Sunday, April 24, 2011


Title: Virals
Author: Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2010
Pages: 319
Genre: Action/Sci-fi

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.

I got this book because I love the television show Bones. Kathy Reichs also wrote the book series that the television show is based on. This book was pretty good. It’s based on 4 nerds who live in the backwoods of South Carolina. These nerds are also pretty rebellious, which isn’t the norm. I liked that.
Tory is the epitome of a nerd. She likes science a lot and she won’t stop asking questions until she knows the answers. When she convinces her friends to break into their parents’ university laboratory to clean the dog tags they found, they find a lot more than the information of the fallen soldier.

They find a young wolf-puppy locked away in a cage hooked up to IV’s and monitors. They decide to break him out of that cage. When they do that, they become infected by an evolved strain of parvovirus, which is not supposed to be a threat to humans. This strain of parvovirus gives the teens “flashes” during which their senses are heightened and they’re stronger and faster.

During all of these changes, gunmen who don’t want them to learn the true story behind those dog tags are chasing the teenagers. This book was a good suspense, but ultimately forgettable. I almost wish she hadn’t added in the superhuman attribute to the teens. I think their adventures would have been cooler if they just figured their way out using their big nerdy brains.


Cover: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Individuality: 3/5
The Whole Shebang: 3.2/5