***Disclosure: I received a Kindle Copy of the book to review. All opinions are 100% my own***
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.
I’m a fast reader and I decide within a few chapters if I’m going to like a book or not. Not often will you see me posting about a book unless I think it’s worth it. THIS book is definitely worth it. It’s the first book in a series and it caught my attention from chapter one. I love post-apocalyptic stories, but get tired of the same premise. In Viral Nation it all started with a virus. Everyone turned against each other and came up with the idea of walled cities. Then “The Company” came to the rescue with a vaccine from the….wait for it…FUTURE. Ok I’m hooked and wanted to read more.
Then you meet Clover Donovan a 16 year old girl who’s a little odd, but is an amazing character. Then you slowly realize she is autistic. She is super smart and dreams of getting into the Waverly -Stead Academy, but through a serious of unfortunate (or you could say fortunate) incidents she gets an even more prestigious offer. Into the elusive Time Mariners who can travel into the future via a special submarine. The Time Mariners get evidence on who’s guilty BEFORE they even commit the crime. Which has made crime virtually non-existent, but Clover uncovers that her brother West has committed ka kidnapping in the future. Now Clover and her friends must decide to take the future into their own hands. We see them begin the journey and slowly learn that everything The Company has said is not the truth. What do they uncover? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Bottom line, Viral Nation kept me reading chapter after chapter and is a great new spin on a Sci-Fi/Post-Apocalyptic genre. Plus, having the hero have Autism will hopefully break down some of those barriers. I can’t wait to see where Shaunta Grimes takes this series.