Written by: Kathy Reichs
Released: September 29, 2010 by Razorbill
Summary: 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.
Even though I have two Kathy Reichs books from her Temperance Brennan series, I’ve never read anything by this author before now. Of course, this is going to make me rush out and grab some of her books from the library to read ASAP. The writing style made me unaware that I was reading a YA book until something like homework or high school was mentioned, and I rather like that in my YA reads. And it was nice that it was tied into the adult series as well – acting sort of like a spin-off.
Tory was a character who I found to be wise and aged beyond her years. She was very mature and learned which made for an interesting read with science information. I kept forgetting as I read that she was only fourteen and the youngest of her friends.
I loved that idea of a close-knit community living on an island together off the shore of a large city. I thought that it would have been so cool had I of grew-up in a place like that with friends like Tory has. I guess it was just nice that you knew all your neighbours. But how the houses were on this island was neat. It sounded like it was an absolutely beautiful setting.
The mystery of this book was great and it threw me completely off guard. Never going into reading this book did I expect it to be anything other than sci-fi reading with all key plots relating to how the characters become Virals. But it was almost as if the sci-fi was the backseat story to the main mystery that had Tory and her friends acting like Nancy Drew. I thought that it was a great mixture of the two genres within the pages of one book.
This book gripped me from the very first chapter and kept me enthralled with the story until the very end. Speaking of which, the ending has a loop like I would never have guessed and I almost had to re-read the last few chapters to make sure that things had really turned out like they did.
This was a cute read (meaning that in the very best way possible) that was gripping and fun for the entire 464 pages. At no point did I stop and wonder when things were going to end, which is always a great thing in my book. I am left wondering, though, if there will be any following books with these characters. But as much as I would love to read that, I can’t think of how it would work into a different story. But that’s not my job, now is it?
On a side note; isn't that cover gorgeous? There's so much going on with it but it all works so well together.
Anyways, this is a 9/10 book for me and I really cannot wait to read more by this author.