Title: Exposure (Virals #4)
Author: Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs
Genre: Science Fiction
Warning: This book is fourth in a series, so this review will contain spoilers of the previous books. You’ve been warned.
When twin classmates are abducted from Bolton Prep, Tory and the Virals decide there’s no one better equipped than them to investigate. But the gang has other problems to face. Their powers are growing wilder and becoming harder to control. Chance Claybourne is investigating the disastrous medical experiment that twisted their DNA. The bonds that unite them are weakening, threatening the future of the pack itself.
The Virals must decipher the clues and track down a ruthless criminal before he strikes again, all while protecting their secret from prying eyes. And everyone seems to be watching.
So after the way Code ended, I was dying to get my hands on this book. That was two years ago. Somehow this book slipped to the back of my mind and I forgot about it until I saw it on the library shelf (right next to Terminal, which is the book 5 I didn’t know existed). I snatched both up.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tory. She seemed a bit younger than I remembered – but it’s been two years since I read a Virals book, so that could just be me. She was still the stubborn, impulsive, occasionally reckless spitfire from the previous books, but she was also an emotional teenager. Being able to see the soft, scared, vulnerable side of her in this book just made her that much better.
In my review of Code, I complained that Ben, Hi, and Shelton weren’t really three-dimensional characters. I don’t know if my perceptions changed or if the characters made huge leaps in development in this book, but they actually seemed like real people. I can’t really explain how or why, but they really jumped off the page and I liked all of them (including Ben, who I don’t recall liking all that much before).
So the whole missing twins is a big part, and Chance Claybourne comes back in a huge way (in charge of his father’s company and SERIOUSLY investigating the Virals), but I think the main plot here was pack dynamics. Ben and Tory are at odds thanks to the events of last book, Hi and Shelton are stuck in the middle, and the maybe-romance threatens to mess up everything. And Tory actually makes a non-Viral friend, which just adds another wrench to the works.
There was still plenty of danger, Virals power-using, sneaking around, and life-or-death situations to satisfy the action fan in me. (And I’ll be honest, I still absolutely LOVE seeing them use their powers.) But this book was a whole lot more character-driven, and I liked that, too.
That ending blew me away – doubly so because I actually saw it coming, yet it was still a shock when it happened. And it was one of those endings where everything changes and you absolutely need the next book RIGHT THIS INSTANT.
I am in the best possible situation with this series, because I finished Exposure and have Terminal just sitting on my shelf, available for immediate reading. According to my library, Terminal has a hold on it and is currently accruing fines – but I really don’t care. I’m going to read it immediately anyway.
The Virals series:
For more on my grading system, check out this page.