Virals may be written for teens but it is a great story with the Kathy Reichs' touch that has gone into all her Temperance Brennan books. From beginn..Show More »ing to end, the story engages with interesting characters and a complex plot. As an adult, I considered not buying this book written with teens in mind, but it peaked my interest as a devoted Reichs' fan. I purchased it, listened to the book in one day, could not turn it off and at the end wished for more. I will certainly buy more of her "Teen" books. Hurrah for the Virals!
Code, the 3rd book in the Virals series, did not disappoint as a story or as a continuation. By itself, Code is a whirlwind thriller full of science, ..Show More »deduction, betrayal, danger, and frighteningly real characters. As a continuation, Code fed just enough new information into the ongoing mystery of the Virals' existence to keep me interested without leaving me hanging (much). What I liked the best about the Virals series is that Kathy Reichs (and now helped by Brendan Reichs) is not afraid to take risks with the main characters. They are mercilessly put through trials by fire, trials by emotional ruin, and trials of conscience, and each time, they rise to the occasion and deliver amazingly. My favorite part of Code itself...? The Gamemaker. Without revealing too many spoilers, the Gamemaker was fascinatingly cunning, ruthlessly determined, and psychologically terrifying. He wasn't your typical YA villain who pushes the young protagonists into a dark closet, leaving them plenty of time to escape. Not at all. He was evil and dark and hunted his prey like a wolf hunts a rabbit. I also really enjoyed getting to see the Virals all growing up a little. That must be a very hard trick to pull, because very few authors do it well, if they do it at all. But the authors of Code did it very well, blending newfound maturity with expanded responsibility and newfound feelings that are very real and well-known to anyone who's ever been a teenager. The return of narrator Cristin Milioti also makes me very happy. She reads the voice of Tory perfectly, and I love the well-planned special effect that are thrown in at just the right moment. 5/5 would listen again.
Virals is easily my favourite YA series happening right now.
It is a real shame not many seem to be reading it and I think it might be becau..Show More »se of its frequent mischaracterisation. Virals, Code included, is a Teen/YA series. The main protagonists are a group of smart, strong and inquisitive teens who were accidentally infected with a virus coding canine DNA making them essentially a human wolf pack.
Despite this supernatural leaning, Virals couldn’t be more grounded in the real world and while the kids are on a mission to find out what exactly happened to them, the ‘viral’ issue takes a back seat in each of the books to the mystery at hand.
Borrowing on Reich’s extensive research knowledge from the Bones series (sometimes directly as main character Tori Brennan is Temperance’s great-niece) Reich’s has crafted fun mysteries, treasure hunts and conspiracies for the team to pursue. Their viral abilities give them an edge, on par with their natural curiosity and intelligence.
Meanwhile, they deal with the more usual pitfalls of adolescence such as being smart scholarship students at an exclusive private academy by day. Fortunately the ‘teen’ stuff (including some budding romance finally starting to bloom in this entry) is handled deftly and kept minimal that you actually look forward to it as an interlude between adventures.
Code sees the virals drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a mysterious bomb maker threatening lives in their home town of Charleston, SC. As usual the team has to use fascinating local history and landmarks ( a real highlight of all the Virals books), solve puzzles and clues as well as exploit their access to their parents state of the art environmental research facility (covertly of course).
Overall, Code is another fun and exciting Virals book. Kathy has shared the writing with her son Brandan and the story, style, tone and voices didn’t’ miss a beat. I’ll be happy to see more Virals’ novels penned by Brendan (especially if they come along a little faster now!)
Overall, I highly recommend Code and the whole Virals series to any YA reader. Fans of adventure, incredible locations and puzzles/mystery will certainly not be disappointed. Fans of a well written work will also not be disappointed because Reichs’ skill and experienced writer just seems to make every element come together.
Exposure is the most lacking entry in the so far stellar Virals series.
I guess every series is bound to have, or maybe even be entitled to ..Show More »have, a slightly weaker entry but it was still a little disappointing.
Exposure clearly sets up a really interesting conflict for Book 5 but it came at the expense of a polished book 4.
The mystery in Exposure just wasn’t juicy enough. It felt like a scavenger hunt – clues were collected, assembled and the mystery was all wrapped up in a neat little package promptly. I’ve come to expect far more from the Virals team but I hope this doesn’t mean that characters have reached the point where they’re too smart for the writers to keep up with.
But if anyone can work a long-running forensic mystery series, it is Kathy Reichs. You’d think a high-concept series about genius, well-connected, SUPER-POWERED teens would stretch credibility beyond breaking point at the best of time but I’ve always found the series to be grounded by the day-to-day drama that complicates their clandestine sleuthing (and vice-versa).
In Exposure though, all the drama subplots were unceremoniously dumped and after they were bought to such a tantalising simmer in the previous book. This disappointing and added to the uneven and unsatisfying book.
Finally, I have to express a bit of concern about the new series co-writer, Kathy’s son Brendan. I praised book 3, the first shared novel, for staying true to voice but there was some clunkiness here. The pop-culture references came thick and fast, standing out like big neon thumbs by the end. Is this a sign the younger Reich’s is taking more of the helm? I don’t know but it needs to be dialled back before it becomes a problem.
It’s always weird to review books deep into an ongoing series – no one is going to pick up this one out of order to read no matter how glowing my review and no one who has read and loved the previous books are going to not continue no matter what I say.
To those who haven’t started Virals yet – I say do it immediately. The series as a whole is excellent even is Exposure is wobble.
Likewise, to those who are perhaps on the fence about the last three, Exposure won’t win you over but it should be read. It is essential to continue on in the series that I still have much love and high hopes for.