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Virals (Virals Series #1)

Virals (Virals Series #1)

4.4 397
by Kathy Reichs, Brendan Reichs

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Adventure is in Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she’s the grandniece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Always up for a challenge, Tory and her science-geek friends spend their time exploring the marshlands of Loggerhead Island, home to the very off-limits Loggerhead Island Research Institute, where something strange is going on. After


Adventure is in Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she’s the grandniece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Always up for a challenge, Tory and her science-geek friends spend their time exploring the marshlands of Loggerhead Island, home to the very off-limits Loggerhead Island Research Institute, where something strange is going on. 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 they are more than friends. They are a pack. They are Virals. And they're dangerous to the core. But are they unstoppable enough to catch a cold-blooded murderer?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reichs makes a solid YA debut with this spinoff of her Bones series, following 14-year-old Tory Brennan--niece of famed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan--and her friends as they uncover a decades-old murder and a contemporary scientific conspiracy. Along with friends Hi, Shelton, and Ben, Tory--who lives largely unsupervised with her newfound father on an island off the coast of Charleston, S.C.--discovers a secret laboratory and rescues a dog. When an experimental parvovirus from the canine transfers to the teenagers, they are imbued with superhuman physical and mental powers and become the target of a group of killers. This intertwines with the story of a long-buried body, as well as teen drama surrounding the local debutante scene, into which Tory has been unwillingly thrust. Reichs juggles the large cast and layered story well, although the revelations at the end get a little silly. Still, the action en route is exciting, and the forensic science and research is as vital as in Reichs's adult novels, even in the more science-fictional setting. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Denise Lockett
Tory Brennan's world has just been turned on its head: her mother is dead, and she is a fourteen-year-old who is smarter than her peers, Tory feels like a fish out of water in her upper crust private school near Charleston, South Carolina. Only her similarly misfit friends, Ben, Shelton and "Hi," salvage her experience. Soon they are drawn inextricably into a mystery during which they must solve a decades-old murder, save a wolf-dog, and ultimately, save each other. The teens confront both social climbing classmates and a dangerous and conspiratorial web of off-market pharmaceutical researchers with equal alacrity. Reichs' staccato, contemporary dialogue offers "in the moment" views that encourage the reader to empathize with the teen narrator and her friends. This dialogue-driven tale is evocative of a thriller-style screenplay or an episode of "CSI." Some word choices are unusual, and seem a bit out of character for a novice forensic anthropologist ("I catalogued the scene." at page 135) and some seem too adult ("as inviting as a lost baggage claim office" at page 80). Portions of the narrative stretch credulity as they describe the genetic modifications that affect the teenaged protagonists and as the teenagers are initially endowed with courage and street-smarts that would not be associated with kids of their backgrounds. However, readers will be drawn into this page-turner of an adventure, which offers twists and cliff-hangers in every chapter. This novel entertains by offering a whirlwind narrative with a shocking finish, evocative of a thriller movie. It is sure to be enjoyed by teenaged girls who will appreciate the sassy, strongly drawn and intelligent protagonist. This is the first in what promises to be a series, and Reichs springboards from her adult novels starring Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, by casting Tory as Temperance's niece. Reviewer: Denise Lockett
VOYA - Geri Diorio
Tory Brennan, fourteen and whip smart, lives with her scientist father on a remote island off the Carolina coast. Tory and her pack of friends, all self-described science nerds, are outsiders at the high-end prep school they attend. For fun, they spend time exploring the islands around their home, including Loggerhead Island, a research facility for the University of Charleston. It is there that the group finds mysterious trouble involving a pack of wild wolf-dogs, some monkeys, a dog tag, men with guns, a skeleton, and most importantly, a virus that infects the teens. The group of friends slowly begins to exhibit wolflike sensory enhancements. Tory mentions her famous aunt, Tempe, several times; Tempe is the main character in Reichs's adult novels, upon which the TV series Bones is based. There are probably Bones fans out there, but whether they will enjoy Tory's adventures as much as her aunt's is debatable. Reichs seems to be striking while the YA boom is hot, and she is aiming at fans of books like the Maximum Ride series, with its "enhanced humans," but with subplots about Tory's mother's death, cotillion dances, crush-worthy rich boys, and mocking mean girls at school, it takes a long time to get to the superpowered action scenes. The characters are stock, and the plot is rife with coincidences, but there is a good mystery to solve, lots of neat technology, and for fans of James Patterson or Anthony Horowitz, this could be a good stopgap until their next books come out. Reviewer: Geri Diorio
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Tory Brennan, 14, lives on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Her newly discovered father works in science research for the University of Charleston, which is why she and her friends with similar pedigrees attend the ritzy prep school in town with the local aristocracy. Tory and her three friends, all boys, are science geeks and love to explore the outer islands where monkeys and other wildlife abound. While exploring a supposedly deserted lab complex, they discover the caged offspring of a wolf and German shepherd that has been diagnosed with parvovirus. Tory's concern leads the group to rescue the pup with the notion of curing and saving it from science experiments. Tory knows that parvo cannot infect humans, but once the treatment begins the four teens start to experience symptoms that make them doubt her initial belief. Along the way, they also stumble upon a murder mystery dating back to the Vietnam War era that quickly becomes linked to the mysterious science experiments that are being kept hidden on the islands. What starts as a science mystery thriller takes a sharp right turn into the realm of science fiction with genetically altered DNA and superhuman senses that may cause more savvy readers to scoff. However, the fast-paced thrills, cool science, and great characters will create a flood of fans waiting for the next installment.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO
Kirkus Reviews

From the opening sentence to the last word, readers will be absorbed in Tory Brennan's world. Tory (the niece of Temperance Brennan, the star of the author's Bones series for adults) has just moved in with the father she never knew she had. It isn't easy adjusting, but Tory's "sci-phile" friends provide plenty of support. They swim, fish, pal around and explore the islands just off the coast of Charleston, S.C. When Tory finds a dog tag that's been buried for decades, it triggers an adventure that leads to hidden experiments, a stolen wolf-dog hybrid puppy and a long-unsolved murder. But Tory can't give up—not even after she and her friends succumb to a mysterious infection that twists their senses and gives them uncontrollable new talents. When the only doctor who might cure them is murdered, they are on their own. Reichs has found a pitch-perfect voice for Tory that will ring true with today's teens, capturing an entirely new audience. Do we really have to wait until summer of 2011 for the next one? (Science fiction/thriller. 12 & up)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Virals Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
480L (what's this?)
File size:
779 KB
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

What People are Saying About This

James Patterson
“If you like the TV show Bones (I do) or Maximum Ride, you’ll love Virals.” James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the MAXIMUM RIDE series
Anthony Horowitz
“Reichs gets it dead right with sharp writing and a plot that throws real teens into a deadly adult world.” - Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the ALEX RIDER series

Meet the Author

Kathy Reichs (www.kathyreichs.com), like her iconic character Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a board-certified forensic anthropologist, and creator of the Fox television hit Bones, now in its eighth season. Reichs has written fourteen books in the Temperance Brennan series, all New York Times bestsellers. Virals is her first of three novel for young readers (www.viralstheseries.com).

Brendan Reichs (www.brendanreichs.com) was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the Virals series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Brief Biography

Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Customer Reviews

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Virals 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 397 reviews.
Jenn-at-GirlsJustReading More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading the prologue, and I was immediately hooked. The book leads through twists and turns, and it's SO GOOD!!I recommend this to anybody who likes animals, Bones, or just adventure.
Linda62LB More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed this book. Kids would enjoy this probably starting at the 5th grade level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book soooooooo much, I read it in three days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You must read this bookj!!!!!!!!!:) :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a awsome book action packed and full of suspense! The only complaint i have is it takes almost 1/4 of the book to get "going" in the book or pick up speed othewise this is an awsome book.
fishgirl182 More than 1 year ago
I picked up this audiobook before a road trip to see my parents. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the story, having never read any of Kathy Reichs’s other books which include the popular series on which the television show “Bones” is based on. I’d seen a few episodes of “Bones” so I was familiar with it but had no real expectations for this YA spin-off except to, hopefully, be entertained for a few hours. Our heroine, Tory Brennan is a breath of fresh air. She’s smart, sarcastic and is a science lover. Though pretty, Tory doesn’t put much stock in her looks and is more interested in bones and science experiments than the latest fashions. Though there’s a bit of romance, the main focus of the book is really the mystery and the relationships between Tory and her friends. They really are a pack, their individual quirks adding together to make a great team. They all have distinct personalities and are funny, intelligent and strange. There is a paranormal element in the book, but it is very light. I think it will probably play a much larger role as the series continues. It does get a little weird later on in the book when Tory starts referring to her friends as “Virals!” instead of their names. There didn’t seem to be much point to it but I learned to ignore it after a little while. The book also has a great murder mystery plot. There’s something inherently sad and creepy about cold cases and I got caught up trying to unravel the mystery along with Tory and her friends. I did find it a little hard to believe that four teens could uncover so much and break into so many places without getting caught but hey, it’s a book, and a fun one at that. There’s even a super cute wolf dog for all the animal lovers out there. The narrator of the audiobook is very believable as the 14 year old heroine. I did have some issues with the musical cues in the program. There were some very cheesy sounding special effects whenever any of the Virals would “flare” that had me cringing. Totally unnecessary and annoying. Overall, I had a good time listening to this book. The fast paced story kept me guessing until the very end and I really liked the science aspect of it. A promising start to a new series--Virals is an action packed adventure that’s sure to entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is for your average nerds to adventure seekers and other people in between. It has adventure and science. Four kids get a different type of parvovirus and get canine reflexes, and etc. They also solve a murder case. I think this book is good for age 11 and up, because it has lots of 'language' and very scintific stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All i can say is, i was astounded. Completely blown away. Im hooked. This fantastic peice of art kept me guessing the whole time. Worth reading. BUY IT NOW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really think people should make more of this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was def one of my favorites! Great for anyone who likes mystery, probably for ages 11+ due to language... LOVED IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you really oike kathy reichs but can't handle the intensity of tempe brennan books virals is for you. Action packed with witty comments here and there it resembles the hugner games writing. Easy to understand and a quick read you will not be able to put this down. Definately buy this book. It has a suprise ending that will suprise you. Buy it now!!!!! I love kathy and i have only read the first but am already counting down the days until the third book comes out. Great series!
bookholiday More than 1 year ago
Great read, hard to put down. can't wait to read the next
Ms-Ellie More than 1 year ago
Ms. Reichs holds true to the mystery of her writing, it was a quick read but she kept me coming back for more. Loved the ending and I see there is now a part two. I've got all of her books and will continue to add this one to my small library. Thank You,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend read this and he said it was mind blowing cant wait to read it:)
Phoebe_from_Sacramento More than 1 year ago
A delightful story with snappy dialogue and a great cast of young characters. I really enjoyed the connection to Kathy Reichs, Temperance Brennan. Great reading for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 2 days ago
I nutted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok so this book is edge of your seat thrilling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this story, it's the best story I've ever read. It's very well plotted out. The minute I picked it up I couldn't put it down. The characters are so well plotted out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must listen to audio book for young and old alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and I, unfortunaly, am on the fourh and pre final book Exposure. I hope for more in this series. Anyone who agrees with me on hoping for more in this series, please,have your review simbol the exacat same as mine- : }? - and continue with your review. Please and thanx. : }? PS Stay cool Kathy Reichs and Son love Bones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Virals! I like TV shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, and Grey's Anatomy. This book is like all of those rolled in to one - and made for teens! Reichs has created a strong female lead who is also devoted to her family, friends, and love for nature. She is real in the sense that she still has crushes like an average teenaged girl, but isn't dependent on the boys to rule her life and make all the decisions. She rather reminds me of my best friend who's always up for an adventure and finds herself in some awkward situations. She is resourceful and intelligent, the type of female lead girls need to see. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago