Author: Kathy Reichs
Publication: November 2, 2010
Summary taken from goodreads:
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.
3.5 STARS - I LIKED IT
The beginning of the book was very descriptive and slow, which turned me off a little. The foreshadowing that was used at the end of the first few chapters was also a little too dramatic for me.
However, once the plot really started kicking in, I was easily sucked into the story. For such a thick book, it didn't take long to read since the mystery and suspense kept the pace fast and story entertaining. And man, that twist in the end... gotta say I was surprised, but I wasn't completely surprised. Some people are just too good to be true.
Speaking of people, I really liked the characters in Virals. At least the members of the pack.
Tory is a great protagonist. She's independent, smart enough to skip a grade (although she seems a little too smart for a fourteen year old girl at certain times), loyal, stubborn, compromising, and every bit the leader of the group.
Ben sort of reminds me of Fang from Maximum Ride with the whole strong and silent thing. Plus, he does seem like the second in command since the other guys agree to whatever plan Tory comes up with after Ben agrees first. But he talks more than Fang and really likes his boat. So.
Hiram, AKA Hi, is the comedian of the group. His sarcasm and wit has me grinning or chuckling half of the time. For example: "I'll be here." Hi pointed at his bathroom. "That toilet's the center of my universe."
And Shelton. Shelton is like the voice of reason that isn't afraid to admit that he's scared. But he's also a techno geek and picks locks. Pretty cool traits.
The lack of romance was surprising, but also refreshing. Yes, Tory has a crush, but it doesn't get in the way of the plot, and the girl didn't spend much time over-thinking about the guy, which was good. It's nice to know that not all girls are obsessed with finding themselves a boyfriend. Then again, she had much other pressing issues to worry about first... like who was trying to kill her.
Since the mystery was solved at the end of the book and there was no cliffhanger, I'm assuming that the books in this series will have standalone plots, which is totally fine with me. That just means that I don't have to waste time agonizing over the endings while waiting for the next book to come out. :P