Friday, September 07, 2012

Going Viral

Okay, generally I try not to cross post, but this is something that has really irritated me. Here it goes.

Generally, I am an avid Kathy Reichs fan and am almost completely up-to-date on her novels, except the last one out. I bought this book Virals at a used English book store in Budapest.  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 and take the loss.

I have been an educator with over 25 years of teaching, six of which were in elementary school.. If this is a young adult book, something has gone far amiss in the field, though I have read much YA literature over the years. The language in this novel 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! Supposedly highly educated, elite teens are hiding away in a bunker? What is that all about?

They then discover bones on the island where they live off the coast of South Carolina, 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, the grand niece of the famous Tempe Brennan, finds the key to gain entry to a historic mansion owned by a State Senator that is hidden 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 the clean up of the messes made to his 16 year old's girlfriend since she was more of a man than his son was.

If you look at the back cover of the paperback, there are the standard recommendations that are on all of Reichs' books. General and generic fluff. 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. Sad to say, there have been two books in the series after this one with Reichs's son's name added. This explains a great deal. Kathy, don't you just know when to quit or learn to just say "NO!" to your children?  

A similar review was posted on and Goodreads.

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