Unexpected

Reading Kathie Reichs' Seizure was a weird experience. The nearest analogy would be eating a spoonful of strawberry ice-cream, only to discover that it was actually coffee-flavoured. It's not exactly unpleasant but it's certainly unexpected.

If you're expecting a similar crime thriller to those of the excellent Temperance Brennan series, you're going to be disappointed here. Seizure is the second in the Virals series (I haven't read the first) following the adventures of Brennan's great-niece, Tory, and her pals. The story is, to put it mildly, plain daft; but it did sort of grow on me, although I don't think I'll be racing out to read the rest of the series.

Having been infected with a mutant parvo-type virus by a mad scientist in the first volume of the series, Tory and her pals have developed super-hero type powers in as much as they periodically develop the same senses as dogs or wolves (excellent scent and hearing for instance - they also bizarrely seem to develop great vision, which is certainly not characteristic of the domestic dog, nor I would suspect of the wolf). They are also into adventures, and in Seizure set off on the trail of the pirate Anne Bonny's missing treasure.

It is incredibly silly - the Famous Five (there really are 4 kids + dog) meets the Twilight generation. Perhaps because of trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible it is only on the last page that Tory's true age is revealed, making the opening of the book a disconcerting experience for anyone expecting the usual police procedural-type case. It does have it's moments, it's well paced, predictable but fun, and I suspect that the audience Kathy Reichs is aiming this at - the post-Blyton, just-starting-Christie, and, yes, into Twilight will probably thoroughly enjoy this. I think I might have preferred it as a read if it hadn't had the super-hero mumbo-jumbo, but that might be purely an age thing, or even just me.

Older readers will probably either love it or hate it. For younger teens it could be a very good introduction to the work of Kathy Reichs.

Comments

Ruechenda Herd said…
I'm pretty sure these books are aimed at 'young adults'. I have read both Virals and Seizure and felt Virals was definitely the better of the two although still pretty far fetched although I've never minded far fetched! As you say quite an enjoyable light read but nowhere near as gripping as the Temperence Brennan books.
Carol said…
Sometime ago I purchased Virals thinking it would be similar to the Temperance Brennan books, after all the "heroine" is Temps niece. It soon became evident that I was reading a somewhat far-fetched teenage / young adult book and yes I was disappointed. In fact I gave up on the book, however my "young adult" son picked it up and read it rapidly from cover to cover and recommended that I finish it, as we do have similar tastes in books I gave it another go and in all honesty quite enjoyed it. I believe my dis-satisfaction came from the fact that I'd expected something completely different. It's a shame really that it's been marketed on the back of Temperance Brennan as I'm sure there will have been others who equally disappointed did not bother to complete the book.
Book-hound said…
Carol - my response was I think very similar to yours. It didn't help that it had an "adult" cover - apparently like Harry Potter it's marketed in two different ways; and because of Kathy Reichs' usual reputation had been placed in the adult crime section of the library.
Odd isn't it, that you never quite realise how much your own preconceptions affect how you read what you read. Once I settled into the flow it was quite enjoyable, although I still think it was pretty odd! Thanks for commenting.

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