Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Going Bzrk for BZRK!

Unbeknownst to the general population, there is a war being fought on a biological and a technological level for all of humanity. On one side is the Armstrong Fancy Gift Corporation, and the conjoined Armstrong twins. (Yes I said conjoined, and yes they're pretty freaky characters) They believe that in order for humanity to reach a state of harmony and complete happiness, we need to all share one mind. In other words (and if you've ever watched Star Trek, you'll know what I mean) they want to turn the human race into BORG. They do this by implanting nanobots into people without their knowledge, and gaining control over their actions. On the other side of this war (and presumably our side, though how can you really be sure) is a top secret agency called "BZRK", whose aim is to stop the Armstrong Twins and preserve our individuality. They have earned their name due to the fact that if their biobots (a biological version of the nanobot which melds with the human brain) get damaged, the person suffers brain damage and either goes bzrk or dies.Teens Noah and Sadie are recruited by BZRK to help bring down the creepy Armstrong Twins, and if they fail, all of humanity is at risk. 

In this new age of reaching kids on a technological level, BZRK perfectly melds book & technology.  I don't know how he came up with this concept, but it's brilliant. Labeled a "transmedia" series, the series crosses over multi-platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, several websites, a downloadable video game, and of course the print book.  It operates on the presumption that fans who discover the web content will flock to the book, and kids who read the book will go online and explore the enhanced content. 

The book is fast-paced, thrilling, and just odd enough that it will pique readers' curiosity and get them invested in the story. While character development is minimal, the teens are quite believable. They think and act like teens, and neither Sadie nor Noah become immediate superheroes. They get scared, frustrated, and injured, and at times, distracted by their attraction for one another. 

Michael Grant certainly knows what appeals to kids, and most importantly, he has accomplished a rare feat- he's created something that is not only well-written and original, but is also something that will hook that ever elusive teenage boy and have him looking forward to the next book in the series.