Viral Nation - Shaunta Grimes | Book Review

Viral Nation (#1 Viral Nation)
Shaunta Grimes
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Publication Date: July 2nd 2013
Number of Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

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Viral Nation Goodreads Page

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 supplied 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. 
Read the Viral Nation excerpt:

This book was an incredible read from start to finish - I was truly warped into this world and cheering on the good guys to win.

This book throws you straight into its bleak world within the prologue as we experience Clover and West's mothers death and a doctor with the virus suppressant knocking on the door just a moment too late. From then on in, we are constantly told of West's experiences of growing up and looking after his autistic sister, Clover, whilst their father is an executioner within the largest city left within America, Reno. As West and Clover have been on their own since their mothers death, they have understandably formed a significant bound between the two of them and this was portrayed extremely well within the book.

As we journey through the story through the eyes of Clover for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her autism and her constant struggle to remain calm and control her behaviour. I felt that Clover's autism made her character more interesting and her behaviour in certain situations added to the chaos of the post-apocalyptic world and the dystopian theme. I thoroughly enjoyed Mango's character as well, Clover's dog,  as he thoroughly certainly understands Clover and helps her to control her behaviour and thoughts. Clover's and Mango's relationship is a well crafted human and pet relationship which adds to the story rather than just being part of it - I love the cover with depicts the pair too.

As the story develops more and more characters are added and love interests emerge. I'm not keen on the romance within this book as the two relationships are a bit rushed and they seem to appear out of nowhere and then characters are all of a sudden 'I can't live my life without you now'. Luckily this didn't take away from the story and I just saw them as 'good friends' as nothing really happens between anyone anyway. I imagine more of these 'love interests' will be made within the books to follow as I can already imagine how this story may develop - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for lots of action between the good guys and the bad guys ^_^

The best aspect of this book for me personally was the world building and as a sucker for all things dystopian this book did not disappoint. I also loved the elements to this story: deadly disease spreads across America (no mention of rest of world - what happened to us Brits?); everyone must have a daily suppressant to keep the virus at bay; time travel- the suppressant was found within the future and brought back to save humanity; the present keep use information in the future to stop all crime before it happens; and lastly a revolution is beginning and those who aren't necessarily suspected are the one's leading the revolt.

Overall Viral Nation was a incredible dystopian novel and one I was very glad to have read. I am extremely excited to see what develops within the second book. I just need to know now how long it's going to be until I can get my hands on it ^_^

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