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And the Pack is Back

Seizure by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

Pirate treasure! At one point or another in every child's life, they fantasize about eye patches and parrots, swords, gold coins, danger, and intrigue. Only, these dreams usually take the shape of a little boy or girl's make-believe world, not the summer adventure of four teenage friends. However, this is exactly the case for Tory and her fellow virals. Faced with looming financial cuts due to the economic recession, the teens' parents are about to lose their jobs. LIRI will be shut down; the animals - including Coop's family - will be abandoned or sold off, their protection gone; and Tory's pack will be disbanded and separated, their powers an even greater danger and unknown without the support of each other. The friends scheme - the lottery?, bank robbing? - in what seems to be a futile attempt to save their homes and friendship, but then Tory stumbles upon the lore of Anne Bonny and her still yet to be found buried treasure. It's just waiting for someone to find it, to follow the clues left by the famed, local, female buccaneer, and Tory is convinced that the loot is the only way she and her friends can stay together in Charleston. This sets in motion a fantastic sequence of events which include theft, near death experiences, breaking and entering, kidnapping, and murder. Anne Bonny and her fellow pirates would be proud.

It cannot be said that Seizure doesn't present an action-adventure packed punch. The novel is fast-paced and exciting, exactly what one would expect of a treasure hunt. Yet, it's all too easy, too obvious as well. Put aside the fact that the entire book revolves around, of all things, pirate treasure. That in and of itself is just a symptom of the larger problem. While it is a staple of young adult novels to largely exclude adult characters, especially parents, it is hard to believe that four teenage characters would be smarter and more capable than their adult counterparts. Granted, the virals are aided by their mutant senses and abilities, but the entire tale is just a little too perfect. The consequences are only felt by the villains, while Tory and her friends not only escape unscathed; they also get the predictable heroes' deus-ex-machina ending. Add to this the fact that all four virals are super intelligent, super researchers, and super lucky, and the story becomes just that much more unbelievable, not in a fantasy/supernatural way but in a roll your eyes, 'yeah whatever' improbability, especially when, though capable of discovering long-lost treasure, Tory can't comprehend basic human emotions and their origins (jealousy because of competing crushes). With all this said (and despite my complaints), Seizure is a fun and entertaining read. But it's also pure escapism, so check your common sense and reality at the book shelf before digging in.

Three out of Five Stars

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January 2014


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