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Diamond on the Shelf: Virals


Disclaimer: I love pretty much any type of fantasy, supernatural, or mythological book. Maybe it’s the fact that reality can sometimes be boring or maybe it’s the fact that I am simply weird, but I like getting lost in imagination.


“Virals” is the first book in the series by Kathy Reichs. The main character, Tory Brennan, is the niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of both the Bones novels and hit TV show). She is a young, intelligent and headstrong tomboy, as well as the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes” (basically science nerds) who live off the coast of South Carolina. When the group of friends rescue a dog from illegal medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to a strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. The group starts to develop animal-quick reflexes, heightened senses and even telepathic abilities. These new changes quickly come in handy when a cold-case murder suddenly becomes very hot. The group must combine their scientific curiosity and newfound gifts to stay alive long enough to catch the killer.


I will admit, when I first started reading this novel, I thought it would just be a typical werewolf story — I was wrong. Reich’s ideas are creative, giving the reader an interesting story. After the introduction, the story has two major storylines that, although separate, are linked on a higher level. More often than not, the group is left with more questions than answers leaving the reader to keep guessing as to what will happen next. Just when the group (and the reader) think they’ve figured out all the answers, a twist is thrown into the story.


All in all, I found that Kathy Reichs combined both supernatural and forensic science elements extremely well and produced an engaging, unique and clever story. It was a fresh way to tell a story that will appeal to people who love this genre. Now that the Virals have truly accepted their powers … they can do anything.

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