 16 years later, it slows down though, and I wasn't quite sure where it was going and kind of had to push through.  About one-third of the way in, it captured my attention fully again, and I was caught up in the plot once again.  As the story progresses, more secrets are revealed and there are twists and turns that gradually expose the conspiracy and lies that have wrapped themselves around the vaccine, the daily suppression injections, the future, the Company, Foster City, and the role children with autism play in it all.  I really liked West and Clover, and Shaunta Grimes did an excellent job in writing Clover's character that gives you insight into autism and how it affects the individual, as well as the friends and family of that individual.  The way she wove autism into the core of the story was creative and unique.  She has painted a picture of a dystopian society set in a post-apocalyptic world, combined with a science fiction factor that involves time travel and insight into the future.  This in turn controls how everything is handled in the present.  Another character that I really loved is Jude, who is from Foster City, where the orphaned children live, who also plays a big role in the story.  He is Clover's age, and her love interest.  He leads a small group of children from Foster City who also join Clover, West, and Bridget, who is another key player.  The secondary characters are all well-written and I enjoyed getting to know them, as well as the "bad guys," who I liked to dislike.  There is a hint of romance in the story, but isn't the center of the story, yet it is just enough to give that story the romantic element that it needs.   The book ends leaving you wanting to know more, and setting the stage for what looks to be an action-packed and intense next installment.  The stage is also set for the romance between Clover and Jude to continue to develop, and I look forward to seeing where that goes.  If you are a fan of dystopia, then Viral Nation is definitely something you might want to check out.  I enjoyed Viral Nation and I look forward to seeing where Shaunta Grimes takes this story and the characters in it in the sequel.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
The writing in the beginning was wonderful and had me hooked, and I'd hoped this wouldn't be a typical "dystopian" story, but it was. I started to feel bored, unfortunately. Characters were well written and interesting, but I just couldn't care about the story they were in.
jwitt33 More than 1 year ago
An amazing post-apoc/dystopian story with an awesome main character! My Opinion: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. Clover is a high functioning autistic 16 year old girl living in a very difficult world. After a virus wipes out most of the world's population, the remaining citizens live in walled cities and make do with little food and really, little everything. Her brother, West, takes care of her and is her world since their father is buried in his work ever since their mother died of the virus right before the cure became available. Clover has always dreamed of going to the Waverly-Stead Academy but is forced to turn down her acceptance when they won't let her keep her service dog, who is her closest friend and companion and who keeps her from losing it when the outside world becomes too much for her to handle. She is then recruited to join the Time Mariners, a team of operatives who work for the Company, the agency who engineered and distributed the vaccine to the deadly virus and who now control all of the provisions including food, jobs, etc., and who now also control all of the rules the people must live with. The Time Marines time travel to gather news about the future, including crimes that will be committed. Whenever someone is found to have committed a crime in the future, they are killed in the present to prevent the crime from happening at all. When Clover's brother, West, is one of the people sentenced to death for a murder that he supposedly will commit in the future, Clover and he go on the run, along with a "band of fellow misfits and outsiders" to find out what is really going on with the Company. (I don't know if my description does it justice, but trust me, as you read the story, this all makes sense!) First off, I absolutely loved Clover! It's pretty rare that a person with developmental disabilities is featured as a main character in a book, but she is very much the driving force behind the hunt for the truth. Even though she would prefer to be by herself, with just her dog and brother for company, she goes way outside of her comfort zone in terms of working with people she doesn't really know or trust, and fighting against authority, neither of which come easy or naturally to her. I also admired that the author never used Clover's autism as a way to manipulate the story line or as a way to garner sympathy for her - she was never depicted in any way but as a very strong 16 year old girl who happened to be autistic, and although I've read some reviews that have said it was difficult to like Clover because of her off putting personality, I didn't find this to be true at all. If you want to talk about personal growth, I can tell you that Clover grew immensely from the beginning of the book to the end, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series because I'm excited to see her continue this growth. Now for the world building and plot: The post-apocalyptic/dystopian world in which the characters live is described in such a way that you feel yourself becoming immersed in it as you read, which is always what you hope for when reading a fictional account of a world that has gone to hell in a hand basket. You feel the desperation of the people and the hopelessness. I would give this book an A+ for world building! The plot is well written, evenly paced, and very exciting to read. I was drawn into the book immediately and stayed in it well after I'd finished reading it. Because of the characters and the plot line, and the excellent writing, this book sticks with you and makes you continue to think about it even after you've put it down for the last time. All of these things combined made it an exciting read for me and the reason that I would recommend it to lovers of YA dystopian/post-apoc fiction. I give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars and look forward to continuing the series :D P.S.:  I love the cover and give bonus points for that!!
TimothyRook More than 1 year ago
What do the Presidents of the United States, Time Travel, a post-apocalyptic US, and autism have in common? The answer is in Viral Nation and it might surprise you. This is probably the most surprising book I’ve read this year. The story tells of Clover a sixteen year old highly functioning autistic girl and her family. In a world so removed from anything that we have today that it seems like something out of 1984 or the television series Revolution. But just like those stories this one has many familiar themes as well. Everything from the main character, to the direction the story was heading was very surprising. The story had a few interesting twists but just getting to know the characters in the book made it worth reading. If you are a fan of the Hunger Games, the Walking Dead, or even video games like the Last of Us. You will LOVE this book. It may well be the fastest 300+ pages you’ve read this year. It appears that Viral Nation is the beginning of a series. I can’t to see what other surprises Shaunta Grimes has in store of us.
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Lily_F More than 1 year ago
Great Heroine! The idea of an autistic heroine was quite appealing. It is unconventional, original and I was curious to read about Clover Donovan in this post epidemic world. She did not disappoint. Clover is an amazing character that was full bodied, believable and very well thought out in this novel. Her condition allowed her to do what others could not do - time travel - but this talent was also being exploited. The consequences of this exploitation are still unseen, and I am sure the conspiracy theories hinted at will be blown wide open in upcoming installments of this series, I am sure. The time traveling aspect threw me though. Where there was nothing lacking in the character explorations in this book, the plot was surprisingly a little vague in some areas... or maybe I just didn't get it. It was a little confusing, but then I imagine it would be. I had to watch The Butterfly Effect movie a couple of times to fully grasp what was going on, so maybe it's just my brain on this one. I enjoyed the beginning, and the action packed middle where things really begin to unravel. But the latter part of the novel left me wanting. Though there were some hard core scenes that I didn't see coming, it felt surprisingly anti-climatic. I did struggle through the end. But my love for Clover did not diminish one bit, and I think that she made this novel shine. Would I continue with the series? Another one where I stand on the fence. Not opposed to it, but not freaking out about grabbing the next book. But I did enjoy the writer's style and her use of a character that had some limitations, but was the most courageous of the whole bunch in my opinion.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Loved it, loved it, loved it, this would have to be one of the best dystopian/post-apocalyptic books I have ever read! This book had me transfixed and I loathed putting it down for things like work and sleep and stuff, I was so absorbed in the world that Shaunta had created, eager to rush through it and get to the end to see what was waiting for me, luckily there isn't really a cliffhanger of sorts although it did have me wishing I had the second book to go straight on with. The concept of this story had me from the get go, the idea that people are dependant on a drug injected daily, to stop a deadly virus from spreading or in the case of the unfortunate people who initially were dying from the virus before the supressant was developed to keep it dormant.  To have the lead heroine Clover autistic was something different that I've never read before in a book, and it was incorporated very well into the story and was used to further the plot in a major way, that explains how the Company will use any means necessary to further their hold over the citizens. Clover is left to be looked after by her older brother West, after their Father is sent to live in barracks closer to his job as an executioner, but West longs to be able to be free enough to do what he wants to do instead of worrying and spending his time looking out for her, so when Clover is accepted into the Academy a school for extremely gifted people he's ecstactic, not only for her but also for being able to get on with his own life and not be depended on all the time. Unfortunately Clover has a service dog Mango who she depends on when she gets worked up to calm her down, but the Academy will not let her enroll with her dog and so instead she is sent to train for a job as a Time Mariner, people are sent into the future to collect information, this also helps in discovering crimes before they are ever committed and the perpetrators are executed before they have a chance to even do the crime, Clover never really has a problem with this until the day she finds her brother on a poster wanted for murder. Knowing that people will be tracking him down to execute him, they must escape and try to prevent the murder from ever happening, joining up with a group of runaways they set out to find the truth within the lies that the Company have told them and with the help of a presumed dead deserter they set out to do just that. I loved all these characters, so fleshed out and likeable you can't help but care about them, especially towards the end when they make their plans to become the resistance and destroy the Company for good. The plotline was superb, top rate and the world-building just took this book to another level. I highly recommend this book, anyone looking for a fantastic dystopian then pick this one up, you won't be sorry!
heartjess More than 1 year ago
YES! Why You Should Buy It In a world where one book in the over-popular dystopian category can seem like every other, Viral Nation stands apart.  Shaunta Grimes crafted a unique blend of an underestimated group of kids, science fiction, time travel, and a girl with autism to create a moving story you won’t soon forget. My Thoughts *I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.* I have to admit upfront that I may be partially biased when it comes to this review.  Having a child with autism, I’m always finding myself drawn to stories with characters who have it as well.  It is hard though, to sometimes see the characters for what they truly are through my perspective lens. However, Clover reached into my heart and held tight. I found myself reading as a mom when West, her brother, was narrating.  I saw the fear and fierce protectiveness he saw when looking at his sister.  I felt my heart ache when he refused to even let her walk the short street from him to there home, always watching and worrying. My heart understood. So I was a bit surprised with Clover when she made me for the first time see life through the eyes of my child.  Sure, he is only 7 and isn’t living in a world ravaged by disease, death, and a new world order.  But, I truly could see him in Clover.  When she would need her dog Mango to give her deep pressure to help her calm down.  When she didn’t recognize she had been humming, flapping her hands, or rocking, I understood.  Yes, Clover let me see my son a little more clearly and what it is like not only to be him, but to be someone who is a person outside of his autism.  She didn’t let her disability hold her back and beyond that was a character outside of her diagnosis.  What could have been trite and stereotypical was in fact very well done and developed particularly well. So, maybe I was biased going in to this book.  However, that didn’t take away from the things I loved about the story Shaunta Grimes told.  There were so many elements involved, I wasn’t ever able to get bored with another book about the end of the world.  It did get a bit distracting to have so many different things going on, and the time travel part was rather confusing.  I’m hoping that these things will be better explained and more polished as the series continues.  There are some issues I had with the mechanics of how the time travel actually worked, but I am (quietly) hoping to see those issues resolved.  (Although I won’t mention the specifics here since it is a major plot point.  Spoilers sweetie!)  I think I watch too much Doctor Who and read too many parallel/alternate universe books, so when a new theory on time and space relativity is introduced, I have to make it fit in with what I already know. Overall, I think the book was enjoyable and very much look forward to seeing more from Clover, her brother West, and of course her loyal companion Mango! Overall Four point Five Stars
TeenAtHeart More than 1 year ago
Argh! THIS is the reason that I don't like to read series before all of the books are complete! I WANT MORE! Seriously. Duets, trilogies, etc. need to come with warning labels. I plead ignorance. If I had known that there was a sequel, I wouldn't have requested it from NetGalley. But honestly? That would have been a shame. Because I really liked this book! This is a great addition to the Dystopian genre: great characters; crappy living conditions for some & posh lifestyles for others; Bad Guys who control the rest of the population; puppy love; and time travel. The best part? The main character has Autism! I Pink Puffy Heart LOVE unconventional protagonists. And Clover is definitely not your typical attractive-teenager-who-invents-problems kind of girl. I really can't wait until the next book comes out (get writing, Shaunta Grimes!) so I can learn what happens next. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
terferj More than 1 year ago
The story started off with the prologue kinda explaining the virus and what it did with the people. The way it started I was like "oh this will be awesome" but it was slow at parts. I did like it though. This book was just setting us up to what's to come. The story is mainly about Clover, her brother West, and a few others. Clover was a brilliant girl but had autism. I think it was brilliant for the author to make the main character with this disorder because you don't read about it and so many people have it. With her having it, it didn't stop her to do all the things she did in the book. With her being denied getting into this school, it started all these chain of events. She was "drafted" into the Time Mariners (they go 2 years into the future). She finds out something horrible about her brother. Of course she's going to help him. West is a loyal brother that looks after. They meet a group of kids that they were destined to meet. They leave the walled off city to someone that will help them. There was an ah-ha moment on why Clover was drafted. I'm interested to find out what happens in the next book. *Thanks to NetGalley for this book so I could review it*
sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
Imagine living in a world where you live or die by an injection.  Where you've had loved ones die or had to make decisions that would cost you your heart and soul.  That's how Viral Nation begins.  The first few pages tore at my heart and at the same time gave me the hook that I needed to continue reading.  Viral Nation was written in a way that I really adored.  It was fast-paced, exciting and interesting.  I loved the concept of how a group of people could go into the future and find cures for a disease that was destroying humankind.  And what added to the plot line was the fact that they ended up exterminating those who had committed heinous crimes in the future.  And that's where the adventure really begins because Clover's beloved brother is accused of a vicious crime. The thing that stood out to me in this book was the relationship between Clover and her brother.  I could tell that they were a really close family, instead of characters that had been put in a book just for the sake of it.  Clover and West were committed to each other and it shined through in the fight they had to find a way to save his life.  But it showed in more ways than that.  Viral Nation was very character driven - at least that's what it felt like to me. I also like the way the secondary characters related to the main characters and I really liked Jude, who ended up being Clover's love interest.  There was no inst-love here, but a slow-drawing to each other.  And, just like West and Clover were a family, Jude and several other characters made up a family as well.  I would have liked to have known more about several of the other characters but I hope to read more about them in the future because I believe there is a sequel. Viral Nation was written in third voice and gave me an insight into what each character was feeling.  It was rather nice to be able to get inside the mind's of others instead of just the main character.  I also enjoyed how each chapter started with a quote.  Somehow it gave each chapter more meaning. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will be interested to read any sequel that comes out in the future.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic/sci-fi type of books.   Book review by Sandy at Magical Manuscripts
224perweek More than 1 year ago
There was nothing that I could put my finger on that made me bored with this book. The story was ok. The characters were ok. Maybe that was the problem.....everything was just ok. I did find it a little hard to believe that this almost helpless autistic girl kicks ass. I did think the dog was cool.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shaunta grimes needs to hurry up and finish her second book! Or might might die!
Gigs More than 1 year ago
If you have read Hunger Games, Divergent, and the Uglies, then you read this book already. I don't know if its because all of the ideas are rehashed or because the writing isn't that good, but I wasn't into this book nearly as much as the previously named.  It is obviously designed as a series because this first book could never stand on its own.  In fact, I wouldn't even bother reading it until the next book comes out at least, then read them back to back as if they're just one book.  Also, do yourself a favor and rent them from the library, they're not worth the cost.