01 September 2013

BZRK

Author: Michael Grant
Series: BZRK #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

The first sentence of the description of this book on Goodreads is "Love The Hunger Games?"  Well, let me start off by saying this book does not even remotely relate to THG.  It is not set in a dystopian society.  And while you have two different factions battling each other trying to gain power, most of it happens on a micro level and in the brain, not kids killing kids with arrows or machetes to be the last one standing for the enjoyment of the elite.

I'm not sure I entirely grasped the underlying motives behind why the antagonist group was trying to kill off the leaders of the power countries.  Grant might have gone into detail in the back story; I cannot be true.  Truth be told, this story was a speed reader scanner for me.  Action packed more than plot heavy, I speed read through the book in about a week while I focused mainly on other books I was reading.

Compared to his Gone series, this book is a breeze to read.  It is much shorter and much more dense and adventurous with a lot of action packed in for a smaller punch.  It took me forever to get through Gone and I haven't even made a dent on Hunger yet.  I am going to go out on a limb and say if you are a Michael Grant fan, than this novel will not disappoint.

While the whys behind the actions aren't clear to me, the premise of the book was still interesting and slightly terrifying.  The whole scene when the little bot thing is crawling across the eye for the first time trying to make its way under the person's skin really grossed me out.  I have a hard enough time putting my contact lenses in my eyes without thinking about everything on the micro level (although it is a comfort to know that wearing contact lenses might make me less of a target should this technology ever be released on the public).

Now back to what I touched on at the beginning with THG.  I do get tired of authors and publishers trying to ride the coattails of THG, especially when their product is comparing apples to oranges.  If they want to compare this novel to another one out there, I would say it is a tuned down YA spin off of Micro, the half completed Michael Crichton novel.  The same principles of battling out in the micro world exist, although Grant takes it a step further into a more complex world of dealing with the micro and macro worlds at the same time.  Trying to pay attention to the novel while the characters were fighting on the macro world and splitting their vision between two bots on the micro world confused even me just trying to read it, so I could somewhat sympathize with the characters and their issues trying to multitask.

All and all, this book isn't as gripping as I would have liked.  The story and characters never really sucked me in, and there was the obligatory YA romance thrown in that definitely felt like a forced afterthought for ratings (although, to his credit, Grant had the characters admit it was a bit of an afterthought if nothing else).  I don't know if I would ever read this novel again, and it isn't one I am currently going to buy, but it was interesting enough to continue on with the sequel, which is the reason I finally got around to reading this book in the first place.

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