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VIRAL NATION by Shaunta Grimes

VIRAL NATION

By Shaunta Grimes

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-425-26513-0
Publisher: Berkley

In this disjointed time-travel novel, teens use information from their future selves to lead a rebellion against the corrupt corporation that controls the United States.

When a plague decimated the U.S. population, the Waverly-Stead company used time travel to develop a suppressant and subsequently became the de facto replacement government. Sixteen years later, the company drafts Clover—due to her autism—to become a time traveler. In a mission to the future, Clover meets Jude, who gives her a pamphlet with information about a rebellion that she, present-day Jude, and their friends will start in her own time, partly to save her brother, West, from a pre-emptive execution. Science-fiction enthusiasts will find that the intricacies and implications of gathering information from the future to change actions in the present are inadequately described. Characters often express their own confusion and get headaches thinking about these topics, then simply move forward without resolution, which frustratingly requires readers to do the same. Character development is spotty and at times over-reliant on repetition. Clover’s autism is repeatedly characterized by nervous hand-flapping and a reluctance to be embraced, while the eidetic memory that supposedly makes her perfect for time traveling is largely overlooked.

Fans of science fiction or dystopian adventures will find that the convoluted plot, one-note characters and inexplicable villains result in a lackluster story. (Dystopian adventure. 12-18)