Title: Virals (Virals #1)
Author: Kathy Reichs
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Adventure has always been in fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan’s blood. After all, she is the niece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. So when she moves to middle of nowhere Morris Island, South Carolina, to live with a marine biologist dad she’s never known, Tory does the best she can to adjust to her new life.There she meets a group of local kids who are just as “Sci-Phile” as she is—science geeks who’ve grown up exploring the backwoods marshlands of nearby Loggerhead Island. But there’s something strange going on at the Loggerhead Research Institute...maybe even something deadly. 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, with newly heightened senses and canine-quick reflexes, they’ll have to solve a cold-case murder that’s suddenly become very hot...that is, if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent.Fortunately, they are now more than friends.They are a pack.They are VIRALS.
I absolutely love the TV show Bones, so when I saw that Kathy Reichs was writing a YA book, I figured I had to read it. It turned out to be a fun, action packed and fast paced story that I could not have enjoyed more.
After her mom’s death, Tory Brennan is forced to move to Morris Island, South Carolina to live with a father she didn’t even know she had. There she meets three boys who share her interest in science and mysteries. With them, Tory explores Loggerhead Island where something strange may just be happening. After rescuing a wolfdog pup from a secret lab at the research institute on the island, things become even more strange for the four teenagers. With strange new powers developing, Tory and her friends may just have what it takes to solve a forty-year-old murder case that has long gone cold.
This was such a fun story to read and for once, one that wasn’t driven by romance and love. I cannot even begin to tell you how refreshing it was to read a book where a girl didn’t fall in love with a supernatural creature or where there was a love triangle of some sort. What was even better was that it didn’t feel like anything was missing without the romance in the story. Aside from that, I loved the mystery and action that was present throughout the story. It was written in a way that made it so I didn’t put it all together until it was all laid out for me to see. If anything, the story reminded me of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books I used to read when I was younger. Despite all the similarities I found, it didn’t fell like the story had been done before. It was really a great story, one that I really enjoyed.
Tory Brennan is a bit like a young Temperance Brennan (who just happens to be her aunt). She is a smart, quick witted and adventurous girl who pretty much won’t let anyone or anything stand in her way. Granted she has some reckless tendencies but that’s what made her that much more fun to read about. And her friends weren’t any less interesting. Hiram pretty much had me smiling or laughing anytime he said anything. Shelton also had me smiling a lot and of the four teenagers he seemed to be the one who questioned Tory’s ideas the most. Ben I had more trouble figuring out but once I did I really liked him. The combination of the four of them together created some interesting dynamics that only served to make the story that much more interesting.
Overall, Virals was a great and fun read, one I was completely drawn into. I can only hope that Kathy Reichs will write more books featuring Tory and her friends.