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Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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Virals Kindle Edition
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|Length: 466 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 10 and up|
|Grade Level: 5 - 9|
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Virals was lively action in a captivating setting with mystery, science, and a sprinkling of danger to make life interesting. In other words, plot-driven excitement that put me in mind of the best that a Nancy Drew/CSI/Lost sort of adventure could conjure. For what it was, it was entertaining.
So – down to the meat – what wasn’t it? Number one: a love story. Not that it couldn’t develop in the future, mind you, but this one isn’t it. Number two: big on character development. You may have seen the words ‘plot-driven’ above. I meant them. The book isn’t shallow, but it’s not a platform for deep thoughts or character change, either. It’s an adventure story. Number three: girls-only reading. I think that Virals will appeal mainly to guys. I KNOW it’s got that tomboy and science geek thing down pat, but the next most likely audience (in my opinion) is the male half of the teenage equation. Great adventure reading, mysteries, and unexplained diseases? Should appeal to both sexes.
Final verdict: worth the read. While this wasn’t one of my typical choices, it entertained me for a couple of hours on a rainy day, and the non-stop action was a great diversion. I’ll be looking out for the next installment.
Recommended for: mystery and action lovers, those Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys readers all grown up, fans of Bones, CSI and other mystery/forensics shows, and perhaps that reluctant teen reader you know – guy or girl – who might be thrilled by a little bit of action adventure.
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.
The rest of the book is devoted to finding out who and why they were attacked, what has happened to them as result of catching the dog's virus, and learning what to do with themselves with these new powers.
Tory's life is complicated by a crush on the richest kid in school, and n Charlotte society, her dad's ditzy girlfriend who insists she prepare for her "comng out"--something the tom-boy Tory is not interested in at all, and the way the snobby kids in heir school treat these outsiders.
All in all a fun and interesting book to read--IF one is interested in anything paranormal.
At the beginning I did not like the voice of the main character. I thought the author was searching too hard to capture today's youth and coming up with something that was just hard to read. Over the course of the book, I became more used to the voice and it was less bothersome.
I like that there is a strong girl protagonist who is not pitted against other girls. So many books about girls don't seem to think that a girl can stand up to boys or men as the antagonist. Also, the main character has four friends who are all boys. Not sure if that is good or not, but she is definitely their leader.
There are a couple of inconsistencies in the book. For example, at one point one of the kids describes the World War 1 as being in this century. Even I don't consider that this century since that was in the 20th century and we are now in the 21st. Plus all the kids in the book would have been born after the turn of the millennium so the 1910s would seem like ancient history to them. In fact, given that it is now 2015, WW1 was more than 100 years ago.
That's all pretty minor though. The book gets off to a slow start, although interesting. By the end it has picked up a lot of momentum, becoming something of a thriller. There is a bit of blood, gore, and murder involved but not more than your average kid could handle.