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BZRK Hardcover – February 28, 2012


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Best of the Month in Young Adult
This title is one of our Best of the Month in Young Adult selections for March 2012. For more on all of our editors' teen picks check out this list.

Product Details

  • Series: Bzrk
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA; 1st Printing edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781606843123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606843123
  • ASIN: 1606843125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

* Grant, who showed a flair for grandiose conceptual gambits in his Gone series, here goes big by going small. With science as soft as pudding (though, really, who cares—pudding is delicious), he envisions nanotechnology so advanced that brains can be rewired, memories manipulated, and senses hacked by robots and gene-spliced creatures the size of dust mites. A war between two ultra-secretive, competing ideologies—one championing free will, the other promising enforced happiness—is being fought “down in the meat,” and Grant gleefully exposes the biological ickiness of the body going about its everyday business in paranoia-inducing scenes of nanobots scuttling across spongy brain matter or plunging probes into optic nerves. At the same time, he doles out eviscerating loads of violence on the macro level as two teens are enlisted to help stop a maniacal baddie and his team of “twitchers,” who are planning to infiltrate the heads of the world’s most powerful nations. With simmering pots of sexual tension, near-nonstop action, and the threat of howling madness or brain-melting doom around every corpuscular corner, Grant’s new series is off to a breathless, bombastic start. - Booklist, Starred Review

YA fiction at it’s best. … It's a combination science fiction/adventure/thriller all written brilliantly to entice the reader into a terrifying world.” –Examiner.com
 
“Squeamish as I am, Grant has me hooked with the compelling characters that populate the Go BZRK storyworld.” –Michael Anderson, WIRED magazine
 
“Grant utilizes contemporary themes and memorable characters, along with the possibilities of emerging technology to craft aningenious world not too far removed from our own. … The intelligent presentation will likely appeal to a broad audience.” –PopCultureGuy
 
“If you are anything like me then BZRK will blow your mind. … BZRK is very different from pretty much any YA book out there at the moment, and the closest I can come to expressing how it is continuing to play on my mind almost two weeks later, is to liken it to William Gibson's Neuromancer which had a similar effect on me many years ago. BZRK is a gamechanger for YA literature.” –The Book Zone
 
“This novel is full of the intricacies of the human body and non-stop action on all fronts. … An intricately written science fiction thriller, BZRK offers an in-depthlook into a war raging deep within the human body.” –Deseret News

Praise for Gone, by Michael Grant:

An ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults

"This intense, marvelously plotted, paced, and characterized story will immediately garner comparisons to Lord of the Flies...A potent mix of action and thoughtfulness-centered around good and evil, courage and cowardice-renders this a tour-de-force that will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and utterly breathless." - Booklist

"If Stephen King had written LORD OF THE FLIES, it might have been a little like this...Excited to see where [Grant] will take [the reader] with this new series." - Voya

About the Author

Michael Grant has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family in the USA, he attended ten schools in five states, as well as three schools in France. Even as an adult he kept moving, and in fact he became a writer in part because it was one of the few jobs that wouldn’t tie him down. His dream is to spend a whole year circumnavigating the globe and visiting every continent. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife, Katherine Applegate, their two children, and far too many pets. You can visit him online at www.themichaelgrant.com.


More About the Author

Michael Grant was born in a manger.

Okay, no he wasn't. And that was a stupid thing to say. There was no manger. It was a log cabin. A log cabin in Los Angeles.

Or possibly a trailer.

And then while defending his country (technically it was his father, he was just an Army brat,) he moved all over the country and to France and became the incredibly well-educated, well-rounded, well-adjusted . . .

Yeah, okay that last part's a lie, too. The moving everywhere thing is true. But the sad reality is that Michael's a rootless, disconnected, indifferently-educated, sullen, obnoxious, disaffected misanthrope. With no hair. I mean seriously: look at the man's head. Do you see hair? No.

Where was I? I mean he.

Michael Grant is married to Katherine (K.A.) Applegate. They've been together for 30 years. Which doesn't say much for Katherine's judgment does it? And they've been writing for 20 years, sometimes as partners -- BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS, ANIMORPHS, EVERWORLD -- and sometimes on their own.

Michael and Katherine have two kids, Jake 12 and Julia 9. (Feet tall. Get it? 12 feet tall? Ah hah hah. Yeah, okay: not funny.) Anyway, the point is that Michael Grant is the author or co-author of 150 books. Yeah: 150. Most recently the critically-acclaimed GONE and HUNGER.

No, really: critically-acclaimed by VOYA, Booklist, School Library Journal, KLIATT and Publishers Weekly. And best of all by Stephen Freaking KIng himself! Oh, yeah: THE Stephen King. Of course Kirkus dumped on him, but Michael would like to make it clear that Kirkus is in no way a collection of illiterate halfwits. No! Never would Michael say such a thing.

Michael can be reached on Twitter @theFAYZ, or on Facebook as "authorMichaelGrant."

Customer Reviews

I found the characters very believable and it was easy to feel for them and understand their emotions.
anaavu
I'll definitely be recommending this book to my dad (I lend him any good YA sci-fi novels I find) and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
KennethK
BZRK, though, didn't clear up any of the what-is-this-about confusion at all in the first 100 pages or so.
thehydrogenpoptart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By thehydrogenpoptart on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: A girl sat just three chairs down from Noah talking to her hand.

How I Acquired the Book: Borrowed from my town's library.

The Review: I went into BZRK not knowing at all what it was about. The only reason why I read it was because Michael Grant had written it, and his Gone series was good enough that I would pick this book up on seeing his name alone.

BZRK, though, didn't clear up any of the what-is-this-about confusion at all in the first 100 pages or so. Then, when it sort of does, it does so in a confusing manner. BZRK is a cool idea, though, I will give Mr. Grant that. But he just has trouble explaining the whole computer-bot-war thing, and that's unforgivable, because the foundations of a story should always be laid strongly.

The characters do not save the plot, either. Noah and Sadie held lots of promise in the beginning, especially Noah's first emotionally charged chapter, but by the end of the book we do not get to know them any better than in the beginning. Strangely, the main characters were the weakest ones. The antagonists were interesting, Nijinsky was OK, and Vincent was OK as well.

All in all, I just did not enjoy BZRK that much. I had to force myself to go on, hoping against hope that there'd be an epic ending. That's another complaint I have- it doesn't really end, and plans for a sequel have not been announced. I would not recommend BZRK to anyone, unless they have read every single other Young Adult book there is.

-reviewed by a teenager. (I apologize for any teenagery and/or snarky comments in this review, if they have offended you. I understand they can be very annoying, just like teenagers themselves. In any case, thanks for dealing with them and thanks for reading this review.)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By anaavu on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted on my blog: [...]

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

Plot:
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.

Characters:
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.
Read more ›
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. E. Ellsworth on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.
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