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BZRK by Michael Grant

BZRK (2012)

by Michael Grant

Series: BZRK (1)

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2801540,328 (3.54)3

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I received a free pre-read copy of the Dutch translation of this book via www.ezzulia.nl. Thank you!

It took me so long to figure out BZRK is supposed to mean Berserk. (I saw that it is already stated in the English blurb; but in the Dutch one it wasn't). I just read it as letters and not as a word. I felt very stupid afterwards...

A war is going on, the only problem is, it's so small you can't see it. The two sides are using different types of nano-robots to control synaptic junctions in people's brain and thus control their actions (or so they explain it in this book; it's a fictional SF work, so I won't digress on the biological possibility and everything). And not just any person's brain, no, think politicians, UN members etc. Besides, they also fight on this nano level for control over certain people. This is extra tricky because some of the robots are linked to the actual people who control them and losing that robot will mean the controller goes Berserk...

This is a very action-packed, fast paced book. In other ways though, i was less similar to Michael Grant's popular Gone series. We still get many POVs (on both sides of the war) and a lot of plot lines are going on on the same time, but it didn't really feel as good though. Sometimes it felt a bit hasted, unrealistic and the ending was very chaotic. It's the start of a new series, and this book really ends on a cliffhanger (there is a short epilogue to make it possible to just read this book, but really, it doesn't answer the questions I had). So, basically, you'll have to continue the series. I haven't done so yet, but I'm planning on at least reading the second book, and see just how the story is going to develop.

Nice touch from my real life. I went to the University campus just a day or so after finishing this book and they had just placed new posters revealing that the new building they're building is going to be 'one of the world's leading state of the art centres in nano technology' xD Looking forward to it already. ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
it is a little heavy on the science but once you could understand the life and duties of nanobots and biots it becomes a bit easier. Lots of action and a pretty interesting story. I still wish I would have had a bit more info on the brother in the mental ward though. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Exciting, fast-moving adventure with a science fiction twist. ( )
  Goldengrove | Feb 17, 2014 |
More of a techno-thriller than typical YA sf. It was gory and had excessive swearing in it. It didn't hook me and I just didn't see the point of continuing past page 66.
  Jellyn | Aug 14, 2013 |
Action packed and adrenaline fuelled, BZRK is the first Michael Grant novel I've read, and all I can say is that I wish I hadn't waited so long!

My favourite aspect of this novel is definitely its grounding in nano-science, and the ways in which Grant makes the nano-world come alive. The descriptions of normal, often beautiful things, turns sinister when seen in the nano-scale, and it never failed to make me cringe and freak out. Eyes and skin are way scarier than I'd ever thought they'd be! I enjoyed the way the science is explained in the book through natural dialogue, without breaking up the action or making us wade through info-dumps. Grant doesn't fall into the pit of over explaining the science, as many science fiction writers are prone to do.

It's also refreshing to read a young adult novel that incorporates a complex plot and intelligent world-building. Too often I read books where authors have consciously written for a younger audience by over simplifying plot elements or glossing over the world-building.

I'd initially thought I wouldn't much like any of the characters in this book - they all seemed too different from me, I couldn't relate to them on any level. As I got to know them better, however, I found out that I have something in common with all of them, Sadie, Noah, even Vincent. I love Sadie, especially the way she cleverly and carefully navigates that thin line between amazing, tough heroine and over-competent, unbelievable teenager. She's drawn very well, and provides a great counterpoint to Noah, who has a tendency to jump into situations without looking to see where he'll land.

The moral ambiguity of this novel is something I really liked, especially since these days novels are so clear-cut about which side we should be on. Sadie and Noah question themselves frequently, and are quick to point out that they are asked to do exactly the same things as their enemies, so how do they know they're any better? I could also see the point that the other side is trying to make, and although I feel like free will should always win out over hive-mind mentality and cohesion, it does raise a compelling point about the human condition. I would, however, have liked more examination of why Bug Man and his associates believe so vehemently in their cause. And I want to know who Lear is, so so bad!

I loved BZRK! I don't think it's a novel for everyone - people going in for a light, science fiction read will be sorely disappointed, but fans of science fiction who want to experience a near-future world will love this. I have the sequel, BZRK Reloaded, ready to go, and I am now desperate to find some time to read Michael Grant's other series, starting with Gone.

You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic. ( )
  alcarinqa | Jul 24, 2013 |
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O! Dat is de weg naar waanzin; laat me die mijden.
Shakespeare, Koning Lear
Als waanzin overwint...
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De auteur bedankt The Methadones en Shot Baker, twee fantastische bands, voor hun toestemming een aantal van hun songteksten te citeren.

Ik draag dit boek op aan Katherine, Jake en Julia
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Op drie stoelen van Noah af zat een meisje tegen haar hand te praten.
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Book description
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?
--Google Books
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In the near future, the conjoined Armstrong twins, under the guise of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, plot to create their own version of utopia using nanobots, while a guerilla group known as BZRK develops a DNA-based biot that can stop bots, but at risk of the host's brain.… (more)

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