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BZRK - Michael Grant If you’re a big fan of Michael Grant’s Gone series like I am, and eagerly anticipating for Fear, then you are absolutely going to devour BZRK, the first book in his new thriller series. Where Gone was my entrée in 2010 and Plague my main course in 2011 (the books in between being complementary champagnes and refreshments), BZRK was my dessert – although filled with internal bodily environments, blood, bits of brain, and shards of bone, it was sweet and delectable the entire way through, or as they say, “cooked to perfection” – before my satisfying tea and biscuits – Fear – arrives in April. Yes, I understand you must think I’m delusional after spending over a year and a half in the restaurant called ‘The Fayz’ with a dessert special containing nanobots and a thrill ride… but I’m hooked. All I need is a hook-ah/er and I’d be even more hooked then I already am. Michael Grant can give me my hookah course so that way I can save the hooker course for when I find myself in Amsterdam again… BRAIDEN! You’re getting off-topic mate! Get with it! Okay I will.So you’ve come here to read my thoughts on BZRK and yet you found me discussing hookers. All I can say is Michael Grant’s writing, his novels, his characters, his worlds, are a drug. Maybe Gone was the hookah in the first place. Oh God! I am getting totally sidetracked because I don’t know how to – or don’t really want to – write a review for this exciting and thrilling book. There’s one way to comprehend how I feel after reading it: BZRK literally f***s up your brain, your mind, as if an army of nanobots has invaded your cranial cavity and is now pulling and pushing and poking about, injecting every neuron in your brain with psychedelic drugs. Or it could feel like you’re undertaking aversion therapy (think of Clockwork Orange). Either way, I’m studying Psychology so I could well know what this “pleasurable” experience felt like. Or you know, going back to basics and being a so-called “adult”, it’s like eating your favourite dessert… where the psychedelics and dessert are one and the same. Round and round in circles I go.Sensible time: In alternating perspectives we find ourselves introduced to Noah and Sadie, two separate individuals, an ocean dividing them, each with an event that is about to dramatically change their lives and thrust them into a war they never knew even existed. A war involving nanobots and biots, two opposing sides, which happens in the very meat of the individuals each side is either trying to defend, or attempting to succeed. Even by reading this, these microscopic DNA-based bots may have crawled onto your skin, into your eyes, your nose, your ears, scurrying along your optic nerve, your olfactory or trigeminal tracts, your auditory nerve, heading straight for your brain, their target, to invade, to control, to takeover your every action, your every thought, your every right as a human being on this planet. The next time you do something stupid or caught by the police for doing something against the law (like running a red light), blame it on the bots. Or give them Michael Grant’s number for your contact and let him explain the situation. He’s the creator. A damn phenomenal creator who knows how to twist your mind every which way humanly – and not-so humanly – possible.But we can’t blame it on Michael Grant of course. So he gives us a pair of conjoined twins – Charles and Benjamin – to pile all the blame on. These twins have one goal: to “attempt” to make a better world. Do they succeed? You’ll find out. This “better world” is termed Nexus Humanus, where we become an interconnected species and able to communicate with one another more efficiently (like we don’t communicate enough!), to make one another an equal, with equal rights and equal lives – their view on what a utopia should be. Being conjoined is hard enough in a world where you are outed, different, targeted. So they’ve worked hard at this Nexus Humanus, to build it, and they’re going to do all it takes to make it work. Although they’re the true villains of this twisted society, we can’t blame them entirely for the war which has started. This war between the “baddies” working for the twins, the Armstrong Fancy Gift Corporation, and their nanobots. The “goodies”, those in the guerilla group BZRK – that also recruit Noah and Sadie – using DNA-derived biots to destroy the nanobots, to protect the very rights of the human being affected with these bots. Which side would you choose? They’re both fighting for a cause which they believe is right. And why shouldn’t they?You may have seen goodies and baddies in quotation marks. That is because in BZRK there’s no point in taking sides. Each character in this book has the right to believe in what they want to believe in, to do the things they want to do, to be the person they want to be. There’s no denying them of that opportunity. Bugman who works for the twins is just a teenage boy like you and me, the teenage you will be like or how you were like. And when you put him besides Noah and Sadie, there’s really no difference. They have their dreams and aspirations even if it’s to do with revenge or just to find peace and happiness in the world around you. You feel sympathy for the “baddies” and the “goodies” and Michael Grant gives you access into each of their lives, their emotions and feelings. You begin to feel empathy to everyone. A trait we all must possess today. But looking out of one character’s eyes makes the other set of eyes, which you are directly glaring at, seem evil and sinister like a monster’s, and vice versa.The only issue I did have with BZRK was the changing from macro to micro, the view of the human to the view of the bot/biot. It was confusing at first, but as you read and understand the descriptions and moments more, you find yourself automatically being transported from the macro to the micro, from being face to face to being face to brain. So as you change, it’s an automatic “transferral” of view which I’ll term it as. And this was my only issue – hence the half a star deduction – but everything else was sheer perfection and an enjoyment of epic proportions (DESSERT! hehehe).And like I said: BZRK f***s you up hardcore.*Now when I think about it, I did feel an itch in my eye when I met Michael Grant in 2010 when he came to Melbourne (at Jam Factory’s Borders – now closed [blame it on the bots!]). Thought it was an eyelash but I’m beginning to think it was much more than just an eyelash…