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. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
This is actually a sort of werewolf story minus all the howling at the moon and growing fur and claws and all that fun stuff. It has a more concrete base in science even though I’m pretty sure it could never actually happen. However, I am by no means a science genius, so I could be completely wrong about that. But either way, I liked that the story definitely has a root in truth.
I also enjoyed that there’s no romance in the book. Tory has a small crush, sure, but that takes up very little of the story and it’s ten times more realistic than her seeing a boy across the school hallway and falling in love and deciding to get married and have his babies without ever talking to him.
While I do like the characters, I do think that Tory is a little too smart for a fourteen year old. She identified a pile of forty-year-old bones in less than three minutes, and while I get that the whole idea is that she inherited her aunt Tempe’s brain, she can’t inherit her knowledge nor her years of collage. What this makes it seem like is that Tory reads anthropology textbooks for fun, but she’s too busy to do that.
Also, for a novel that’s said to be a mystery, it takes a good 60% of the book to actually get to it. This was slightly annoying, and it made me a bit antsy to get to the action already. But when it did, it didn’t disappoint. It’s both a source of pride and an annoyance that I can often figure out whodunit before the characters do, but in this case, I didn’t. This mystery was complex and worth the wait.
But the real thing that book is about is what the pack (Tory, Hi, Ben and Shelton) call Flaring. It’s the however brief time that they have canine-like abilities. Their vision, hearing, and sense of smell strengthens, and their eyes glow golden. Again, this has a root in science, even if it could never happen in real life.
Basically, this book is a fun, fast-paced read, but if you’re signing on for the mystery, be warned it takes a little while to get too.
Meanwhile, I am attempting both both reorgonize my Goodreads account and figure out how to work out by new Bloglovin’ account. So far, the Bloglovin’ thing is going a bit faster. It’s been about a year of Goodreads with no organization other than “Read” and “To-Read”, so I’m actually kind of delaying that a bit.
And, for those who have Bloglovin’, do you like it? Does it bring traffic to your blog? Do you have any types for newbies (like me)?