Literature: Virals

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot—if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends—they're a pack. They are Virals.

The books in the series right now are:

  • Virals
  • Seizure
  • Code
  • Exposure
  • Terminal


This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Tory, of course.
  • Adults Are Useless: Both played straight and averted.
  • Badass Crew/Badass Family: The Virals.
  • The Big Guy: Ben is the strongest when flaring.
  • Continuity Cameo: "Aunt Tempe" occasionally shows up (usually by phone or email) to help Tory solve a puzzle.
  • Faked Kidnapping: The Gable twins, in Exposure.
  • Home Base: An abandoned Civil War bunker.
  • Missing Mom: Tory's was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They've got different DNA from a rogue strain of canine parvovirus. While they have the strengths and senses of wolf-dogs, they don't actually transform, in fact the only visible change is that their eyes turn yellow once they flare.
  • Papa Wolf: Kit, especially in Code.
  • Police Are Useless: In general, yes. Justified in Exposure because one of the cops on the case was the kidnapper. He's been leaking information to the media and obstructing police work from the inside.
  • Shown Their Work: Reichs often includes details and local lore from the area, such as the story about why Charleston houses are long and narrow.
  • Super Senses: When any of the Virals flare.
    • It goes Up to Eleven when Tory finds herself able to read the minds of people besides her own pack, at least before they put up mental defenses.
  • Team Pet: Cooper the wolfdog, who was the original carrier of the experimental parvovirus. He doubles as an Action Pet as well.
  • The Nose Knows: Tory, when flaring, to the point where she can smell emotions.
  • The Team: While each of the Virals obtain an upgrade to their natural abilities once they flare, some of them have better capabilities than others.
    • Tory has the best sense of smell, so good that she can even smell whether someone is calm or anxious.
    • Hi has the best sight, capable of spotting a bunny from 50 yards away. Actually, at first, Hi's flare comes the easiest.
    • Shelton has the best hearing.
    • Ben actually becomes the physically strongest when flaring.
  • Uncanny Valley Boy: Chance from the finale of the first book on.
  • Viral Transformation: The entire premise, thanks to some experimental parvovirus.
  • Yandere: Hannah in the ending of Virals.
    • Enhanced in the fifth book.
    Hannah: [Fighting against security guards] Tory sent you, didn't she?!? I'll rip out your throats! No one will stand between me and Chance! NO ONE! We're meant to be!