The last time we met Tory Brennan and firends, the four had just learned they’d been genetically-altered by a modified parvovirus. The teenagers learned that – in the grand tradition of The Hulk and Spiderman –exposure had given them super powers. Even though unfamiliar with their newfound powers, the kids still managed to save the wild things on their home island in Charleston Bay.
As Seizure, begins, Loggerhead Island is in danger again. This time, the problem’s money: strapped for cash, the University is closing the Research Institute and selling the islands to developers. Faces with breaking up the pack, the Virals must save the day. This could be tough since three of them are grounded all summer. One must never underestimate the power of a Brennan, though.
Tory and friends Hi, Ben and Shelton devise the perfect plan: find Anne Bonny’s lost treasure. Bonny was the 19th Century’s greatest pirate off the Carolina coast. That shouldn’t be a problem for four adolescents who can FLARE!!!
They begin by stealing Bonny’s treasure map from the local museum. Through logic and more than a little luck, they figure out Bonny’s hiding place… Darn, she’d moved the treasure and just left a clue. Through puzzle-solving skills like Robert Langdon’s, added curfew-breaking and more B-and-E action follow. Along the way the kids learn they’re being tailed by unknown villains who think nothing of putting a bullet in a teenager’s brain. The four may be the Virals, but are those new, wolf-like powers a match for hot lead?
Of course they are: It’s YA…
Seizure is the second Virals novels, penned by Kathy Reichs with her son Brendan. Alpha Viral Victoria “Tory” Brennan is the grand-niece of Temperance “Bones” Brennan, a Reichs character now played on television by Emily Deschanel. While Tory’s father, Kit Howard, is the son of Brennan’s sister Harry; Tory Brennan;s surname came from her mother. Contrived? Sure, a little…
The four Virals and the wolf-dog Cooper scamper among the bays and barrier islands of the Carolina Coast, mostly on a boat that belongs to Ben when on the water, or stealing Kit’s SUV when they need land transport. They sure set a good example for teenaged readers!
Seizure’s plot follows the time-honored “pile disaster on disaster” scheme. With each revelation until the final reel, the outlook becomes darker and darker. Nearly every adult they encounter, no matter how benign the meeting, ends up a murderer or thief. The kids simply run around willy-nilly, always assuming that since the end justifies the means, they can break any rule and commit any crime short of murder.
Tory Brennan is a strong protagonist, all four are smart and self-sufficient and they (usually) have a greater good in mind. The novel pulls in plenty of historical facts - Anne Bonny was an actual 18th-Century pirate – and they do good research. Still, they set a lousy example by lying, stealing, cheating and just plain sneakiness. Consequently, I don’t recommend Seizure for Young Adult readers who might decide to follow in these teens’ footsteps: antiheroes just don’t work at this age.