Virals (Virals Series #1)

Virals (Virals Series #1)

by Kathy Reichs, Brendan Reichs

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Adventure is in Tory Brennan's blood. After all, she’s the grandniece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Always up for a challenge, Tory and her science-geek friends spend their time exploring the marshlands of Loggerhead Island, home to the very off-limits Loggerhead Island Research Institute, where something strange is going on. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them--and their DNA--forever. Now they are more than friends. They are a pack. They are Virals. And they're dangerous to the core. But are they unstoppable enough to catch a cold-blooded murderer?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101475065
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Series: Virals Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 61,313
Lexile: 480L (what's this?)
File size: 785 KB
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About the Author

Kathy Reichs (, like her iconic character Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a board-certified forensic anthropologist, and creator of the Fox television hit Bones, now in its eighth season. Reichs has written fourteen books in the Temperance Brennan series, all New York Times bestsellers. Virals is her first of three novel for young readers (

Brendan Reichs ( 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.


Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

What People are Saying About This

James Patterson

“If you like the TV show Bones (I do) or Maximum Ride, you’ll love Virals.” James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the MAXIMUM RIDE series

Anthony Horowitz

“Reichs gets it dead right with sharp writing and a plot that throws real teens into a deadly adult world.” - Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the ALEX RIDER series

Customer Reviews

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Virals 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 423 reviews.
Jenn-at-GirlsJustReading More than 1 year ago
I know some eyebrows went up among my reading friends when it was announced that Kathy Reichs was writing a YA novel -especially those who didn't make it through the dense writing of Déja Dead. But Reich's writing style has evolved over the past ten years into something that is highly accessible. I had no doubt this would be the start of a fantastic YA series - and it is. Tory Brennan is actually Tempe's great-niece. Remember Kit her screwball nephew from Deadly Decisions? Well, he's all grown up, a marine biologist who works for the University of Charleston, and he's just discovered he has a daughter. Tory is smart but naive and not only does she takes after Tempe, she idolizes her - which is how the trouble starts. Hanging around on the monkey habitat/research island where their parents work (similar to the one mentioned in Death Du Jours, but this island carries a different name), the teens get bombarded by an angry monkey. Tory realizes that the object the monkey has hurled at her are heavily crusted dog tags and she starts wondering who they belong to and how the tags ended up there. She convinces the gang to break into one of the research labs so that she can clean the tags with a sonicator so they are legible... perhaps they can return them to their owner. This one decision starts a cataclysm of events. Though it took some time for Reichs to set the exposition, it was worth it - and she gives young readers a prologue straight from one of the action sequences to hook them. While the reader is aware that the teens have become infected, Tory and her friends have to discover it on their own. This revelation culminates with some extraordinary sensory perception and physical capabilities, if only the Virals could control when and where it happens - as it is they're already outsiders at the prep school they attend due to their academic prowess and more modest means. Once the action starts, Reichs doesn't let up. The teens try to go to the authorities but the local cops opinion is that "academics and their kids are prone to exaggeration". With the adults being uncooperative, the Virals decide to investigate for themselves, both the dog tags, and their mysterious illness with the crazy symptoms. I think any analogy of Virals as a modern day Nancy Drew story is a bit of an oversimplification. I grew up on Nancy Drew; this is so much better. The characters are more balanced, and far better developed. The plot is tight and the action intense and realistic. Though the story centers on Tory, she couldn't manage with out her friends, each of whom has expertise in different scientific areas. There's lots of action an plenty of mystery. As her friends are all guys, I think the story lends itself equally to teenagers of either sex. This is classic spell-binding Reichs writing with a new sci-fi twist thrown in... READ MORE:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading the prologue, and I was immediately hooked. The book leads through twists and turns, and it's SO GOOD!!I recommend this to anybody who likes animals, Bones, or just adventure.
Linda62LB More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed this book. Kids would enjoy this probably starting at the 5th grade level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book soooooooo much, I read it in three days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You must read this bookj!!!!!!!!!:) :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a awsome book action packed and full of suspense! The only complaint i have is it takes almost 1/4 of the book to get "going" in the book or pick up speed othewise this is an awsome book.
fishgirl182 More than 1 year ago
I picked up this audiobook before a road trip to see my parents. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the story, having never read any of Kathy Reichs’s other books which include the popular series on which the television show “Bones” is based on. I’d seen a few episodes of “Bones” so I was familiar with it but had no real expectations for this YA spin-off except to, hopefully, be entertained for a few hours. Our heroine, Tory Brennan is a breath of fresh air. She’s smart, sarcastic and is a science lover. Though pretty, Tory doesn’t put much stock in her looks and is more interested in bones and science experiments than the latest fashions. Though there’s a bit of romance, the main focus of the book is really the mystery and the relationships between Tory and her friends. They really are a pack, their individual quirks adding together to make a great team. They all have distinct personalities and are funny, intelligent and strange. There is a paranormal element in the book, but it is very light. I think it will probably play a much larger role as the series continues. It does get a little weird later on in the book when Tory starts referring to her friends as “Virals!” instead of their names. There didn’t seem to be much point to it but I learned to ignore it after a little while. The book also has a great murder mystery plot. There’s something inherently sad and creepy about cold cases and I got caught up trying to unravel the mystery along with Tory and her friends. I did find it a little hard to believe that four teens could uncover so much and break into so many places without getting caught but hey, it’s a book, and a fun one at that. There’s even a super cute wolf dog for all the animal lovers out there. The narrator of the audiobook is very believable as the 14 year old heroine. I did have some issues with the musical cues in the program. There were some very cheesy sounding special effects whenever any of the Virals would “flare” that had me cringing. Totally unnecessary and annoying. Overall, I had a good time listening to this book. The fast paced story kept me guessing until the very end and I really liked the science aspect of it. A promising start to a new series--Virals is an action packed adventure that’s sure to entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is for your average nerds to adventure seekers and other people in between. It has adventure and science. Four kids get a different type of parvovirus and get canine reflexes, and etc. They also solve a murder case. I think this book is good for age 11 and up, because it has lots of 'language' and very scintific stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All i can say is, i was astounded. Completely blown away. Im hooked. This fantastic peice of art kept me guessing the whole time. Worth reading. BUY IT NOW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really think people should make more of this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was def one of my favorites! Great for anyone who likes mystery, probably for ages 11+ due to language... LOVED IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you really oike kathy reichs but can't handle the intensity of tempe brennan books virals is for you. Action packed with witty comments here and there it resembles the hugner games writing. Easy to understand and a quick read you will not be able to put this down. Definately buy this book. It has a suprise ending that will suprise you. Buy it now!!!!! I love kathy and i have only read the first but am already counting down the days until the third book comes out. Great series!
bookholiday More than 1 year ago
Great read, hard to put down. can't wait to read the next
Ms-Ellie More than 1 year ago
Ms. Reichs holds true to the mystery of her writing, it was a quick read but she kept me coming back for more. Loved the ending and I see there is now a part two. I've got all of her books and will continue to add this one to my small library. Thank You,
NatalieH4m31 More than 1 year ago
Virals, by Kathy Reichs, is one of my new favorite books. Its genius plot takes the reader through the main character’s life, Tory Brennan. Struggling with many internal conflicts, Tory is a young girl, whose mother recently passed and discovered her father, who she never knew. She lives with her father, Kit, on Loggerhead Island, where Tory and her friends explore the backwoods marshlands near the island. After a series of obstacles, Tory and her friends come across a stray wolfdog pup. When they saved the wolfdog pup, they were exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, which would change their lives forever. This also brings Tory and her friends into a long-lost crime that may just get her—and her friends—killed. Tory and her friends are fascinating characters that will take readers into their very realistic lives. The characters and their individual personalities add to the mood of the story and make it more exciting. Tory’s curiosity leads her friends down a deadly path; Hiram’s sarcasm brightens up even the gloomiest days and brings everyone back to reality; Ben’s temper and strength helps with everything that requires brute strength and common sense; and Shelton’s much lovable knowledge on puzzles, ciphers, and anything with numbers provides a lot of help. These four friends encounter all obstacles imaginable, all the while surviving, laughing, and only breaking two or three federal laws. Another factor that plays into how much I love the book, is that it was reviewed by some of my favorite authors, automatically making it one of my favorite books. James Patterson (author of the Maximum Ride series) says, “If you like the TV show Bones (I do) or Maximum Ride, you’ll love VIRALS. Tory Brennan has ‘gifts,’ and she really knows how to use them.” Another one of my favorite authors, Anthony Horowitz (author of the Alex Rider series) says, “Kathy Reichs gets it dead right with sharp writing and a plot that throws a bunch of very real teens into a deadly adult world…. I loved it and I’m sure fans of Alex Rider will love it too.” Anthony Horowitz was right, I am a big fan of the Alex Rider series, and I loved Virals. It made me excited and anxious to finish the book! The novel is very realistic, almost all the ideas and obstacles Tory, Hiram, Ben, and Shelton encounter are encountered daily in our ordinary lives. The way these teens handle these situations is far different from the way most people would overcome these obstacles. This novel is very teen appropriate, but there are one or two profanity words. Otherwise, this novel is a very good, action-packed book to read. I recommend it for anyone looking for a good (teen) book to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend read this and he said it was mind blowing cant wait to read it:)
Phoebe_from_Sacramento More than 1 year ago
A delightful story with snappy dialogue and a great cast of young characters. I really enjoyed the connection to Kathy Reichs, Temperance Brennan. Great reading for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
I live in charleston and know each and every place they've gone. One thing though: In the first book, describe berself as a yankee and can't root for the confederates even though she feels obligated to. Understandable,yes, but the cofederacy is a big deal here. People hear about a yankee badmouthing the confederacy, you gonna be in some hot water. Quick.
Scorn9 More than 1 year ago
What was I thinking putting this book off?! It has been sitting on my shelf for years and I never got the nerve to pick it up. That was probably one of my biggest book related mistakes! Kathy & Brendan Reichs have a real hit on their hand! I have been reading the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs for years and I always wanted to get into Virals. Silly me bought the book and admired it for years, until I finally managed to dust it off and pull it into my reading pile. THANK GOODNESS because this book is a real gem and I need to binge this series. It's just too freaking good to not read! Now, before I get ahead of myself, readers must remember that this is a YA novel and not an "adult" novel like the Temperance Brennan series. There are fun story lines focusing around being a teenager, and people need to remember that this book was made for a younger audience. I love books like this, because I can get into the fun of a younger book. But, some readers won't be expecting a "YA" novel - you should be! Off to the races!!! Tory Brennan is our lead (a distant, grand-niece of Temperance, if I am remembering correctly) and she's just as smart as Tempe! She's also sassy, barrels of fun, and gets in probably too much trouble in this book. She's not a girly girl, she likes hanging with her guy friends and she likes being smart. Seriously, I relate way to much to this girl! Her gaggle of friends get into trouble on an island nearby, rescuing dogs, talking to monkeys and trying to solve murders. Typical teenage stuff, obviously. I love that this group is smart and for the greater good. I also felt a twinge of "save the environment" themes going on. Mixing in all the fun and goofy scenarios the teens get into... I have to say I like this book. I also really love the terminology that's used in the book. It's not "dumb-ed" down and these kids know what they are talking about. Do they know too much? Maybe. Or they are just really smart kids. What did I not like? Mean girl subplots always annoy me because they are so common. I get this is a very typical trend, but I'd love it to see Tory have a girl friend who isn't a total snob. Shockingly, there are some not snobby girls out in the real world! But, there has to be drama in this book so I totally get it. I remember in high school there were snobby girls all over the place too. I also think that the introduction of fantasy was great, but it needed a little... more. There are more books in this series, so I'm assuming that the fantasy side will be explored more there. At least, I hope so! The little bits of fantasy just wasn't enough for me! I want to know the ins and outs of it! Overall, this book is lots of fun and super smart! I really enjoyed reading it and I couldn't put it down! Books like these are why I love reading - I can whisk myself away into another world and just enjoy myself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves YA with a fantasy twist, loves the Temperance Brennan series but wants a bit more "fun", people who loved Bones (this SCREAMS the fun of Bones!) or if you just want a smart YA novel with fancy terminology (to teach yourself something new). Five out of five stars!
FariFax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book! I have read a few of Kathy's Tempe books before and loved them and her writing. Going from her Tempe Brennan series to this new one was easy and just made me remember how much I love her writing and characters. True this book is meant for a YA audience but that didn't stop me from reading for hours. I could hardly put this book down.The Virals book follows Tory Brennan, Tempe's great niece (i think lol she does explain it in the book), how she and her friends discover a skeleton on one of the islands in the Carolinas. With the discover, and being shot at and rescuing a dog with poarvo virus, Tory's universe is flipped upside down. Her and her friends catch a virus that mutated their DNA, introducing wolf like features, glowing eyes, heightened sound, smell and speed. They even can communicate telepathically to each other. If that's not freaky enough someone is out to kill them. The group, or pack as they soon call themselves manage to use their new found super powers to their advantage in solving the mystery and saving their own lives. Like I said it is aimed and a young adult audience with a lot of geeky references but I loved it just the same. Besides who can resist a teenager superhero group who solves crime, they are like the new Scooby gang of this new generation. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book this summer!!!
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never gotten around to reading Kathy Reichs' adult series, but I was really excited to hear she was releasing a new YA series! I was definitely impressed with this, the first book of what will hopefully be a series on the Virals.I found the plot to be very original and engaging. Everything seemed to make sense and work, nothing stuck out as being too far-fetched or ridiculous. The same goes with the characters. They fit very well with the plot, and although there wasn't as much character development as I usually like, there is definitely room for that in the next installments of the series.Tory and the rest of her friends make great sleuths, and when circumstances require them to adapt quickly to extraordinary (and terrifying) circumstances, they rise to the challenge. It will be a long time before I lose interest in them and their adventures!I definitely recommend picking this up for a quick-moving action/adventure/mystery plot when it is released in early November. You'll get sucked into the world of the Virals just like I did! So, while I hope there is a little more character development in the next book, you can bet I'll be getting my hands on it as soon as I can to find out!
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun and fast-paced, Reichs' first foray into YA fiction doesn't disappoint. You'll fly through this book in no time.Tory is Temperance Brennan's grand-niece, so for those familiar with Reichs' Brennan novels, there is that connection. Although no characters cross into this book from the others, you get a sense that it's not too far behind.My only complaint? The librarian character. Not all librarians are sniffling, weasley creeps. In the next book, fix this and add a character similar to Barbara Gordon. Now that is a librarian worth getting behind!
horomnizon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first I've read from Reichs...and I really enjoyed it. The characters are interesting and this first in the series is really just setting up their situation which I hope will play out interestingly in the following books. It was a quick read - it really kept my interest. While the mystery wasn't all that difficult to figure out (at least for an adult mystery lover), I didn't mind that so much. The kids are an interesting, science-loving group of misfits that aren't the favorites of their classmates and therefore have formed a close bond. As a reader, I felt like I was invited to become part of that group - I was 'in' on all their secrets.The only thing that bothered me a bit was the change in narration at times. Most of the story is told by Tory, a great-niece of Reichs' adult series, but every now and then a chapter is thrown in with a different narrator. It's done so the reader knows a few things that the main characters don't, but I think in a good mystery, the reader should discover this info with the narrator/protagonist(s). It would help build some of the mystery, I think. But, this is YA, and perhaps the target audience won't be as nit-picky about that kind of thing. Still a fun read and good start to a series. I look forward to reading Virals 2.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Virals is the first book intended for young adults. Prior to this story, Reichs has only written for adults, but she breaks into the YA market brilliantly.14 year old Tory Brennan, niece of the infamous Temperance Brennan from "Bones", has no idea that when she and her 3 friends sneak into a building at the Loggerhead Research Institute in order to clean a dirt encrusted dog tag, that their actions will have life altering consequences. The discovery and theft of a wolf puppy named Cooper who was secretly and illegally being used for testing, and their interest in a cold case murder that they are determined to solve all contribute to the endangerment of their lives. This story has it all - action, suspense, mystery, and even, surprisingly, a tiny bit of flirtation. I am delighted to predict with confidence, that this will not be the only book involving the Virals.