Sunday, June 29, 2014

BZRK (BZRK #1) by Michael Grant: Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: BZRK (BZRK #1)
Author: Michael Grant
Publication details: February 28, 2012 by Egmont USA
Copy: eBook (ePub format)

Set in the near future, BZRK is the story of a war for control of the human mind. Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, conjoined twins and owners of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, have a goal: to turn the world into their vision of utopia. No wars, no conflict, no hunger. And no free will. Opposing them is a guerrilla group of teens, code name BZRK, who are fighting to protect the right to be messed up, to be human. This is no ordinary war, though. Weapons are deployed on the nano-level. The battleground is the human brain. And there are no stalemates here: It’s victory . . . or madness.

BZRK unfolds with hurricane force around core themes of conspiracy and mystery, insanity and changing realities, engagement and empowerment, and the larger impact of personal choice. Which side would you choose? How far would you go to win?

I read this because it's Michael Grant's. I've never read any works of him but I've heard really good reviews about his novels, especially the Gone series.

The story starts with Noah, one of the main characters, visiting his brother in a mental institution. From that scene began all the questions I have about BZRK. I didn't read any synopsis or blurb about this book so it piqued my interest.

The first few chapters gave a brief background. And that's when I learned BZRK is a science fiction. I don't read much sci-fi but this one's very interesting. The use of nanotechnologies to rule the world is a unique concept, as well as the fight between the nanos and the biots, and how these worked. I've never read anything like it before. It was, at the same time, amazing and scary. In our world today, one of the uses of nanotechnology is in medicine, although in the form of nanoparticles like gold or platinum. In BZRK, nanos were first used to cure, only they weren't particles, they're robots. Then the technology became a weapon.

The plot was pretty believable. The technology may not be possible as of the moment, but it is possible, I think. The fight between the two groups, BZRK and the Armstrong Twins or AFGC was also something understandable. The goal of AFGC seems good- unity, equality, universal happiness. But the end does not justify the means. Also, taking people's freedom will not make a person human, yeah?

BZRK fights for the freedom to choose. But they're not like AFGC, or so they say.

The characters were also introduced in the first chapters, saying who is on what side. It was characters-overload as they were being introduced. And I learned as I was reading not to get too attached because you will never know their fate. One scene was a little too gory, a la Final Destination, but it set the mood for some action.

The rest of the chapters were the preparation for the "big fight." A lot was going on so it's a little bit dragging. Just a teeny bit. In the day of that fight, everyone was on the move. It was intense. And I liked it.

As for the characters, as I've mentioned earlier, there was a number of main characters. I did not have favorites though. I liked them all. They're all equal. And I think they were written that way. Each have a story of his or her own, and I am happy to find out more about them in the next books. I especially liked how they were able to act for their causes despite their differences and yeah, arguments.

BZRK was narrated in third person. It took me some time to get used to it but it was okay. I think that's one of the reasons why I did not have favorite characters. Because I somehow knew what's going on in their minds.

A lot of nanotechnology terms were used so if you're not the type to remember everything, note-taking will be helpful. And perhaps, notes for the characters will be helpful too.

So yeah, I enjoyed reading this book. It was amazing, mind-boggling and scary. I would totally recommend it especially if you're a fan of sci-fi novels.

This is my first Michael Grant novel but I'm looking forward to reading more of his works. His style of writing in BZRK was great. I liked the flow of the events, how the characters were different but made a good team, how everything was connected and even the weird outcome.

ph source:
Michael Grant has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family in the USA, he attended ten schools in five states, as well as three schools in France. Even as an adult he kept moving, and in fact he became a writer in part because it was one of the few jobs that wouldn't tie him down. His dream is to spend a whole year circumnavigating the globe and visiting every continent. Even Antarctica. He lives in Marin Country, California, with his wife, Katherine Applegate, their two children, and far too many pets (Source: BZRK back cover).


  1. Was it like a sort of omniscient third person, or did it switch between multiple perspectives? I've been meaning to read this, and am glad that it's well written in terms of plot and character, even if it drags in the middle a bit.
    --Ellen @ Glamorous Book Lounge

    1. Hi! The narration is more of an omniscient third person. I did enjoy reading BZRK. I hope you'll enjoy it too if you decided to read it. :)