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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

‘Code’ by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

Published by Arrow,
10 October 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-09-957146-9 

Fourteen-year old Tory and her friends Ben, Shelton and Hiram have been infected by a virus which gives them special powers of perception, and a closeness like that of a wolf pack.  When Hiram finds an unusual geocache, they’re given a puzzle to solve, and they soon realise this ‘Gamemaster’ is deadly serious.  If they refuse to play, or if they play and lose, they – and others – will die... and with Hurricane Katelyn aiming straight for their town, the clock’s ticking.

This is the third in the ‘Virals’ series aimed at Reichs’ teen readers.  Because of that there was more catching-up than I wanted in the early chapters, but once the story was launched then the action was fast-moving.  Tory’s old adversary Chance returned to the series, and her home life, with her dad’s girlfriend Whitney keen on launching tomboy Tory into good society at the cotillion ball, and Tory’s own conflict between her old friend Ben and school heart-throb Jason, added emotional interest.  The teen-speak and technology were convincing, and would appeal to the intended readership.  The special powers were made plausible by vivid description, and interestingly used – for example Tory’s discovery of her mind-shifting abilities.

If you have younger teen readers (age 11 – 14) that are looking for something a bit different, this might be a good one to try them on.  The first in the series is Virals.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel, brought her fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

Brendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the Virals series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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