Jun 24, 2010

Virals by Kathy Reichs

ViralsTory Brennan is just like her famous Aunt Temperance Brennan in so many ways. Namely she seems to get herself into trouble without being able to fully rescue herself on her own. Tory is still adjusting to her new living situation as she was unceremoniously dumped upon her never-before-seen father when her mother tragically died. So in addition to parental awkwardness, social isolation, & general teen angst, Tory manages to create plenty of mischief with her crew. As the lone girl, and kind of the ring-leader, of a rag-tag team of misfits on a secluded South Carolina research island, Tory and her friends find plenty of trouble to get into. They're all children of university professors/researchers whose work has them studying local sea creatures & habitats, so naturally they're brilliant in the intelligence department, but still developing common sense.

One of their favorite places is Loggerhead Island where the university has the main research compound. There are wild monkeys roaming about and plenty of other wildlife to observe, but the crew's favorite, or should it be Tory's favorite, are the wolf-dogs. A lone wolf was brought to the island and soon discovered a German Shepard mate. Together they have two gorgeous wolf-dog pups that the crew are keeping tabs up with. When one of the pups goes missing, and the parents become agitated, the crew decides to explore the forbidden compound. They were not prepared for what they found, nor the consequences of their snooping. The crew is now more than just friends, they're a pack. In a race against more than just time, these four teens have to solve a murder and hope to save themselves in the process.

I must start off by saying that I am a newly-minted fan of the television show Bones. This wonderfully charming show is based on Kathy Reichs's adult mystery series surrounding Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist. That alone would have been enough to get me to read Virals, but the summary was so much more enticing!! This book was non-stop action and intrigue with lots of mystery and teenage fun mixed together. I was quite amazed at how adeptly Dr. Reichs combined her mystery-solving, science-loving content with the characters. Nothing felt forced or out of the realm of possibility for these teens.

I really enjoyed the dynamics of the crew's relationships. It's kind of obvious that there is some friction among some of the more dominant members and that there is definitely at least one follower. What was truly fun to watch play out was the epiphany that so many guys have later in their teens, "Oh my gosh, she's really a girl!" It just suddenly dawns on them that there is something different about their friend and this story was no exception.

If you like depth, non-whiny teens, and a good mystery with some ethical dilemmas, this book is perfectly suited to fulfill your needs. Happy reading!

This book was graciously provided by Around the World Tours and will be available in November 2010.


Andrea said...

I haven't read any Reichs, but I love the show and I really want to read this one. Great review.

April (BooksandWine) said...

This makes me really excited to read my copy! I like books where the kids aren't whiny, ha ha.

Rebs @ Book-Rants said...

I haven't read any from this author but I do love the show Bones. I might have to look some of these books up