Bloomington High School North Library

Bloomington High School North

Virals : a Virals novel, #1

Review by Kaila Day on February 12, 2016

Categories: Fiction, Humor, Thriller, Science Fiction, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

Science, mystery, murder, suspense, teenage angst!? What more could a kid want! Mystery/Drama author Kathy Reichs is known for her widely popular book series Bones, which follows forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Now Reichs has come up with a story line for her younger audience members. Virals follows the adventures of Temperance’s great-niece, Tory. Reich’s knack for story-telling doesn’t just stop at her older audience members. She easily creates captivating and relatable characters for teenagers, with whom they are guaranteed to fall in love.
14 year-old Tory Brennan, a science fanatic, finds herself in an entirely new element when she moves to the coast of South Carolina with her father…who she has just met for the first time. As she’s settling into her new home and school, she and her new friends discover something is amiss in her father’s place of work, a super high-tech research lab on an island a little ways off the coast. As the kids do some snooping, they realize one of the researchers is digging into something a little too deep. When they try to right his wrong, they end up catching a little more than they had hoped for. Exposed to a new virus, they kids are given powers they never could’ve dreamed of. Now try to imagine juggling AP courses and hiding your new-found genetic mutations. Doesn’t sound bad enough yet? Classmates AND hired killers on their tail, trying to figure out what they know. The kids will have to use their brains and spiraling powers to face it all.
The book was a wonderful read. There are no filler chapters or moments, every detail just keeps adding to the plot, and that’s the brilliance of Reich’s writing. Her grip of teenage perspective is pretty accurate, the characters are believable and loveable, and you feel like they’re your own friends. While there is some romance involved, it is nice to have a young, female lead who isn’t dependent on what men in her life do. Tory Brennan leads her group with a strong head and fiery resilience. They story never gets too slow, it’s a very nice balance and shift between heart-pounding action and slow build-up. It also beautifully shifts from comic topic to serious ones. It is an excellent teenage read, for it appeals with the humor of teenagers, but broaches on the subject of serious matters such as murder and abuse. All in all, I would recommend this first installment of a series to anyone. It keeps your mind thinking and your heart pumping, all you could ask for in a book.