Thursday, 12 January 2012

Review: Virals by Kathy Reichs (Virals #1)

Publisher - Arrow (Young)
Publication Date - 27 Oct 2011
Paperback - 464 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Paranormal

Source - Purchased

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - 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.

My Thoughts - I will admit that I went into this book expecting something entirely different to what it was and I think that this may have something to do with my dissatisfaction with the story. I somehow got the wrong impression that this was a book about a group of kids becoming werewolves. Instead it is about a group of kids who get infected with a virus who then develop some characteristics of a wolf, such as super-sensitive sense of smell/hearing/sight etc. So I kept on waiting and waiting for this major event to happen but when it never did I found myself confused and slightly disappointed. Although my misconception of the book is not at all the authors fault, it did hinder my enjoyment of the book.

Also, I found the pace of the story very slow-going at the start and I found I really had to push myself to continue reading. The first half of the book focuses too heavily on setting the scene and describing the locations and I just felt as though it was too much and my attention kept on wandering.

But once the action did start, I enjoyed the story a lot more and I became a lot more engaged in the story. Also, there were some good twists near the end which meant that the killer's identity was a complete surprise for me.

One of the best parts of the book, for me, were the characters. I really liked Tory - she's brave, intelligent bordering on genius, and not afraid of anything. She is quite awkward socially with the other kids at school though and I liked the vulnerable side that this showed us. Tory's group of friends were all fun to read about too and the group's interactions were realistically portrayed. I loved the closeness that they felt for each other without there being any romantic feelings to complicate matters.

Summary - A good murder mystery that could have done with kicking into gear quite a lot sooner than it did. I loved the characters and, now that I have put myself right on the nature of the changes that have happened to them, I look forward to reading the sequel and finding out about how they learn to cope with these new-found powers.

Other books in this series:
1. Virals
2. Seizure

Other reviews of this book:
Annette's Book Spot / Between the Covers / Book Chick CityFeeling Fictional

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #1 for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Annette said...

Thanks for linking to my review. I do think it takes a while to get into the book, but I really enjoyed it. I haven't read the 2nd one yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Jenny said...

This is the second review for this book that wasn't very impressed. I think I have it on my TBR shelf but now I'm reconsidering.

Shelagh said...

Interesting review Chrissie. I was also under the impression that this was a werewolf story. Thanks for clearing that up! I love Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan books, so I'm keen to see what she does with a young adult story.

The Word Fiend

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Annette - You're welcome! I've just started reading book two so look out for my review soon :)

Jenny - I've seen a lot of good reviews for this one too. Most of the ones I've linked up to are positive ones. Might be worth looking at those before you make up your mind :)

Shelagh - At least you won't go into this book with the wrong impression now like I did! Hope you enjoy it when you get to read it :)

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