From best-selling author Michael Grant, comes the highly anticipated, terrifying, and mind-bending second book in the BZRK trilogy.
The entire BZRK cell–including Noah and Sadie–has been left in pieces after the last round of battle with the Armstrong Twins, conjoined brother who plot to rob mankind of its free will. Vincent’s mind is shattered, and his memories hold dangerous secrets–secrets that Lear, BZRK’s mysterious leader, will stop at nothing to protect.
Meanwhile, Bug Man has taken control of the President’s brain, but playing with sanity is a dangerous game. The consequences can spiral way out of control, and the Armstrong Twins are not people Bug Man can afford to disappoint.
The nano is as terrifying, exhilarating, and unpredictable as ever. But the wall of secrets that surrounds it is cracking. What will it reveal? And once the dust has settled, who will be sane enough to find out?
Rating: 4.5/5 😀
EEK, GUYS. MY FANGIRL MODE IS COMING OUT SO BADLY I’M LITERALLY JUST SCREAMING AT MYSELF INTERNALLY TO GET IT TOGETHER SO THAT I DON’T SOUND LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT. Yes, Michael Grant’s books have this kind of effect on me. I read the entire Gone series and was really upset when the series ended. Ok, enough of my squealing self and back to the book.
This was the second book in the BZRK trilogy, and I’m happy (and delighted and ecstatic and whatever word that’s even more intense than happy) to say that this book was more enjoyable than the first. By that, I don’t mean that the first book was BAD. It was not bad. Michael Grant doesn’t do bad. He only does good, great, excellent, wonderful and OMG IT’S SO GOOD I CAN’T EVEN. It was just that the first book had to introduce the whole new world of nanotechnology to us, and decided to do that by just drowning us in information. My head was spinning by the time I finished the book as I was just reeling with the sheer amount of information in my head. It was still good though.
This book continues where the first book left off, with Vincent mad after the loss of one of his biots and the New York BZRK team at a loss. The battle rages on between BZRK and the Armstrong twins, with tensions escalating on both sides.
What I like most about this trilogy is that there is no clear good and evil. The Armstrong twins are, I guess, the “evil” ones here, but their intentions are really to stop all human cruelty and suffering. Granted, they plan to achieve this by rewiring the brains of every single living being out there and basically eradicating all their free will, but can we really say that their vision is really evil? The BZRK organisation, on the other hand, are supposed to be the “good” guys because they work to prevent the twins from turning everyone into brainwashed zombies. However, the methods that they use tend to involve killing not just the guilty, but also the innocent. Who’s to say exactly who’s bad and who’s good? Can you really be good, or can you only hope to be less evil? Do your good intentions justify the twisted actions you take? Which would you prefer to have, freedom or happiness? Those questions are quite prevalent in this trilogy, and they are extremely appreciated by me 🙂
Sadie AKA Plath: DAYUM GURL. This girl is not your typical TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) heroine. She can definitely hold her own, even though she probably has been pampered quite a bit by her father.
Plath had thought this next part out well in advance.
“But I have certain things I do want,” Plath continued. “I want fifty million dollars – cash – in offshore banks. That’s mine to do with as I see fit.”
Jellicoe and Thrum both nodded warily.
“I want Mr Stern to be my contact with you, Ms Thrum. He was loyal and stayed by me when my family was murdered. Loyalty is important. Isn’t it?”
She was speaking like that to people who had at least a decade on her. If she were to any sign of hesitation or doubt, they would have pounced on her and argued with her immediately.
She’s also pretty smart, as proven at the ending of BZRK and in quite a few parts of this book.
“It was too easy,” she said. “At least one of them is a traitor.”
“You don’t know that,” he said, but he was nervous, eyes flicking back to her, to the floor indicator, then back to her.
Plath shook her head. “If they try to kill us on the way out, then they’re innocent. If not then it’s a setup. It’s Thrum,” she said. “She’s the traitor. Jellicoe could easily have lost the will and substituted another. Stern had plenty of opportunity to kill me off when I was recovering. So it’s Thrum: she’s working for the twins.”
Finally, she’s really practical and doesn’t daydream about Noah 24/7, unlike certain other heroines that I’ve read in certain other books that are not written by Michael Grant. Her relationship with Noah is really cute and I’m actually hoping that they really decide to get together very soon. Noah will be skipped over because I realise that I don’t actually have much of an impression of him in this book. Oops.
Nijinsky: He was put in charge of the New York BZRK team for the first half of the book since Vincent was mad, and he was totally the wrong person for the job. He knows it, everyone knows it. We saw him start to rip at the seams in this book and it was so, so painful and heart wrenching to watch.
“Look, I’m not trying to play the saint here,” Nijinsky said, hands spread in supplication. Those hands were shaking. “You want to say there’re some shades of gray here? You want to say we’re not always ethical or whatever, yeah. Did we k-” And suddenly he couldn’t say it. A sob just choked him in mid-word. The next words had to be squeezed out. “We killed Ophelia, who was my friend, who I would have died for? Is that what you want to lay on me? Because I’ve had a long day, too.”
Plath had seen Vincent stark, staring, twitchy, raving. This was almost as bad. Tears rolled down Nijinsky’s cheeks. He was falling apart.
He started to crack from the pain of Ophelia being dead and Vincent being mad, and he made some really bad decisions due to all the hurt. I completely sympathise with his character, and I forgive him (mostly) for being stupid.
Wilkes: This girl is hilarious. She’s impulsive and tends to be on the rude and crude side, but her sense of humour makes up for those flaws.
“I may not be able to talk later,” Keats (AKA Noah) said. “I may… Anyway, I know you don’t want to hear this, but I love you, Sadie.”
Burnofsky cleared his throat.
“I still have the brick,” Wilkes warned him. “So shut up and leave Katniss and Peeta alone.”
Her jokes and comments really help lift up all the doom and gloom, so it’s actually really appreciated.
Bug Man: We get to see a different side to Bug Man in this book, one where he starts to soften and have feelings. We saw it first when he tried to stop the murder, and we saw it again when he craved real love from Jessica. It was a good change from how heartless he was in the first book, and I hope to see more of him opening up to us in the last book 🙂
Armstrong Twins: In the previous book, I felt like we only saw the inhuman and superficial aspects of them, but in this book, they were made to seem more… Human. I actually felt sorry for them (Charles more than Benjamin, of course), and I could feel the loneliness and rejection that basically come wafting from them. Their desire to be accepted by the world is so huge, yet the world as a whole rejects them. I can only imagine the hurt that they would have felt growing up, and I feel so sorry for them. Even though they did horrible things to people in the Doll Ship, I can’t hate them at all. I just can’t.
Overall, this was a really amazing book, but I didn’t give it a full 5 stars as there were some things that just personally bothered me. Recommended for everyone, especially people who are into technology 😀