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.
Viral Nation starts with us seeing the devastation that follows a wide spread virus. Millions of people are dying a slow and agonising death. Two men travel forward and get the miracle cure but it's not so much a cure as it is a suppressant. People will have to have a dose everyday for the rest of their lives or the virus will come back.
Each city has walled of their areas and have Time Mariners who travel two years into the future to bring back information on what's happened in that time. This allows them to stop or prevent future crimes so every place is virtually crime free.
Clover is an autistic girl and West, her brother, looks after her. Their mother died of the virus and their father works as an executioner. Clover has a service dog, Mango, who helps her calm down and relaxes her when she gets over whelmed. She has always dreamed of going to the academy but they won't accept her dog. She is drafted to the Time Mariners and during one mission she finds out her brother is in danger and is accused of murder, a crime punishable by death. Clover must do everything in her power to save him.
Viral Nation is an intruiging and different book. I loved the fact that Clover is the main character and even though she has a disability it doesn't stop her from doing what needs to be done. Clover and Wests relationship was another thing I loved. They have such a strong bond and will do anything for each other.
This book dragged me into the story right from the start. It was so easy to connect with all the characters, even the secondary ones. It flowed from page to page and I had such a hard time putting it down. The world the author created was something I'd hope never to experience. People have to be dosed everyday and everything is monitored. Is everything as it seems or are people hiding secrets? Who do you trust?
The only flaw in a truly great book was the time travelling element. The idea that you can only travel 2 years forward was unique but it was done poorly at times. When they started on about the time travelling and the time loops etc I found myself skimming it. It was sometimes confusing. Otherwise it's a truly great story with unique characters. I look forward to more from this author.
Review by Natalie Cleary