Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com
Tory and her father live on an island reserved for the faculty who work at the remote research facility on a nearby island. She and her friends often explore the research island. One day, she convinces them to break into the facility to use their equipment in rejuvenating a dog tag ID they found in the woods.
While they have no problems cleaning the dog tags, they discover a missing wild puppy locked in a cage. Outraged, they immediately break Coop out and hide him in their secret cavern.
Tory and her friends take turns caring for the puppy while also trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the dog tags. They search the library, where they uncover clues to the identity of the man. Unfortunately, their search triggers a reaction. Someone doesnt want that information uncovered, and theyll do almost anything to keep Tory and her friends from learning and sharing the truth.
Coop is sick, sick with a strand of virus that infects Tory and her friends. Suddenly, theyre having hot flashes, blacking out, and using bursts of adrenaline to execute inhuman feats. These feats occur in times of extreme danger being followed, chased, shot at, or while breaking into secure buildings.
VIRALS is Kathy Reichs' first foray into the young adult world, and she knocks it out of the park. After a slow start, the tension, drama, danger, mystery, and the strange virus pulsing through the characters' bodies make this book extraordinarily hard to put down. Im already waiting for the next book in the series.
My first thought when finishing this book was along the lines of "Wow, so much better than I expected!".
Tory is the niece of my beloved Tempe (from Bones) and she's a little mini-version of her. So smart, and so young that it blows your mind. Tory and her crew of friends are all smart in their own areas, and I loved following the adventures of this nerd herd! They live on a remote island, so they really have to come up with their own fun. Tory is obsessed with a pack of wolf-dogs on a remote island, but the pup has been missing. When they break into the lab to clean an old war dog-tag they found they also discover the missing puppy and just can't leave it behind. The mystery of the dog-tag becomes quite an adventure, and saving that puppy will lead them on a path they never could have imagined.
I was so engrossed in this book. I would think I'd been reading for only a few minutes, then I would look up and realize it's been much longer and I'm 1/2 way through the book! The mysteries unfold at a great pace and the action just explodes off of the page. I was drawn into the lives of these kids and didn't want to reemerge. Tory is super smart and so snarky and wonderful, I would have loved to have a best friend like her when I was in high school (even though I would have felt dumb hanging around her). The best friends each have their own qualities that make them a great team and each of them add a great element to the story.
Chance (the uber-jock, son of a senator, prince of the school) and his girlfriend Hannah really added a great twist to the story.
I really recommend this book to any lover of mysteries, Bones, fantasy, or YA. I can't wait for book 2 and where this series can go from here. I also loved that the mystery of this book wrapped up completely by the end. There was no cliff-hanger to leave me ready to throw the book, but the next book could go in so many directions still. I only wish I didn't have to wait so long!