Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.
As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.
Fortunately, they are now more than friends they're a pack. They are Virals.
This is perfect for anyone who enjoyed the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson since the premise is similar-genetically altered teens. The story introduces another smart and independent heroine in Tory Brenneman. She is uncomfortably smart, in fact, which makes her funny and somewhat receptive to the world around us. She does miss out on some big clues regarding behavior of her friends. She also does have some romantic interest in a few people, but it never runs over the plot.
Her friends, who become the other Virals, show some great and unapologetic nerdiness-each having their own niche area. At times, this does make them seem compartmentalized, like they each have their thing and when it comes time to do their thing, they do it. I would like to see them develop past that in later books.
Overall, an interesting book if you enjoy forensic science and chasing a 40-year-old murder plot. I would recommend it, and will be reading the rest of the series.