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.
I have returned with not one- but two that’s right TWO book reviews in one post! Today I’m review a new favorite series of mine “Virals” by Kathy Reichs. This happens to be Ms. Reichs very first YA book, if your not familiar with her other works; she is the author of the Temperance Brennan series which inspired the hit-TV show “Bones.”
Now, let’s start with the first of the series- Virals. Here we are introduced to our heroine – Tory Brennan. Tory is a spunky, loyal, independent, and fierce 14- year old. Alongside we have her best friends; Shelton – the techie of the group, Ben – the silent strength and Hiram (or Hi) – the sarcastic funny man. Tory and the gang lives on a secluded island with their parents. Now, one day during their frequent “explorer” missions they stubble upon an experiment being done on an island animal, one that they happen to know. His name is Cooper – half-dog half wolf – Coop becomes and EXTREMELY important character in the story as he is the reason for the gang’s biological change. Without prior knowledge the gang becomes infected with an airborne disease that Cooper has. Thus starting their change from normal teenagers to half-human half wolf beings.
Now, you may be asking “Do they turn into wolves?” Well, I wasn’t going to say..but I will. The answer is no. Which when you think about it is pretty awesome, because I mean how cliche would that be, right?
The plot of the story consists around Cooper and the kids discovering and uncovering hidden secrets in their hometown/island. They learn to deal with their newfound abilities by helping each other. In the end, there is a big fight between the Virals and the “bad guy” where you get to see the gang in action using their half-wolf side. But, we also get to see a solid peek into the foundation within the group as well.
Onto book # 2 – Seizure!
Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they’ve turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack. But now the very place that brought them together – the Loggerhead Island Research Institute – is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it.
So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can’t believe her luck – buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren’t the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals’ special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble . . .
In book number two the Virals are faced with a serious problem. They are being separated! You can imagine how scary this is for them, considering their change they need each other more than ever. So, of course Tory Brennan is on the case. When they learn about a legend on the island and treasure that is lost. Tory sees it as a chance to not only save her family but the pack as well. Now, to be honest when reading you’d feel as it’s a bit far-fetched. But, that’s the beauty of it!
Their are “OMG” moments when the Virals secrets are so damn close to being discovered; we even get a glimpse of the Virals having bumps in the road mainly the boys v.s Tory. But, in the end (thankfully) they come back together as one. No matter what their connected and can never really leave one another. What I was a bit giddy about is we see feelings bubbling over from time to time between Tory and Ben. But, nothing to serious. I really REALLY hope their relationship develops more as the books continue.
Seizure is a great follow up to Virals – I’m shaking with excitement for the third book in the series “Code” coming soon!
Virals – “Baravetto was unconscious when we found him,” Hi said. “What’d you do to the guy?”
“Kicked him in the balls, then brained him with a rolling pin. Twice.”
Seizure – “I don’t wanna (listen)! You’ll start talking, and pretty soon we’ll all start nodding, and then the next thing you know, I’m hang gliding off the Eiffel Tower at midnight, being chased by ninja vampires!”
Rating: 5/5 (for both)