Ryan James's Reviews > Virals

Virals by Kathy Reichs
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: kathy-reichs
Read in September, 2012

I bought this book at a used English bookstore in Budapest. I am an avid Reichs fan and am almost completely up-to-date on her novels, except the last one out. I had not heard of this title, so was excited to come across it for about $6. Now I want to sell it back and am willing to do so for less than $1 or just toss it.

I am an educator with other 25 years of teaching. If this is a young adult book, something has gone far amiss in the field. The language goes from insipid to vulgar. This is the first time I have read a book through only to be able to fully warn others against wasting their time and money.

The idea that four young teen boys would include a single young female into their group with just friendship is lame. Yet the five of them share a secret bunker. Oh my!

They then discover bones, break into a Fort Knox type research lab because no one changed the alarm code from the default, a crooked scientist confesses to them, and Tory finds the key to gain entry to a historic mansion owned by a State Senator under a loose stone in the yard. This group is supposedly the upper crust in intelligence, but it doesn't come through anywhere in this story.

The clincher is when the senator gave the power to command to his 16 year old's girlfriend since she was more of a man than he was.

If you look at the back cover of the paperback, there are the standard recommendations that are on all of Reichs books. There is nothing from any children's literature association or a librarian group recommending it. It is trying to fly high on Reichs' name, but this fantasy misses the mark by a long shot. You can feel that this is meant to be a series. If there is a higher power in publishing with a brain, this will be nipped in the dust cover with this title.

Kathy, please return to what you are good at and leave the YA writing to the experts.

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