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Virals Paperback – August 23, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 414 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Virals Series

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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
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Virals (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595144269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595144263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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
First off, I do not think this book is young adult. It reads much more like middle grade.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Virals by Kathy and Brendan Reichs is a must read for teenagers and up. This fast moving novel will keep your interest in high gear. You'll just not want to put it down. Tory Brennan moves in with her father, Kit, after her mom passes away. At fourteen, Tory finds that her dad has no clue as to raising children. Tory and her buddies, Hi, Shelton, and Ben, who is two years older than Tory, form a foursome that is adventurous. Tory finds a "dog tag" of a GI that was killed in Vietnam. Thus starts an adventure. All four become ill after rescuing a wolfdog from an a secret lab. All four become infected with a mysterious illness. All four live on an island just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. They must commute by boat to attend school, Bolton Academy. All four are being hunted down to be murdered. Why? This is the first of a series of novels about the "pack!" At my age, eighties, I found a hit! Rated G. No strong language or sexual content. DP, Castro Valley, CA.
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