Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Virals by Kathy Reichs
12th May 2011, Young Arrow
Paperback, Review copy
Young Adult, fantasy/paranormal
Summary from Random House
Tory Brennan is as fascinated by bones and dead bodies as her famous aunt, acclaimed forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan. However living on a secluded island off Charleston in South Carolina there is not much opportunity to put her knowledge to the test. Until she and her group of technophile friends stumble across a shallow grave containing the remains of a girl who has been missing for over thirty years.
With the cold-case murder suddenly hot, Tory realises that they are involved in something fatally dangerous. And when they rescue a sick dog from a laboratory on the same island, it becomes evident that somehow the two events are linked.
On the run from forces they don’t understand, they have only each other to fall back on. Until they succumb to a mysterious infection that heightens their senses and hones their instincts to impossible levels. Their illness seems to have changed their very biology – and suddenly it’s clear that the island is home to something well beyond their comprehension. It’s a secret that has driven men to kill once. And will drive them to kill again
Bones! Bones are in this book, but I meant Bones, the TV series. Thanks to a very close friend I love Bones. I got curious and read the first book in Kathy's series which Bones is based on. I'm glad I read it in French. As soon as I translated the word maggots in a sentence I skipped the entire paragraph. Turns out it's a bit too gory for me. Maggots & dead bodies go hand in hand, so I haven't tried the other books. However, I loved her writing, all the twists and turns so jumped at the chance to read Virals.
Virals is awesome. There is that paranormal/fantasy element, which is strong but not necessarily the whole of the story. There is a lot of investigating of details, Tory is involved in a lot of breaking and entering with her friends, which includes a lot of trauma when they get caught/nearly caught. Tory is a strong, vibrant personality who is really funny at times. She cares about finding the truth everything, to help people. It's this characteristic which gets her into trouble. But I think at the end of the book she would agree the trouble is worth it.
It is a little bit odd that Tory's group consists of herself and three guys. You'd think there'd be another girl. There were a few in the story, who were secondary characters. Tory isn't a girl's girl. She gets bullied into being a debutante, something I didn't think even happened any more (not that I have a clue what happens in that social circle). It was quite a funny prospect, and had wide reaching consequences.
Much of Tory's life happens outside school, but there was a glimpse into American school life which I always enjoy (and feel familiar with, even though it's a totally different continent to me). I liked how the adventure spilled out into every aspect of Tory's life, school and family. Like her aunt she will keep going until the mystery is solved. Which means her life will be full of adventures now she and her friends are infected. Although it doesn't get openly stated, Tory acts a bit like an alpha wolf, which I understand thanks to having read other similar books.
There wasn't anything I didn't like in this book, it was a real thrill-fest and I'm glad I read it mostly in one go. This gets awarded 10/10! Go check it out!
Suggested reads: Rachel Vincent's Alpha series, (Alpha = last one), Meteorite Strike by A G Taylor, Dark Visions trilogy by L J Smith