Challenge 24 ~ “A ‘between the numbers’ book of a series.”
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
A Virals story that’s not up there in the five-star ratings?! I know, I know. I’ll admit I’m a little fussier when it comes to short stories, but even taking that into consideration, there was a lot to be desired. The Reichs definitely kept up their game in terms of writing quality, but (if I’m honest) that was really about it. It’s sad to think that this just felt like an unnecessary and unthought-out, quick drabble to make some money. Were it not for one or two chapters, this could have been set in pretty much any universe with pretty much any group of characters.
I don’t really know what Swipe was supposed to add to the Virals universe (in fact, as I’ve alluded to, there was very little Virals-y-ness to the novel at all). There was no real character exploration, or a switch in perspective from one of the other novels. Once again, Tori took the reader through the action (a term I use loosely as there wasn’t really that much.) Appealing to a clichéd idea of Virals fan base, Swipe was set at comic-con, but rather than engage another hint on the Virals‘ powers, or one of their foes from the main ‘verse, it was instead a bog-standard crime short story. And not a phenomenal one at that – the ending was rather predictable and it lacked the Reichs usual high level of suspense and plot-twists.
From a universe that is one of my favourite science fiction/fantasy series, Swipe is an unnecessary related short story that wilts in comparison to the true series. Sure, it can be read alone, and I’d say if you are a fan of the Virals series, maybe to just give it a miss, or else brace for disappointment. Swipe, placed as #3.5 and thus teeming with potential in its place in the ‘verse, was really just a glorified Scooby Doo adventure (albeit with a little better description).