Home > Mystery, Science Fiction, Senior Fiction > Virals by Kathy Reichs

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Virals by Kathy Reichs. Pub. Young Arrow, 2010.

Tory Brennan is 14 years old  and she lives on Morris Island  Charleston South Carolina. Tory’s father works at a research laboratory on Loggerhead Island off the coast of Morris Island and she and her friends are allowed access to the island. She wishes she did not!

The laboratory  is run by a devious character called Professor Karsten who has isolated a section of the research Institute for his own secret experiments.

Loggerhead Island also has a couple of other unique features that are important to the story. Firstly a lone wolf has mated with an alsatian dog and produced three cubs the youngest of which is called Coop. Secondly the island is populated by a troop of monkeys who are starting to show weird behaviours.

When visiting Loggerhead Island with her friends Ben, Shelton and Hi, Tory discovers that Coop has gone missing and the monkeys attack them and throw a clod of earth at them in which is embedded a soldiers dog tags.

In order to read the dog tags the teenagers break into the Research Centre to use equipment held there and in the process find the secret laboratory in which Coop is held and  being  used to test a deadly virus called  Parvovirus which is normally fatal to dogs. The question is can it be trasmitted to humans?  When Tory and her friends start having weird dreams and spasms of heightened senses and strength they realise they are turning into Virals.

Kathy Reichs normally writes for adults but she has adjusted her style to write this novel for teens and young adults. The Chapters are short as are the sentences and paragraphs. This makes for quick easy reading with hooks at the end of each chapter to keep the reader interested.

Virals is over 450 pages but it is exciting action packed  and combines mystery with fantasy and forensic science. It is probably the start of a new series and fans of Twilight will find it appealling.  I enjoyed it.

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