Virals by Kathy Reichs – Advance Review

Book Jacket:

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 are a pack. They are Virals


How I have missed teenage sleuthing. There’s just something about a story of kids hunting down leads, breaking into forbidden areas, keeping secrets from their parents… Virals is at its heart a mystery – think Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars, plus a healthy dose of interesting science and just a dash of the paranormal. This book gave me everything I’ve been missing in YA.

And I have to say it – it’s such a relief to read a YA that isn’t all about ONE TRUE LOVE. Not that I’m against a cute couple to root for, but I am getting deathly sick of the endless parade of Twilight-esque EPIC ROMANCE. Virals has attraction and teenage hormones, but they’re not the be all, end all of the book (hallilujia). Instead we have smart kids, an interesting mystery, and plenty of action to keep you riveted to the page – thank you Kathy Reichs!

I am a fan of the Temperance Brennan series and I did have a tiny brain hitch in adjusting to the idea that something paranormal could exist in Temperance’s world – it was just a moment of skepticism and it was quickly gone, a ping on the radar. I think it will only register at all for people familiar with Reich’s other work – but then we also get to enjoy the amusement in having Tory know all about bones because she’s read her famous Aunt’s books. Really my only complaint about this book is stylistic – at times the sentences are so short it’s jarring, but I adjusted to it quickly and it didn’t mar my enjoyment of the story in any way.

Bottom line, you can always count on Kathy Reichs for a gripping mystery, adult or YA. Virals keeps you riveted to the clues without giving away too much – I was never ahead of the story and I was surprised by the reveal at the end. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.

Virals comes out November 2, 2010.

Byrt Grade: A

As Levar Burton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

Tattooed Books says:

I must start off by saying that I am a newly-minted fan of the television show Bones… 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…If you like depth, non-whiny teens, and a good mystery with some ethical dilemmas, this book is perfectly suited to fulfill your needs.

Jennifer at Goodreads says:

Virals sticks close to Reich’s style. There are intelligent, yet easy to understand explanations of the science mentioned. The characters are believable and easily invested in. As in the Temperance Brennan series, Virals is full of never see them coming reveals…Virals is a very promising start to a new series with the possibility of being amazing as long as the focus stays on the abilities and the science. I’m excited by the premise and will definitely be looking out for the next book

Verb Vixen says:

Best-selling Bones author Kathy Reich hits the mark with her new YA spinoff.  Tory Brennan (Temprance’s great neice) has all the best traits of her aunt without the emotional stagnation.  She is bold, brilliant, reckless, loving, loyal and a born leader.  This action adventure is a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by the paranormal; with its real science based plot and killer twists, it is a must read!