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."
My Review: This book was awesome. It was kind of like Maximum Ride (which I love): filled with action, evil science, a wisecracking heroine...oh, and kids who have animal-like senses. Only instead of turning into bird-kids, these kids get the senses and instincts of wolves---and they call themselves Virals. I liked the setting of this book; it was a really sleepy kind of Southern town, kind of mysterious and weird. It kind of reminded me of Martha's Vineyard in the summer, for some reason. And it was cool how the gang lived on an island. Normally I don't like too much science-y stuff in books, but the way Tory described it, it was actually interesting. And Tory herself was a really good heroine. She was tough, funny, and smart. She actually had a personality! (Wow, shocker, right?) There wasn't as much character-building for the kids in her group, but I'll admit that her sidekick, Hiram, was hilarious. Very sarcastic and realistic. This was one of those books that actually kept me guessing as to who the bad guy was, and what was the bad guy's main plan---as opposed to me figuring it out in the first ten pages. And the action sequences were awesome! Reichs is very descriptive; I could actually see the whole book pan out in my mind like a movie (which is a good thing). Oh, and I liked how Tory just ADMITTED she was pretty and didn't act like she wasn't, when she was; too many heroines do that and it's one of my pet peeves. For any fans of Maximum Ride, the TV show Bones, or action/adventure books, Virals should NOT be passed over.
Cover: The cover is not particularly amazing, but it is good for this book: girl running away from evil people in pursuit, in the jungle. That happens quite a few times, so it works. I do really like the way they wrote "Virals" however---all big and red and they have faint images of wolf jaws and eyes hidden in the letters, which is cool.
Overall Grade: A+