Somehow when I was reading the blurb for this book before I requested it, I totally missed that there was time travel in it. That wouldn't have affected my request, but it would have likely made me understand a bit better more quickly. Time travel is a difficult concept to include in nearly any medium and handling it well is even more so. Viral Nation does a pretty damn good job of it. And it acknowledges the inherent issues with time travel - namely the time-loops that get created by knowing what's going to happen and how that can create inconsistencies in the timeline. I appreciated that, and it made me buy into the concept even when I didn't completely follow what was going on or how people knew what they knew.
This is a fascinating world. A virus has decimated the world - or perhaps just the US, it's not entirely clear - and there is now only one city in each state in the USA. The Company controls everything, and they're tyrannical. People are convicted of crimes they haven't yet committed and executed. There's a nightly curfew; the Company decides who does what and when; everything is rationed in no fair way. And the kicker? No one rebels against this. Just 16 years after living in this United States and I have a hard time believing that people would so easily accept this kind of rule. At least I want to hope that people would have a hard time accepting this. Even from the Company that saved their lives.
West and Clover were fantastic main characters. Even while I was frustrated with not understanding what was going on, or why certain things were rules, these two kept me invested and pushing through the book to find out what happens to them. I love how the two of them care for each other, are able to question and learn, and grow as people. They may have believed certain things their entire lives, but they aren't afraid to start questioning the truths they've always known; not afraid to admit to themselves that they might have been wrong.
Viral Nation was a strong start to this series. I admit I still have quite a few questions, but I'm so beyond interested in where things are going that I'm going to continue reading just as soon as I can get my hands on Rebel Nation.