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Book review: In 'Code,' the Virals are back, ready for danger, mystery

By Mike Whitmer

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 9 2013 1:30 p.m. MST

"CODE: A Virals Novel," by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs, G.P. Putman and Sons, $17.99, 416 pages (f) (12 and up)

The Virals — Tory, Ben, Shelton and Hi — survived their recent adventure with just a little room to spare. Dr. Marcus Karsten is imprisoned for his secret experiments and Loggerhead Island Research Institute is saved because the Virals found Anne Bonny’s lost treasure. All seems right in the world of the young teens.

In their new story, “Code,” Tory has decided that it is time to figure out what their newfound powers will do and how they can control them. It takes some convincing, but eventually the boys start to allow her to practice her talents in their own minds. It’s not always pretty, but she does make progress.

When Shelton buys a metal detector and begins to track geocaches, life takes on a more sinister air. Their first cache holds a mysterious Japanese puzzle box with evil looking clowns on the outside. The Virals think the challenge is getting inside, but the real trouble starts after they open the box. In this second adventure, they have to find out who the Gamemaster is and stop him before he can destroy all that is dear to them — including their own lives.

Authors Kathy Reichs, creator of the TV show "Bones," and her son, Brendan Reichs, are the minds behind the Virals and have created an interesting and engaging pack of teens with amazing abilities. The superpowered teens were infected with a top-secret parvo-virus that changed their metabolism and bonded them together like a pack of wolves. Each has a specific ability and all are tied together by Tory’s mental leadership and unquenchable persistence.

“Code,” which is scheduled to be released on March 12, is geared toward teens and young adults. While the story is exciting and flows very well, there are instances of behavior that may not be family-friendly. The Virals are fond of deceiving their parents and are prone to use coarse language that may not be appropriate for young people. Underage drinking is part of the story, and there are some suggestive situations that may be unsettling. There are also instances of violence and even a murder that the Virals choose not to report.

If you go ...

What: Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs book signings

When: Monday, March 18, 7 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Public Library, main branch, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, kathyreichs.com, brendanreichs.com

Also ..

When: Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and looks forward to spring and open spaces. His email is grundelwalken@gmail.com or he blogs at mtwhitmer.blogspot.com.

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