Often, I feel there is a gender divide in YA with books either aimed at girls (the majority) or a few action/sci-fi for the boys. Michael Grant’s new YA series BZRK though proves YA doesn’t need this as it has an appeal for both sexes. It is an action filled, complicated and thrilling novel that left me anticipating the next addition and feeling like I’d been on an insane journey.
Writing a review for BZRK has been challenging as there is so much I don’t want to spoil for you and it is such a different book. It’s plot feels original, exciting and intelligent and I found it an unpatronising read that never talked down to the reader. Summing up my own feelings about it was difficult as the book was a roller coaster read; an enjoyable roller coaster too!
BZRK’s central concept lies in nanotechnology and there are gamer like wars “down in the meat” where losing means losing your mind. I will admit that for the first few chapters I loved reading the book but I wasn’t entirely sure what was going. I could tell you the events and plot but asking me to sum it up or work out how it tied together seemed impossible at first. It didn’t stay like that though and Grant’s writing was strong enough that even when I was unsure I still needed to carry on, not out of obligation but captivation.
This novel proposes a lot of big questions; is it right to make humans perfect? Do the ends justify the means? How much is freedom truly worth? And while these may seem very much dependent on a sci-fi concept, they raise a lot of questions about our world today in my opinion. The Armstrong Twins seem to have a benevolent purpose but are also the villains and evil.
I loved how the BZRK team picked their names; they chose people famous for their madness, partly as insanity could be their eventual fate if they lose, and this little detail really interested me and evoked the characters and team well.
The book is a little gory, as I hear Grant’s books can be, and there are some scenes that are violent but for me it wasn’t excessive to the point I was alienated from the book.
Grant’s characters are interested. I loved Sadie and Noah and how they developed throughout the novel. They were strong and resilient and resourceful teenagers that never felt like they were acting too old or young. The flirtation between them was also well-written from both perspectives and I liked that Grant wrote the female perspective so well into this novel.
If you are a fan of action packed reads and want to read something thrilling and exciting then this is definitely the book for you. It is an almost cinematic novel that takes you to a different existence, even if it is based in our world, that is utterly terrifying. If you are a newbie to Michael Grant’s novels as well then I recommend checking out this series now as it begins as well as his famous GONE series.
I received this book for free from Egmont/ Electric Monkey and am very thankful for their generosity here. My review has not been affected by this.