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Virals (Virals, Book 1) Hardcover – November 2, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 394 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: Kathy Reichs, creator of the hit television show and mystery series, Bones, brings her bestselling blend of science and suspense to teens with the first in a new series, Virals. Tory is the science-obsessed niece of a famous forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan (star of the Bones program and novels), living on a remote island off the coast of South Carolina. An old military ID tag leads Tory and her best friends, Ben, Hi, and Shelton--all self proclaimed “sci-philes”--to an illegal research lab, where they are exposed to a mutant strain of canine parvovirus. When the teens begin experiencing preternatural physical changes, their search for answers brings them in contact with cold-blooded killers. Reichs’s characters are realistically drawn modern teenagers, and the state-of-the-art forensic details give this thriller an added edge. Short, heart-pounding chapters move the action forward at breakneck speed and the satisfying conclusion sets the tone for the next installment (coming in summer of 2011). --Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10–Tory Brennan, 14, lives on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Her newly discovered father works in science research for the University of Charleston, which is why she and her friends with similar pedigrees attend the ritzy prep school in town with the local aristocracy. Tory and her three friends, all boys, are science geeks and love to explore the outer islands where monkeys and other wildlife abound. While exploring a supposedly deserted lab complex, they discover the caged offspring of a wolf and German shepherd that has been diagnosed with parvovirus. Tory's concern leads the group to rescue the pup with the notion of curing and saving it from science experiments. Tory knows that parvo cannot infect humans, but once the treatment begins the four teens start to experience symptoms that make them doubt her initial belief. Along the way, they also stumble upon a murder mystery dating back to the Vietnam War era that quickly becomes linked to the mysterious science experiments that are being kept hidden on the islands. What starts as a science mystery thriller takes a sharp right turn into the realm of science fiction with genetically altered DNA and superhuman senses that may cause more savvy readers to scoff. However, the fast-paced thrills, cool science, and great characters will create a flood of fans waiting for the next installment.–Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: HL480L (What's this?)
  • Series: Virals (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595143424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595143426
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

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 doesn't want that information uncovered, and they'll 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, they're 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. I'm already waiting for the next book in the series.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another book mistakenly listed as for Youthful readers. If one is into the Paranormal, adults will truly enjoy "Virals" the first in a new seres. The heroine, Tory Brennan, the grandniece of the Bones Serie star, Temperance Brennan, is 14 year old, has just lost her mother in an aut accident and has moved in with her father, a scientist living on one of the islands of the coast of South Carolina, and working in an animal reserve and research laboratory on another. She has three friends, boys from the age of 14 to 16 who are children of other employees on the same research laboratry island. The four of them are enrolled in a posh school on the mainland and are outcasts there.

Curios kids, they investigate one of the labs and find a puppy, a half wolf / half German Shepherd offspring of the wild wolf inhabitants of the island, hooked up to all sorts of wires an tubes--with his cage marked for his extermination. They grab the pup and run back to their own island home.

And each comes down with whatever has infected the pup, with varying degrees of illness. Tory's dad refuses to let her have a pet, so the four kids keep the pup in an old abandoned WWII defense bunker they've found on their island.

Tory's dad's employer, the doctor who's lab they stole the pup from, finds them and warns them that they might have unfortunate results from the illness they contracted from the dog--just as their bunker is attacked by unknown gun shooting men. The doctor sends the kids and pup through the escape tunnel, then collapses it so the kid can escape, but is killed in the aftermath.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first thought that "Virals" was going to be a continuation of Kathy Reichs' Tempe Brennans adventures.
I was more than pleasantly surprised when I realised that it was a completly different type of writing.
An adventure story, with twists and turns, although it is targeted at the younger reader, I truly enjoyed the writing and story line.
A bunch of kids and what they get upto on their island south of Key West.
Hope to see more of the "Virlas" in the near future.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fine first step into young people's literature. Many authors make the mistake of treating young people like children. Not so with this one! Let us hope the series developes more along the lines of crime fighting, and less along the lines of, 'kids save the world from nasy corporations and the nasty government!'
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wasn't sure about this book when I started it - in fact I read the first chapter and then had to put it down for a while as it isn't her usual style, but once I started reading again I couldn't put it down - excellent read and very different from her usual books. I look forward to more of these characters in the future - please.
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Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this book, and thought that it would be fun to follow some young protaganists for once - but these "super kids" just were not that believable as characters, and the plot went from thin to well, nothing, and the book just fell apart. I see some reviews are very positive, so maybe that says more about what the alternatives are than anything else. I think young readers deserve better!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so excited about this release and had high hopes for a YA novel written by Kathy Reichs, the author of the Tempe Brennan forensic anthropology book series for adults but I was very disappointed in this first outing. My focus when buying YA is to please savvy and enthusiastic readers who are high school age teens. The age of the protagonist female (Tory) in this book at 14 really bothered me and I felt was written a bit too "young" for the activities she became engaged in with her cohort of boys from the local prep school they all attended and from the island where they all lived. She was a bit of a "know it all" just like her great aunt seems sometimes to be to me in all of the "Bones" books I've read! Although there were attempts made to educate the readers about the science, it seemed like it was lecture rather than true teen interaction and dialog. Is anyone but me tired of these supposed "brainiac" kids who all happen to be friends and form a little club of sorts to outsmart adults and/or outwit criminals?

The story was somewhat preposterous as she and the boys (so stereotypical as the nerd, the klutz and the quiet, strong type -- Shelton, Hi and Ben) do a lot of breaking and entering and engage in some unbelievable research, snooping, and sleuthing in terms of what their searches find. Of course the parents are absent and clueless about what their offspring are doing. Their fellow students at the high school are also cliche -- the "mean girls", the jock, and the really cute rich guy who flirts with our heroine even though he has a gorgeous girlfriend. I found the suspension of disbelief required to be just too much. Even with their new found powers (derived from what exactly? a supervirus?), the narrative defied my ability to be entertained and mostly irritated me.
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