Tuesday, 31 July 2012

BZRK, Michael Grant

Okay guys, get ready. I'm going to ask you to take 5 seconds before you read the review of what might be the best YA book of 2012. (Read it before you hunt me down and burn me at the stake, please).

You know those books where there just aren't any flaws whatsoever? You try and look for them, and trust me, I have, and you just can't find any? Well this book is just one of those. The thing is, this book isn't just fiction for the sake of fiction, it has a deep underlying philosophical undertone that makes it that much more interesting. (I'm such a geek, I know). Freedom vs happiness has a always been the subject of debate, and this book shows us both sides of this argument.

Okay, before I get overexcited and babble on about why you have to get this book, read it, caress it and care for it like it was your own child, I think I should tell you what it's about. Here we go.

Synopsis (I got it from goodreads. I'm lazy, I know. Don't judge me!):

These are no ordinary soldiers. This is no ordinary war. Welcome to the nano, where the only battle is for sanity. Losing is not an option when a world of madness is at stake. Time is running out for the good guys. But what happens when you don't know who the good guys really are?

Noah and Sadie: newly initiated to an underground cell so covert that they don't even know each others' names. Here they will learn what it means to fight on a nano level. Soon they will become the deadliest warriors the world has ever seen. Vincent: feels nothing, cares for no one; fighting his own personal battle with Bug Man, the greatest nano warrior alive. The Armstrong Twins: wealthy, privileged, and fanatical. Are they the saviours of mankind or authors of the darkest conspiracy the world has ever seen? The nano is uncharted territory. A terrifying world of discovery. And everything is to play for...

By now you probably expected the dramatic choice of synopsis from me, but still... Goosebumps, right? This book not only has a great concept to begin with, but Michael Grant manages to somehow create a storyline that manages to take this initial concept and really bring the reader into the book.

I love how Grant tries to show us Vincent's inner debate as to if the end justifies the end. Let me elaborate: The Bugman has wired a girl, Jessica, to like and lust after him because she wouldn't under normal circumstances. Bugman does this without feeling bad, cold-blooded nano-criminal that he is. But Vincent has to wire Anya for her to help them, and at one point Anya realizes she is being wired and can't do anything about it. The moral implications for Vincent are obviously much stronger than for the Bugman, as they are the "good guys". The question that is posed to us is: How much bad are you willing to do for the greater good? And Vincent does whatever he has to do, regardless of the moral implications, because he knows it's for the greater good.

 What also makes this story interesting is the multiple POV, because we see what different characters are feeling at different times. When the book finishes, we have managed to sympathize with Noah (Keats), Sadie (Plath), Vincent and even a little (God help me) with the Bugman. What enhances this multiple POV is the fact that he have action taking place in two different realities, in the nano and in the macro, in normal reality and "down in the meat".

Going back to the freedom vs happiness debate, the Armstrong twins want a world controlled totally by them in which everyone is happy. Sounds good, right? Wrong. The price of this happiness is to have your freedom stripped away from you, which, in my opinion, makes that happiness unattainable, as I believe that a key factor in happiness is freedom. Well, I could ramble on about this for hours, but you get the point, right? The psycho twins must be stopped.

The writing style is just unbelievable, it leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. The book just flows, you can read it in one sitting and not even realize that you've been sitting there for hours! Before you start reading this, I must warn you: This book will cause you to completely seclude yourself from the rest of humanity until it is read, re-read and possibly (if you're a freak like me), even re-re-read (is that even written right? I have no clue). The only writer that could hold his own in writing style (not plot or characters, calm down), in my opinion is Rick Riordan (author of all the Percy Jackson books and The Kane Chronicles), which just speaks for itself.

Amazing book all around, maybe even better than his GONE series (blasphemy, I know), but that's for you guys to judge! Anyway, post your questions and/or comments below or follow me on twitter @ficlov and I'll do my best to reply as fast as possible!

Happy reading,


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