My Catchphrases

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Book Break-ups: Guest Review: BZRK by Michael Grant

Title: Bzrk
Series: BZRK
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Set in the near future, a conspiracy is afoot to create a perfect and perfectly controlled world. The Armstrong Fancy Gift Corporation is a front for the conjoined Armstrong twins, Charles and Benjamin, and the plot to create their own version of utopia.

A shadowy guerilla group known as BZRK form a nascent resistance movement. Both sides develop sophisticated nanotechnology to achieve their goals:

-The Armstrong twins develop the nanobot, a stealth device that latches onto the brains of unsuspecting citizens

-BZRK's DNA-derived biots are deployed to search out and destroy the insidious bots. If biots are destroyed, the brain cells of their DNA-donor also die. Hence the name BZRK.


I owe Rhys from Thirst for Fiction for making me aware of this book. Last year, he released a video (HERE) where he chatted about the book and read a teaser from it. He had to get permission to read it as it’s embargoed and after hearing him chat excitedly about this book, I thought “I want to read this. It’s different to my normal reads. And I want to read more “boy” books” (oh, how I hate that term. There’s no such thing as “boy” books and “girl” books. There are books you like and books you dislike). Anyway, so when Emma asked if I wanted to read her copy, I jumped out the chance. So, quick thanks to Rhys and Emma.

BZRK... I’m not 100% sure how to describe this book as this is a ... well... a hard thing to explain. But here’s my attempt. BZRK, the first in a new series, is about nanos and biots. Not sure what these are? These are nanobots and biots, the biological counterpart of nanos. And here, it seems the world is in danger from these. Or rather, the group known as AFGC, who want to “rewire” the most powerful minds of the world: the President of the United States and the British Prime Minister, to name two. But BZRK has to stop them. Enter Sadie and Noah, the teenagers with their private reasons to join. But with the stakes so high and failure meaning they might lose their sanity, losing isn’t an option...

Now, this is my first Michael Grant book (never read his Gone series, though I have been told I should loads of time in the past), I don’t know what my reaction would be. And, I hate to say, I’m a bit “muh” over it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I’m just in the middle, not sure with myself if I like or not.

Ok, let’s talk about this book’s good point. Once you got your head into this, it was a fast thriller that played out on two levels: in real life and in nano (or “down on the meat”). And with technology at the level it is at the present moment, you sometimes go “This could/might be possible...”

But, there are problems with this book. The first problem I had was when the story or the action scene jumped for human to nano/biot. For the first half of the book, I sometimes had to reread paragraphs to go “OK. Where am I again?” so I didn’t get confused. And near the end of the book, I suddenly started seeing the nanos and the biots like the robot-cookies from Despicable Me.

Another problem I had was the characters. I’m sorry, but I want to be gripped by the characters very quickly. I want to read their story and want to rush back to the book because of them. And with these characters... it took a long time to warm to them or the situation. And the reason I feel for this was that I never felt like I had time to get to know the characters. I would have a chapter (at the most) with one character before it jumped to another character, whether they were the good guy or the bad guy. I never “clicked” with any of the characters.

I’m still unsure on how I feel about BZRK. This wasn’t my cup of tea. But I’m sure all the Gone fans will love this and am sure that some of you guys will enjoy it a lot more than me. So please, don’t let me review put you off. If you want to read this book, READ IT!

Huge thanks to Andrew for his honest review and to Lori of Pure Imagination for the use of the Break-ups Button.


  1. Oh no... Ivegot this on my tbr and I've been putting it off in case I don't like it... Now I really think it might be a bit too muh for me too! Eek!

  2. I got a surprise review copy of this one, but it doesn't really sound like my kind of thing either. Thanks for the review!

  3. Hmm, I've felt drawn in by the characters. Especially Sadie and the tragedy surrounding her. Still not finished with it yet...but it has me hooked!


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