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Virals by Kathy Reichs
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Virals (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Kathy Reichs

Series: Virals (1)

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1,016778,374 (3.69)38
Member:UrbanFantasyGuy
Title:Virals
Authors:Kathy Reichs
Info:Razorbill (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Virals by Kathy Reichs (2010)

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» See also 38 mentions

English (75)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Refreshingly nerdy. This is The Big Bang Theory crossed with Bones (TV series based on Reich’s books). Nerdilicious.

Reichs does not talk down to her audience. This book is all about science and technology and the era of the digital age. The author is a real-life respected scientist so happily, for once, I can say that the science is real and the leaps made into the unknown/paranormal seem plausible. This is authentic science fiction. Take that, I Am Number Four!

Although slow to start, 14-year-old Tory’s alpha personality is established straight away. She’s a mature girl who knows what she wants. Reich’s writing style was punchy, concise and intriguing. Yes, the beginning was heavy with description which is par for the course when it comes to world-building but once that was out of the way it was action, action, action.

Although I predicted small parts of the story, there were still red herrings which diverted me. Often in YA the obvious is the answer and I’m pleased Reich’s didn’t go that route. Not everyone and everything is what they seem. Real mystery.

The main characters are intelligent sponges, soaking up information wherever they find it. Knowledge is valued and utilised at every opportunity, and I appreciated every bit of it. Tory, into natural and biological science; Shelton, the geeky-looking mechanic and general gadget master; Ben, the athletic strong silent type; and Hiram (or Hi), the overweight guy with a penchant for sarcasm and probably the weakest, physically and mentally – are all valued members of a tight knit team. They are real friends who do not judge each other over every little thing: they listen, contribute and help each other whenever they can. Despite being forged by necessity living on a tiny island together and forced to go to school with rich kids, they have strong and lasting bonds, not superficial alliances in the petty games of teenage wars.

I enjoyed the contrasting elements of rich vs poor, brains vs popularity, adults vs teens, and the demonstration of those who cling on to their social group at the exclusion and ridicule of others are ignorant and small-minded. And that some things are more important than money and social class, like say, morals and ethics.

Perhaps I have an exceptionally dirty mind, something I have been accused of once or twice, or maybe the author has a sense of humour but names like Cummings Point and Hyman's Seafood had me in fits of laughter.

Also, the number of crimes committed in the book is ludicrous. These teens are criminal geniuses when it comes to B&E and theft. Luckily they’re on the side of good. If evil, they’d be unstoppable. At times, I did find their simplicity and ease with which they committed their criminal acts a little unbelievable but I shrugged and moved on.

I am curious by a few things. What’s behind the animosity between Ben and Jason? Will they become rivals for Tory’s attention/affection? Oh yes, I forgot: there is little romance here, perhaps a crush or two but nothing more. In YA these days, this is rare but very welcome when the plot isn’t contingent upon it.

There is a self-contained story, no cliffhangers, and a reminder that not all teens are vapid, immature airheads who can’t survive without conforming, not to mention needing an I-can’t-live-without-you romantic love interest hanging in the balance. Some can be witty with talent and a bright future. People I’d like to know.

This is not perfect. It was slow to start, I’m not strongly attached to the characters and the story does feel a little far-fetched at times but I was entertained and impressed by the science and the forthright nature of Tory and her merry men.

Virals engages the brain. It is nerd candy. And I need more. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
This was an okay book. Much of it kept me interested but other parts were just kinda dorky the whole...wonder twins activate thing. I just don't think this series is for me. ( )
  justablondemoment | Aug 22, 2014 |
I want to give KR the benefit of the doubt here, and assume she was pressured into writing this book. Something along the lines of . . .

PUBLISHER: Kathy we just love your books! The refreshing way you intersperse real-life issues pertaining to forensic anthropology into compelling stories!

KR: Thanks, I do my best.

PUBLISHER: We think it's really important to reach out to younger readers and would really like you to consider writing something for them.

KR: Such as . . .

PUBLISHER: Well, the same amazing mysteries you write, but with concepts that teens find compelling. Like vampires. Or werewolves!

KR: So I should write something that contains both real-life forensic issues and mythological creatures?

PUBLISHER: Exactly!

KR: Did Angel fans put you up to this?

PUBLISHER: Why? Do you think we should be reaching out to them more? Do you think David would pose shirtless for cover photos?

KR: (sigh)

Yeah, it was that bad. That bad, plus a debutante function so she could "borrow" concepts from Gossip Girl as well as Twilight. You're better than this, Kathy. I hope. ( )
  drhapgood | Jul 27, 2014 |
Tory is 14-years old and lives with her father on a small island. She and her buddies, who also live on the island, manage to “kidnap” a puppy being used for an experiment. At the same time, they come across a decades-old murder-mystery that was never solved. Tory, being a smart, budding forensic anthropologist, feels she can solve this murder. But, she and her friends are getting weirdly sick, at the same time.

This was good. I liked it, and I love that they rescued that puppy! It is YA, so you get some of the adults-being-clueless and the kids-being-able-to-solve-the-crime going on, but it was still entertaining. This is the first book I've read by Reichs, and I am interested enough to read more. Virals is the first in a series (or trilogy, maybe?), and I will continue the series. I would also like to try her adult books, as well. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 8, 2014 |
Quite readable story with a vauge link to her Bones series, our heroine Tory is Tempe's niece.

Tory is living on a secluded island of Charleston in South Carolina courtesy of her father who works in a nearby laboratory, her friends are fellow island dwellers and their lives change when they rescue a sick wolf-dog from a secret lab. Getting the wolfdog back to health is their first fight, the second is the murderous intents of someone and thigs get more complicated when they find the bones of a girl who went missing 30 years previously.

Light teen adventure, fun but nothing spectacular. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 6, 2014 |
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Kathy Reichsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reichs, Brendanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the good people and dogs of Charleston. Thanks for welcoming me to the neighborhood!
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A gunshot is the loudest sound in the universe.
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Book description
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.
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Tory Brennan is the leader of a band of teenage 'sci-philes' who live on an island off the coast of South Carolina and when the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.… (more)

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