Mystery writer Kathy Reichs, with her bestselling blend of science and suspense, has created a new series for teens (grades 6-9) called Virals. This is her first venture into young adult literature, and has several elements of her mystery novels, plus additional ‘current’ paranormal ideas. Not quite vampires thank goodness. The niece of the forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan (see Bones), Tory displays similar genetic tendencies: science, sleuthing and loyalty when she and her new friends (Ben, Hi, and Shelton) uncover a secret research lab on a remote barrier island in South Carolina. Exposure to a mutant strain of canine parvovirus causes these teenagers to have heightened senses of smell, sight, hearing, which conveniently flare when they are in danger.
*Refreshing snappy pace with realistic, interesting, modern teenagers in an old-fashioned somewhat formulaic, adventure story.
*Villains are a little too simplistic, rather cold-blooded killers, while being no match for teenagers. aka Harry Potter.
*Contains similar forensic details that Reichs is known for in the Brennan novels, geared towards teens. I am not sure I would want young adults to read the rather gruesome details of the Bones series, as there is enough over exposure these days.
*Look forward to the next installment, summer 2011.