- Egmont Uk LTD
- Publication Date:
- 28 February 2012
Showing 1-4 out of 4 reviews.
This mature (incl. sexuality, violence, swearing, disturbing themes) YA novel explores the terrifying concept of micro biological warfare. In the "macro," two teens are initiated into a secret group that fights terrorists intent on creating a world unified under their rule. In the "meat," dozens of biots (organic fighters that are intrinsically linked to their owner's mind and sanity) battle the enemy nanobots (tiny machines which are operated via computer monitors). These microscopic creatures have the power to alter a person's thinking by re-wiring his or her brain, so as the terrorists target the world's most powerful people, the stakes are raised for all involved.This book was incredibly intense, action-packed, and above all intriguing. The concept of micro biological warfare that takes place in people's brains is creepy and disturbing, but sure makes for a good story. The descriptions of what the world inside your body looked like at the microscopic level to the character's biots was amazing -- way to make science cool, Michael Grant. Well done.I was, however, a teeny bit disappointed in the ending. As I finished, I found myself thinking, "That's it?" Obviously it's set up perfectly for a sequel, but I couldn't help but hoping for some kind of crazy, out-with-a-bang kind of resolution, but I guess Plath is not Scipio either. ;)
I keep reading YA sci-fi and claiming that this one's the most exciting, then this one...okay, BZRK really is the most thrilling. It's written as a YA sci-fi thriller, and it definitely delivers accordingly. Nonstop action, interspersed with the ubiquitous bit of romance, appropriate gore and gruesomeness, the typical teenage profanity and sexual references. Yep, this is meant as a book for young adults. But besides the usual plot devices, BZRK emerges as a unique read. The plot is perfectly coherent, with very little confusion and non sequiturs. It would be easy to lose readers in the biological and technological details - BZRK is also unique among the recent outpouring of YA sci-fi because it is "hard" sci-fi - but the author does a great job explaining the biot/nanobot innerworkings without boring us.A few things I didn't like in what was otherwise a totally awesome and exciting read: the humor. It seemed like Grant was trying to make the reader laugh at times (hey, some comedic relief is always nice), and it was falling flat. I thought the characters were either stereotypical or stereotypical in their non-stereotypicalness. The bad guys are described as biological monsters (if I was a conjoined twin, I'd take offense), the rich European dude was a snob, the rich American girl and the poor British guy fall in love, and the bad guys' hench(wo)man is a petite, deceptively feminine sadist. Really, now?
This is the first review for my new book review blog, Title Tracks.Advisory:Violence: Gory descriptions of action scenes; dismemberment; potentially frightening creatures.Language: Some graphic language.Sex: Some discussion of sex; no description of sex scenes.Rating: By film industry standards I think the book would be rated "R" based on strong language/violence.Review:I didn't really know what to expect from BZRK. Didn't have any preconceived notions. It's a good thing I didn't waste time thinking about it because I would have been wrong anyway. The only thing you should expect is to feel your pulse pounding a mile a minute, which is roughly how fast the action happens in the story. You should also be prepared for some graphic, often gory, descriptions of battle scenes at the macro and the micro levels. There's everything from human limbs being blown off to close up views of blood cells and bacteria. At times you'd almost think Grant was describing a documentary film about the inner workings of the human body, that is until you see microscopic killer robots battling genetically engineered spider/scorpion/human hybrids.One of the more impressive feats in this book is the way in which Grant explains all of the complex biological and technical details of the story without making you feel like you're sitting in science class. He introduces and uses slang and technical jargon in a way which is easily accessible to the reader. It's almost as if the terms had always been part of my regular vocabulary.I also like the way Grant develops the theme of shifting realities balanced on the knife's edge between sanity and madness. Whether it's the opening scene in the insane asylum, the moral ambiguity surrounding the tactics of the warring factions, or shifting perspectives of the narration, Grant successfully manages to keep the reader off balance.By changing the perspective of the narration, Grant allows the reader to delve a little deeper into a wider pool of characters. Instead of just focusing on one or two protagonists, the reader has the chance to understand some of the fears and motivations of other characters they might not otherwise. It had the added fact, at least initially, of making me wonder who exactly the protagonists were. But the downside is that I never felt fully connected with any of the characters. Perhaps that will change as I read further installments in this series, but right now I just don't completely sympathize with the protagonists. Instead of having a 3 ft. shallow end and a 10 ft. deep end, the entire pool is 5 ft. And that's just not quite deep enough to fully submerge my 6'2" frame.There were a couple of scenes (I won't get into any details here) which I didn't find completely believable. Either I felt the characters would have acted differently or the scene just needed more detailed explanations. The problems aren't major, but they did keep me from giving the book 5 turntables.The book's concept is original. The plot is fast paced and believable. The dialogue, settings, and action sequences are all gritty and raw. Overall BZRK is one of the most entertaining books I've read recently. It's also the first book by Michael Grant that I've read and if it's any indication of his skill as a writer, then I definitely have to read the Gone series. I'm not a particularly fast reader, but I knocked this one out in two days. So I definitely recommend you give it a try.
Sadie and Noah, after family tragedies, are recruited by BZRK, a covert group engaged in nano-level biological warfare with the Nexus Humanus led by the conjoined Armstrong Twins. The narrative buzzes back and forth between different Twitchers and BZRKers. It's a gritty, tough, violent world based on manipulating other people's brains sometimes at the expense of one's own sanity. It took me awhile to make sense of this world. It started to hook me in toward the end of the book.
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