The last time that I put a book down after a disappointing first couple of chapters (The Holmes Affair by Graeme Moore), I didn’t post a review of it – after all, I’d only read about 30 pages of it. This time, I didn’t make 30 pages – the total number of pages read was four. This isn’t going to be a review. Consider it a warning…
I’ve never read any of Kathy Reichs’ books – for the unaware, her primary body of work concerns Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, which generated the TV series Bones. Now I love Bones – not only does each episode contain a little mystery, but the characters are fun to be around – and as one of the points of this blog is to find modern novels that contain decent mysteries, I figured that I’d try one of these books. When i saw the cover of Virals, I figured that, as it boasted the start of an exciting new series, this would be a great jumping on point.
Before reading on, I urge the reader to look carefully at the cover and blurb for this book. Read it and then make a decision about the sort of book it is.
Done that? Good.
So – a quiz.
- Did you spot any indication that this is a Young Adults book – big print, short chapters, teenaged gang as leads, etc?
- Did you spot any indication that by the end of the book – as hinted at in the prologue, Tory Brennan and friends are going to have developed superpowers?
If your answer to either of those is “Yes”, then excuse me for responding with “Liar, liar, pants on fire”. Oh, I couldn’t be bothered to read on to find out what the powers bit was about – it sounds a bit like werewolves – some gubbins about having heightened senses and stamina – but it might be some pseudo-science stuff about viruses instead. Don’t know, don’t care.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not taking a pop at this book, the writing or the author. It clearly isn’t aimed at me. I’m having a go at how it is marketed. If I’d kept the receipt, then I’d probably have attempted to return the book to Tescos for a refund. Why on earth is there no mention of the themes or the target audience on the book unless it is to try and con the potential buyers on the strength of Reichs’ name? To be fair here, Reichs must take a little of the blame here – by tying the book directly into the Temperance Brennan series – the lead character is her niece – she must be trying to hook in readers of that series, who are likely to be disappointed in the sci-fi (sorry, but Syfy sounds stupid) aspect of the series.
I’ll still try the series of thrillers at some point, but thanks to this book, it’ll be later rather than sooner. So I’ll leave you with a warning – don’t judge a book by its cover…