Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Viral Nation
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN:   0425265137
ISBN13: 9780425265130
Genre: Dystopian
Review Copy Source: Publisher

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

You find out quickly that our main character is autistic. She is high functioning, but some of her behavior and actions mimic her disorder. She is pretty brilliant and gets into the Academy but her service dog is not allowed to come with her and as soon as they find out she has autism they send her on to the company to become a Time Mariner.  They are really sneaky about why she is there and then weird things start happening to her while she is in the future. 

I had no issue with keeping up with the story. There is time travel but it is not confusing in any way and there is not a ton of it. I enjoyed the authors voice. She is a great storyteller. Clover is pretty interesting. She has a great personality and being autistic did not pull her down. If you want there to be romance, sorry you wont get it. There is a bit of chemistry between Clover and Jude but no romance really. I loved the relationship between Clover and her brother West. It was nice watching them together. I was surprised by their father but I guess situations in VIRAL NATION led him to his decisions. I was a tad disappointed at a death towards the end. I hate that the one person that has answers is gone before he can give them and just don't know how the 'team' will figure things out. I guess we shall see.

Unique characters, a believable and interesting world at a nice pace just about sums up why I will be picking up book two when it comes out. Any fan of dystopian should enjoy VIRAL NATION.

I gave it 4/5 stars