Narrator: Nico Evers-Swindell
Series: BZRK #1
Published by Egmont USA, Brilliance Audio on 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Family, Siblings, Science & Technology, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Brilliance Audio
I received this book for free from Brilliance Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Buy on Amazon
Love The Hunger Games? Action-adventure thrillers with a dystopian twist? BZRK (Berserk) by Michael Grant, New York Times best-selling author of the GONE series, ramps up the action and suspense to a whole new level of excitement. 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?
Audio Review: The narrator for this title was absolutely perfect. His deadpan voice added a definite creepy vibe to the entire story that would have been lost with a more animated narrator. I was also impressed with the variety of accents, and ease with which he slipped in female and male voices. Though the frequent profanity was a little more difficult to get through on audio, the audio really was fantastic.
Review: Michael Grant’s novels are action-packed, and filled with a large number of characters. BZRK follows that same pattern with an opening scene that depicts a rather gruesome plane crash, and following several characters from both sides of the conflict. Those who control the nanobots and biots, or “twitchers” as they are known, see their role as playing with an extremely complex video game. A lot of the language and terminology that they use will be familiar to avid video game players, and consequently will appeal to that audience.
One of the most impressive aspects of BZRK is the great detail in which the human body, particularly the brain, is described. On the nano level, fingerprints look like furrowed fields, beads of sweat look like enormous water balloons, and hair resembles vast forests. It is certain that readers will not look at the human body the same way after finishing BZRK. The attention to detail and research of this novel is impressive and refreshing.
What BZRK had in world-building and plot development, was sorely lacking in character development. The cast of characters was extensive, and while some made an impression (particularly Bugman and the Armstrong Twins), the characters that were supposed to matter the most, didn’t. Sadie McLure and Noah were particularly disappointing, especially since they were the primary characters.
BZRK contains extremely heavy language, including several uses of the “f” word. In addition to swearing, descriptions of violence and death were graphic. Many of the characters engage in, and discuss, casual sexual encounters. For these reasons, this book may not be suitable for some younger readers.