Friday, February 17, 2012


Author: Kathy Reichs
Goodreads Rating: 3.86
My Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 454

I love the TV show Bones and so I decided to try out Kathy Reichs' books on Temperance and what not. I listened to one of the books that Bones is based on but because I love the show, the book wasn't the same. So when I found out about Virals I decided to give Reichs another shot with her Young Adult series based on Tempe's niece.

Synopses from

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.

Review after the jump!

So this book wouldn't necessarily rate in my top books, but I did enjoy the story. The plan was new and fun, and also interesting to figure out. As a teenager, I would have loved to read this book because it shows you that a teenager can do anything that they put their mind too. While providing a fast paced fun tale, it also touched on some really important topics.

I was not blown away by this book. While that doesn't necessarily make it a bad book, my chief problem with it was Tory Brennan, the main character. I have noticed "Mary Sue's" litter Young Adult literature. Of course this does apply in other books, but in this book Tory Brennan was not only a fearless (law-breaking) leader but she was also witty. I think what bothered me the most about her was that she knew everything and was okay with everything. I do understand that there are genius children in the world, but to be 14, and able to identify bones of a human body and not be super impacted by it? I don't care whose niece she is, a dead body is a dead body.

I did love her friends though, even if they were almost the same person-unwilling to talk her down from committing felonies, but also snarky about everything. Hiram and Shelton were almost the same person and Ben was the only one that showed being different and that was because he didn't talk and was more stoic.

For teenagers, this book is great (minus the breaking and entering and nothing happening). It has action, it has a little romance, it has a cute puppy, and it has friends that are family. But it didn't tickle my senses. I was generous with the rating because it is entertaining. I feel for Tory, whose mother died and her fathers girlfriend is pushing her to be someone she's not. And in a sense the child psychologists are right, because of all that went wrong, she acted out, she broke into a lab, into a science facility, and was reckless. Because of all those things she and her friends were infected with a disease that changed them.

Every decision that Tory made was a moral one, well, almost. 

I enjoyed this book as a standalone, and I might even consider reading the next book to see what becomes of the quartet while they search for buried treasure and they look to hone their newfound skills. I know that this post seems overly hard on this book, but it was a quick read and I did enjoy reading it. 

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