Sunday, June 23, 2013

Viral Nation: Blog Tour Review

Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes, July 2, 2013. 320 pages. Published by Berkley Trade. Source: Publisher for Blog Tour.
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.
First Sentence:
“Keep her away from me.”

Even though I do enjoy the occasional dystopian book, I don't actually read that many them. Which is one of the many reasons I have yet to burn out on the genre. while I may be light on dystopian reads, I really enjoyed the world that Shaunta Grimes created as well as her characters.

One of the things that made Ms. Grimes' dystopian world so interesting was that it had the added element of time travel. At first I was kinda of thrown by how time travel could possibly have any plausible role in a dystopian, but as the story progressed and you saw how it played into everything it made sense and worked quite well. Now, I'm not going to tell you how exactly it played into the book, but I will tell you this, it was both interesting and creepy how the Company used the knowledge from two years in the future to control the citizens that survived the virus.

Clover was an interesting character to read about. While personality-wise she may have annoyed me at points, I thought it was interesting to see why the Academy was picking out and sending those with even a trace of autism to work for the company and travel forward. Even though the why was not really explained, I think that that being (I forget the book name for it) time traveler is going to help Clover to be more independent and thus help her grow as a character.

What I enjoyed the most about Shaunta Grimes’ debut, Viral Nation, would have to be that her take on dystopian-type world was interesting. I thought it was interesting to see how those in control were keeping the masses under control by reminding them how easy it would be to fall back into the dark times-when the virus rampaged through the world.

Okay, while I generally liked Viral Nation I was a little disappointed in one respect. It took what seemed like ages for Clover to even suspect that things were not quite what those in charge would have her or the rest of the populace believe. While it felt like it took forever for Clover and company to begin looking beyond what they were told, I think this is still a solidly written book.

Final Verdict: Viral Nation, a gripping read.

Viral Nation earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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