Sunday 15 February 2015

Virals by Kathy Reichs

ViralsVirals by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Arrow

Pages - 454

Blurb from Goodreads

Fourteen-year-old 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 her and her ragbag group of technophile friends stumble across a shallow grave containing the remains of a girl who has been missing for over thirty years. The question is, did whoever was responsible for the girl's death have anything to do with the sick puppy they rescued from a secret laboratory on the same island?

With the cold-case murder suddenly hot, Tory realises that they are involved in something fatally dangerous. But events take a turn for the bizarre when they escape some would-be attackers by using physical powers more akin to a dog than a human... Could the puppy hold the key not only to the murder, but also the strange changes that are taking place in their bodies?

My Review

I have read Kathy Reichs before and quite enjoyed her writing, on the tales of Temperance (Tempe) Brennan although this is the first book in a new series. Told through fourteen year old Tory Brennan, the niece of Tempe, Tempe is refered to in this book although she does not appear. Tory lives on a secluded island with her father, their relationship is strained and new to both of them. Tory is an outcast with most of the other kids, she has a close group of technophile friends, kids into their technology and generally smarter than most of the kids on the island. When they discover a body buried in a shallow grave and a break in to a near by secured facility they find themselves the target of someone who will kill to keep the past in the past.

The book, for me, started off ok. We have some cute wolve-dog family living on the island, a father and daughter trying to adjust to their fairly new and thrown upon them relationship and some mean old professor who dislikes the kids. The kids are really smart, curious and end up breaking into a restricted facility and coming upon secret testing in a lab. The fall out of this is the children find themselves changing and having new "powers", they also discover a few secrets that people have killed to keep quiet. The kids then go on exploring and digging into the past as well as trying to keep their "find" a secret as well as dealing with teen angst stuff.

There was a bit too much of everything flung into this story for me and some of the things that happened and the kids pulled off, you would need to suspend reality in order to get through it. A character does a complete 1-80 with no real reason given as to why, which always annoys me. I loved the parts about the wolve-dog animals, I thought that was a nice touch, however most of the other stuff was just too far fetched for me. Considering horror is my favourite genre, I don't mind suspending belief for stories but the way this one is done, it just didn't work, for me personally. This is the start of a new series I believe and if I came across it I would read the second book but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it and I definitely wouldn't be buying it. 2/5 for me this time, I think I will stick to the Tempe books as I remember enjoying them a lot more than this one.

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  1. I tend to think that some things can be unrealistic in a book like this bit some things need to be believable.

    I agree that character changes with no plausible explanation tend to completely ruin a story. This and some of the other negatives that you mention are unfortunate, as the main character of this book sounds interesting.

  2. Surprisingly (more to me than you probably), I have never read anything by Kathy Reichs before. I once wanted to read her, but I lost interest after awhile. I've heard her books lean toward the graphic side.


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