REVIEWED BY DAVID M. KINCHEN
Anything that motivates young people to read books — real books, not texts on their smart phones — is by me OK. Great, even and Kathy Reichs and her son Brendan Reichs have produced a great young adult series in Virals. The fourth entry in the series, “Exposure” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group USA , $17.99, 432 pages) features the crime-solving efforts of Victoria “Tory” Brennan and her friends with special abilities and old-fashioned smarts. Tory, living on an island near Charleston, S.C., is the grand-niece of “Bones” protagonist Temperance Brennan.
Many teen readers will identify with the family life of Tory, with her widowed father Christopher “Kit’ Howard enthralled with a woman Tory calls “my father’s ditzy gal-pal”: Whitney Blanche DuBois. Whitney is working to get Tory into the very social Magnolia League of Charleston, but Tory is resisting, to say the least. She’d rather hang out with her wolf-dog Cooper — “Coop” for short, and her Virals pals Shelton and Hiram. For those not familiar with the wonderful city of Charleston and its environs, Cooper is the name of one of two rivers — Ashley is the other — that empty into the Atlantic Ocean. Or, as the old saying goes, Charleston is at the point “where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Atlantic Ocean.”
When twin classmates Lucy and Peter Gable are abducted from Bolton Prep, the school they also attend, Tory and the Virals decide there’s no one better equipped than them to investigate. But the gang has other problems to face. Their powers are growing wilder, and becoming harder to control. Tory’s nemesis Chance Claybourne is investigating the disastrous medical experiment that twisted their DNA. The bonds that unite them are weakening, threatening the future of the pack itself.
The Virals must decipher the clues and track down a ruthless criminal before he strikes again, all while protecting their secret from prying eyes. And everyone seems to be watching. To say anything more would be a spoiler, and I hate spoiler’s almost as much as Tory hates the idea of the Magnolia League.
Although it’s aimed at young adult (Y.A.) readers, I think adult readers will enjoy this latest “Virals” book. They may even get insights into how their teen-aged offspring think. If that’s at all possible!
About the Authors
Kathy Reichs (www.kathyreichs.com), like her iconic character Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a board-certified forensic anthropologist, and creator of the Fox television hit Bones, now in its ninth season. Reichs, born in Chicago in 1948, has written fourteen books in the Temperance Brennan series, all New York Times bestsellers, including #1. Exposure is her fourth novel for young readers.
Brendan Reichs (www.brendanreichs.com) was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the “Virals” series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.