Book Review: Bzrk

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“Book Review: Bzrk”

Hiya everyone, Noreen here with a book review on Bzrk by Michael Grant. In this review I will be looking at the plot, major characters, writing style, and other miscellaneous things about the book.

There are two sides to every story, but how do you know which one is “good”? In Bzrk you have two sides, the secret organization Bzrk (the name being derived from the word “berserk”) and Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation(AFGC), a gift shop company gone crazy.

AFGC has a goal of a united Earth. Now I know that sounds like a dream come true, but it is not. They want to take away the ideas of free will and individuality, with their main goal being for citizens to comply with their every whim. Bzrk however wants to stop AFGC and their plans. Bzrk is the side that I believe to be the good side, all though you never know what plot twists could arise in the next installment to the series.

“How is AFGC going to take away people’s free will,” you may ask. Well, in this book there is technology that is truly quite interesting. You have two forms, nanobots and biots. Nanobots are used by AFGC, they are nano sized robots which were created by Burnofsky. Biots are used by Bzrk, and are like the biological alternative to nanobots. Biots were originally created by Dr. Gray McLure for purely medical purposes. Now biots are being used by Bzrk to fight against AFGC. Since biots are created from some bits of human DNA, humans are able to control them. Unfortunately, since the human who is controlling the biot has their DNA inside it, the death of a biot could lead the human to insanity.

Sounds interesting enough? I find this idea very intriguing, the idea of biots being able to heal us is incredibly amazing. But both biots and nanobots can control us. Our bodies would be the battlefield.Speaking of battlefield, in the book they call the body, the nano or meat and the real world, the macro. At first its a little confusing because they don’t really tell you what’s what and you have to figure it out on your own.

With all this talk of secret organizations and battles, you may be wondering, “Who is fighting then?” There is actually a lot of people. In Bzrk, the people who fight have a war name, and they are usually names of other people who have gone crazy. The main people of Bzrk are Plath, originally named Sadie McLure; Keats, originally named Noah Cotton; Vincent, originally named Michael Ford; Nijinsky, originally named Shane Hwang; Wilkes, originally named Eva Drew; Ophelia whose real name is currently unknown; and Caligula, and Lear who have never been seen as of the first book. Everyone in Bzrk are in their late teens to early twenties- excluding Caligula. There are far less main characters associated with AFGC with the only leaders being Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, who are conjoined twins; Karl Burnofsky; and Bug Man- who is the only member of AFGC in his teens and with a fake name.

I know, I know. Now you want to know, “How can such a small group of people control the whole world?” Their plans involve trying to send nanobots into the brains of many world leaders. The President of The United States, The Prime Minister of Great Britain- just to name a few. All they have to do is get their nanobots inside them, and the entire world would eventually be under AFGC’s control.

Now, most young adult fiction has romance and this book is no exception. The first book is limited- the sex references or mentions of it are there, but brief. There are a few “cutesy” moments, but that is about it. It is not over killed or overplayed, but it is there.

To summarize the plot, Bzrk and AFGC fight in both the nano and macro, Bug Man and Vincent have an unfriendly rivalry, Plath and Keats get kissy kissy, and Charles and Benjamin creep everyone out. It truly is a great story, but to tell you everything that happens would just be a terrible idea, and would ruin the fun of it all.

The style of writing used by Grant is simple yet, evocative. Grant makes sure that you can get what he’s saying, but doesn’t bore you to death with the vocabulary of a first grader.

My overall opinion is that this book is incredibly well written and interesting, but it does have its flaws. I like how it shows how the world can be cruel and the idea of nanobots and biots seem very realistic. I finished this book in about a day and a half, that being because the book is very engrossing and keeps me on the edge of my seat at every sentence. Grant isn’t afraid to hurt the characters and understands that life is not perfect, and you will not always get out of bad situations. The book is slightly confusing at times, but more often than not you will understand what is happening. I have been making references to this book in conversation so much that I’m actually hoping for a movie adaption. You will definitely like this book if you liked The Hunger Games.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to add any questions or comments below, and please be sure to mark your spoilers!