Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Code by Kathy Reich (Young Adult, 10/10)

January 2013, Young Arrow
416 pages, Hardback
Review copy

friendship, adventure, drama, bombs and explosions, teen life, special abilities, animals, family, games, puzzles and cracking codes, following clues

violence, some strong language,

Tory Brennan, great niece of Dr Temperance Brennan, and the Virals return for their most terrifying adventure yet. Life appears peaceful on Loggerhead Island – rescued from financial disaster, the research institute is flourishing once more. But the tranquility is quickly shattered when Tory Brennan and her technophile gang discover a mysterious box buried in the ground. A seemingly innocent treasure hunt soon turns into a nightmarish game of puzzles, as it becomes clear that one false move will lead to terrible, explosive consequences. The clock is ticking. Can Tory and the Virals crack the code in time to save the city - and their own lives? 

Review by Laura, a friend of Nayu who adores the TV series Bones and all of Kathy's books

I love Kathy Reichs’ books, both the Tempe Brennan adult crime series and the Virals spin-off series, so I knew this book would not disappoint. It was nice that Kathy Reichs’ son Brendan was also a writer for the book. It will be interesting to see if he will do more. I would be interested to read anything he writes if he writes something on his own.

This book gives us the third instalment in the life of the school girl Tory Brennan and her friends Ben, Hiram and Shelton and Tory’s wolf-dog Coop. But this is no ordinary group of teenagers – they have been infected with a canine virus which has transformed their DNA, giving them additional wolf-like abilities. Their last adventure ended with the discovery of pirate treasure, but in this book the group of friends are on a treasure hunt of a different kind.

Slightly darker than the previous books, Tory’s ‘pack’ must follow the clues left by a psychopath killer “The Gamemaster” and play “The Game” he has put in place in order to stop a bomb going off in their home town of Charleston. I loved the fast pace of the book as the drama unfolded. We also get to see new places in Charleston and Morris Island not introduced before. But what I loved most about Code was seeing the development of the friendships between the group. Tory is sometimes split between new friend Jason, who is not a Viral, and her main set of friends. This changes the dynamics of the Virals group, particularly Ben and this all adds to the drama of the story. As the group’s friendships grow and change, so does Tory’s ability to harness her canine powers, bringing the ‘pack’ closer together and making them all stronger.

I also loved that I was fooled by the twist! (Well more than one!) Just when I thought I knew who “The Gamemaster” was, it turned out to be someone else! The twist at the end was fab too! The cliff-hanger ending also makes me hope for a fourth Virals books. Fingers crossed... 

You can find out more on Kathy's website.

Suggested read
Do check out the other books in the series which include book 2 Seizure 

and book 1 Virals

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