Friday, September 23, 2011

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Virals is the first is a YA series by Kathy Reichs, who came to popular culture through her books about Temperance Brennan and their t.v. show adaptation, Bones. The main character, and our narrator, is Tory Brennan (Temperance's niece). I have only read the first Bones book, though I've watched the t.v. show regularly, so I can't say whether this series is a true spin off or not. I plan on reading more of both the Temperance and Tory Brennan series.

I ear-read rather than eye-read this books. The young lady, Cristin Milioti, that did the voice work did a fabulous job. This book even had a few sound effects related to certain occurrences. This surprised me at first, most audiobooks I've read don't include sound effects but rely solely on the actor's voice. Maybe this one was different because it was a YA book, it was well done and didn't distract from the story.

Tory has just moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. The reason for her move? Her mother has died in a car accident and she has moved in with her father, Kit. Neither of them has known of the others existence for the 14 years of her life. Considering the circumstances, Tory is exceedingly well adjusted. She is a genuinely good kid, if her actions aren't always careful or legal. Like her famous aunt, she is very intelligent and loves science. Her father's house is on a small island owned by the University, only other university employees live on it. As a result, Tory becomes with the three teen boys that also live on the island. They also love science, though different aspects. The kids go to a fancy prep school on the mainland, this is one of the perks offered by the college to attract researchers to take the job on the remote research island.

The kid's love to go the research island by boat and observe the wolf-dogs and the wild monkeys (yes, you read that correctly). This habit annoys their parents' supervisor, and he is always trying to prove that they have broken a rule so that he can ban them forever. They have noticed that one of the wolf-dog pups is missing and that the pack is acting strangely (its because the missing pup is locked up in one of the labs), while trying to discover the cause of the strange behavior Tory discovers a pair of old dog tags. Being an ever curious teen, and solver of puzzles, Tory insists they find out who the dog tags belonged to and how they got on the island.

This discovery in turn leads to the discovery of a dead body. Shortly, after discovering the body they all become very ill. It turns out that they caught an unknown disease when they rescued the wolf-pup, dubbed Cooper. Once they are over the sick symptoms, they begin to notice heightened senses and unusually high levels of strength. But these powers are interment. In the course of their investigation into the dog tags and dead body, they have angered a mysterious person that is trying to stop their investigation by any means possible.

The story is fast paced, entertaining, with moments of true and deep emotions (some sweet, others sad). It is a YA book, but due to some of the language it contains I would say it's best for upper middle school or high school. I really enjoyed it.

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