Virals Series by Kathy Reichs
Published between 2010-2015
I really, really enjoyed this series and didn’t even know that Bones, the TV show was based off a series and that this one was essentially a spin-off version that featured Temperance’s niece, Tori Brennan. I used to watch Bones back when I had a lot of time but I stopped after like 5 seasons or so because it was becoming too long. I’m not even sure if the season ended or if it’s still going…I just checked – apparently it’s still running and its only season 12 now. Damn, that’s a very long show.
Anyways, I enjoyed Bones for the few months that I binged watched it and I was pretty psyched to read the Virals series especially after I found out the connection. I was definitely able to tell that this series was similar to Bones in that both of them are highly scientific with a lot of terminology. Thankfully, unlike Bones, this one was more geared towards the YA crowd so there were a lot of good explanations especially when they discussed something technical.
The one thing I was amazed throughout the books was that despite the character’s tender age (all 15-16 years old), they were all incredibly smart (except for maybe Ben, now that I think of it…). Shelton was more tech smart, Hiram was on the science stuff with Tori also on the science stuff but more towards blood/experiments due to her relationship with Temperance. They all worked incredibly well together and honestly, even without their flare powers, a lot of the puzzles were easily cracked by them especially in the third book, Code.
I think my favorite book out of the entire series was probably Seizure with the whole treasure hunting thing. There were definitely a number of times in the book where I was a little skeptical about how well they managed to evade some traps set up from hundreds of years ago. However, they are also incredibly resourceful and intelligent so I guess it’s not entirely out of the norm. The first book, Virals, was also interesting because it’s how everything started and the cold case murder mystery was especially interesting to me.
The dynamic between the four – Tori, Ben, Shelton and Hiram – were interesting. I was a little surprised at how close they were because in the first book, Tori described that she was mostly only friends with them because they were the only teenagers/kids living on their otherwise deserted island. However, it seemed that in reality, the dynamic was that Tori was always the leader with the boys following her every word even before the pack was formed. I’m not sure if I liked Tori that much, to be honest, because she seemed incredibly bossy. This was especially true when Shelton or Hiram didn’t really want to do something like breaking and entering but would be pressured by Tori. Plus, in the last two books, she became incredibly more and more annoying with her girly thoughts between Chance and Ben. To be honest, I thought after the first kiss, the decision was made but then she kept going back and forth between the two that even the two boys plus Shelton and Hiram were getting distracted with all the bickering and fist punches. I understand that she’s a teenage girl and they tend to be confused with the opposite gender because I know I was but for someone who is so smart with extra abilities, she was quite slow in this aspect.
Overall, I did really, really enjoy the series. I liked the adventure and even the ending was nice. It was realistic and it made a lot of sense. However, there was that last paragraph that made me rethink a few things…