Tory Brennan is the niece of famous forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan and just like her aunt she has a fascination with bones and dead bodies. It doesn\’t mean that she ever expected to unearth the remains of a girl who went missing over thirty years ago. Or stumble into the mystery of the girl\’s disappearance. And what has it got to do with the secret laboratory on Loggerhead Island?
Together with her friends, Shelton, Ben and Hi, they rescue wolf-pup, Cooper, from the laboratory, where they suspect her father\’s director, Dr. Karsten, is performing an illegal experiment. They sneak Coop back to their hideout to let him recover, but then an illness sweeps through the group. Could it be that they have contracted their wolf-pup\’s mysterious infection?
Virals is the first book in Kathy Reichs’s YA series about Tory and her friends, and their unique lives in South Carolina. After saving the wolf-pup, Cooper, the group start to feel the affects of a transformation. Something has changed inside their bodies, making them feel and act strangely. Plus their eyes have started to glow.
Reichs tends to write in fragmented sentences, which takes a bit to get used to, but then I wonder how I would think if I was Tory and I was fourteen, and it seems to fit. I wouldn\’t think in long, descriptive sentences, I would think in short and snappy ones. This type of writing style also tends to help keep the pace fast and sharp. It gives it a thrilling edge.
The thing that makes this book such a good read is that it incorporates a range of elements: thrills, adventure, science and mystery, while staying in a normal teen setting. Tory and her friends still have to go to their prep school and contend with all the jocks and rich snobbish elites. And to make things worse, Tory\’s dad, Kit, and his girlfriend, Whitney, are making her do a cotillion with all the classmates who hate her.
The Virals are kind of like a 21st century version of the Scooby-Doo gang; a group of teens solving mysteriesâ€”they even have a dog. Except this group comes equipped with a boat called Sewee rather than a van named The Mystery Machine, and are generally more technologically advanced. But whatever the vehicle and whatever their name, I can never pass up a good mystery, and that is what Reichs provides. Virals is the perfect set up for a new series; I can\’t wait to start the second book Seizure.
Read our review on Seizure here!
Available now: Random House RRP$17.95