Review Detail

3.8 5
Young Adult Fiction 2838
Unputdownable! (For Realz, guys)
(Updated: August 09, 2012)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Today’s review is about a book I am super excited about for many, many reasons (if you’re bored with backstories, just scroll down). First of all, it’s Michael Grant! Super talented author of the Gone series. Second of all, it’s been so long since I’d read a thrilling, gross boy book, it was about time. I was way too deep in girly drama books. Not. Good. One of the biggest reasons this book will always be dear to my heart is because it was the first ARC I requested directly from a big publisher and was approved for. It was a celebratory moment, to say the least ;) And not to sound arrogant here, but I haven’t seen a lot of blogs talk about this book and I seriously think this book needs more attention (heaps and loads) and it’s kind of cool to tell your bloggy friends about a new famous-author book they haven’t heard of, isn’t it? No?

Received: Free for review

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.

A truly interesting thing about BZRK is its marketing campaign. There were various websites created –,,, and – which are interrelated with the book’s content, video games (there’s a free iPhone app!) and fan fiction has already started popping up.

Everything about BZRK blew me away starting with the completely original plot. A group of unlikely heroes save the world from destruction. Overdone? Not even close. Twins Charles and Benjamin are joined at the hip (literally) and embarrassed by their deformity, they decide to make the world a better place – where people would not have to feel pain or sorrow because their emotions would be controlled for them. They have a benign goal in mind (or do they?) but a different organization, the BZRK, believes that they are going about it wrong.
They believe humans should retain their free will. The war goes on – not in a battlefield – but inside the minds of ignorant humans (“down in the meat” as they say) with the help of the most powerful armies: nanobots.
The whole novel was such a thrilling ride, I honestly didn’t realize I had turned the last page until I tried vainly to scratch out another page. It was that good.

All the agents use codenames throughout the book which would seem to make it harder to connect to the characters but it just made me all the more curious to find out their real names because knowing a person’s real name is sort of the end-all of understanding the character.
Still, if you are uncomfortable with code names such as Bug Man, there is a glossary in the back explaining each’s role and true name. I found the characters very believable and it was easy to feel for them and understand their emotions.

One of my favorite things about BZRK was its fast pace. Grant condensed a lot within his 386 pages. You were shown how many of the young members joined BZRK and each character was given a little time for his backstory. The two main characters were recruited and taught the basics of the trade, they even got a nice little romance going, and the team almost beat the evil geniuses. There was not a single dull moment in the book. Even the romance was gone within a snap of a finger.
The mood throughout the novel is very dark, often desperate sort of like a dystopian (and you all know how much I adore those). There is a lot of humor in the book, but it’s the ironic dark kind. Another thing I enjoyed very much.

The romance was just the right amount and very nicely done. It was a small element in the story, just the way I like it. And the characters didn’t just suddenly start loving each other due to some unexplained attraction. Two people thrown in horrific circumstances find comfort in each other – it’s all very appropriate and natural. It does turn into more though I promise, they like each other lots ?

To be honest, it was the author who caught my attention with this one, not any cover or title. And really, there isn’t anything particularly attractive about its cover. It’s very simple and to the point. It’s inside you find the real gold.

Word of caution:
If you’re a little squeamish, you’d better not pick this book up. Since agents’ (twitchers’) nanobots go down into people’s brains to control/fight, etc, there is plenty of detailed explanation of them squeezing in through the eye or slogging through mounds of makeup of creeping through scaly skin. There is also violence and such. It is most definitely a boy book and pick this book up if you’re comfortable with graphic descriptions (no sex scenes or anything).

BZRK easily comes into my top three so far this year. Fantastic edgy thriller!
FYI, it has been optioned by Sony Pictures! Yahoo-ey!

Reposted from my blog -
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