Tuesday, 23 October 2012


BZRK by Michael Grant

This book should have been called BZZZZZZZZZRK. Because it was so boring. See what I did there?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll try to be professional/grown-up about it from this point on.

This wasn't the book I thought it was going to be. I first picked it up in a bookshop and read: A global war is raging. You can't see it. It's happening inside you and it changes everything. There was also, I believe, a reference to something being in the meat. I was thinking parasites in the meat that we eat, something really creepy and sinister and possibly related to BSE. That's mad cow disease, right?

It turns out I was defeated by my own principals. A little while ago, I joked that I would stop reading blurbs that weren't on the back cover of the book where they're damn well supposed to be. I believe I came across the hardback edition of this book, which had the lines above on the back cover, and the full description inside. Presumably, suitably hooked by the lines on the back, I didn't read the actual blurb. I will not be making this mistake again.

This book is pure sci-fi, but it's missing something. And it's the something that makes books interesting. I didn't care about any of the characters, I didn't connect to them or the story. Interestingly, most of the characters have designated code names so that they don't become too attached to each other (or something like that) and I think that had the same effect on me. I just didn't care. The only characters who had proper names (they had a nickname as well, but it's different) were the villain/s. And they/he was so exaggerated and ridiculous that it just wasn't threatening at all. And the technology...I really don't know what to say, none of it worked for me.

I struggled with the terminology. I've finished the entire thing and still couldn't tell you the difference between nanos, biots and macros. Or maybe it was just macro, never plural. Who knows? Honestly, I don't know whether this was because they were actually confusing or poorly explained or I didn't care enough to properly figure out what was happening. 

Some time last year, I read Gone, the first instalment of Michael Grant's popular series. I didn't like that either, I had very similar problems with it. I found it very boring, an interesting concept but the world was populated by so many dull characters that I just couldn't get into it. I think this goes to show that maybe I just can't get along with Grant's style and I ought to save myself some time and stop trying. If you liked Gone, you might well like this. I didn't, but there you go.

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