Monday 29 August 2011

Book Review- Virals by Kathy (and Brendan) Reichs

Title: Virals
 Author: Kathy Reichs, Brendan Riechs
Series:  Virals #1
Published:  2nd November 2010
Length: 448 pages
Source: library
Other info:  Book 2, Seizure, was published 23 August this year. Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, and has also written the Temerance Brennan series, on which the TV series Bones was based.
Summary : 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: Tory Brennan is a fourteen year old living on an island near Charleston with a marine biologist as a father after the untimely death of her mother. She and her friends save a wolfdog from an institute that is testing a new strain of a virus on it. Soon after, they all start to get ill and weird things start happening to them. On top of this, they find some old bones that they work out belong to a girl who went missing many years ago. Then they get sucked into this mystery/fantasy adventure.
From the blurb, I didn’t see much of an original fantasy concept. But the fantasy in this book is DNA being altered somewhat, which makes a very nice change to all the vampires and shapeshifters I normally read.
The plot is very good. A lot happens and it’s paced very well, apart from possibly the start where everything has to be laid out and is therefore a little slow. From just before the second half, there’s always something new happening. I like the fact that it’s written from Tory’s point of view, but where she’s actually talking to you. The informal style works well, makes you feel slightly involved in the story and adds a bit more to the writing.
The characters were all fleshed out very well, even those that didn’t have much of a part. We got descriptions of backstories and a lot of other things, which made them all feel real.  Some of them got on my nerves a lot, from the way Rory felt about them and described them to us, but I think that’s the way they were supposed to be written. I liked the little twists we find out about the characters just before they get written out of the story.
Tory seemed to know a lot for her age. Even if her great aunt is a world renowned scientist, it’s still a little unrealistic for her to know so much and be able to identify a set of bones in the middle of the night.
The romance is excellent. Or should I say, lack of. Actually, there is a little, but it really helps the story move on and doesn’t overshadow the rest of the plot.
Overall:  Strength  4.5 rounded up to  5 for the start of this fun adventure/fantasy/mystery series that I hope to see more of.


  1. Love the sound of this one - good to hear the characters are great as well as the plot! Glad you enjoyed this, I think it's one I'd definitely enjoy - thanks for the review! :)

  2. oooo this is the first review Ive read of thi one and it sounds pretty good... I might have to check it out!

  3. I don't know, I just really didn't feel this book. It didn't seem to spark for me. Good review though!


Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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