Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review - Viral Nation, by Shaunta Grimes

Viral Nation (Viral Nation #1)
Title: Viral Nation
Series: Viral Nation #1  
Author: Shaunta Grimes
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Berkley Trade 

Source: Netgalley

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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.

Purchase Links:  Amazon / Book Depository 

The idea of an autistic heroine was quite appealing. It is unconventional, original and I was curious to read about Clover Donovan in this post epidemic world. 

She did not disappoint. 

Clover is an amazing character that was full bodied, believable and very well thought out in this novel.  Her condition allowed her to do what others could not do - time travel - but this talent was also being exploited. The consequences of this exploitation are still unseen, and I am sure the conspiracy theories hinted at will be blown wide open in upcoming installments of this series, I am sure. 

The time traveling aspect threw me though. Where there was nothing lacking in the character explorations in this book, the plot was surprisingly a little vague in some areas... or maybe I just didn't get it.  It was a little confusing, but then I imagine it would be.  I had to watch The Butterfly Effect movie a couple of times to fully grasp what was going on, so maybe it's just my brain on this one.  

I enjoyed the beginning, and the action packed middle where things really begin to unravel. But the latter part of the novel left me wanting.  Though there were some hard core scenes that I didn't see coming, it felt surprisingly anti-climatic. I did struggle through the end.  But my love for Clover did not diminish one bit, and I think that she made this novel shine.

Would I continue with the series? Another one where I stand on the fence.  Not opposed to it, but not freaking out about grabbing the next book.  But I did enjoy the writer's style and her use of a character that had some limitations, but was the most courageous of the whole bunch in my opinion.

About the Author: (Bio from Author’s Website)
My name is Shaunta Grimes.
I’ve been many things. Some I was born with, or created in a permanent way. Like being a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister. Some I created, and they stuck. Like being a teacher. Others came about out of some passion or another, and they come and go. Like being a rural Nevada newspaper reporter, or running a drug court treatment program, or starting an online vintage clothing store.
No matter what I do, though, I always come back to telling stories.
You can find me at the book and movie blog, Story Carnivores, that I write with my friend Brian Rowe. Also, come join the party on Twitter or Facebook.  I also blog pretty regularly at Fierce Fatties.
I’d love to hear from you, too. You can reach me at

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that the time travel aspect of the book was a little confusing. But it seemed to me that the author understood it - I just didn't always! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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