Hello Internet. Welcome back for Review #19. My next book line-up is (if this trend doesn’t kill me before I finish it) a sci-fi from an author who wrote the Gone novels. But this 20 minutes into the future novel is very different from those, oh yes.
I don’t exactly know what it is about this author. I first heard about him from another of my geek friends, who pointed me towards his Gone series with a massive grin and an “awesome”. So I picked up the book (as you do), cracked it open, and devoured it from cover to cover. And if someone comes to me asking for a new book series to sink their teeth into, and tells me they like sci-fi and books aimed at teenagers with dystopian themes, I’ll point them to the Gone series, grin and say “awesome”. But if someone asked me “Jester, I need a sci-fi by a well-known author to demolish” I’ll point them to BZRK, and practically scream at them “READ THIS SO I CAN TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT AND GEEK OUT WITH YOU ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHICAL REPURCUSSIONS!” then start spoiling every major plot point because if you hadn’t noticed I’m a massive knob-head to other book fans.
So yeah, BZRK, hey? It’s good writing. It just kind of is. I read the Gone series after a friend egged me on to it, but I stumbled upon BZRK of my own accord, then asked another geek for their approval. When he kind of looked at me sideways when I mentioned I haven’t read it, then gushed at me about how good it is, I quickly read it that night (this geek friend doesn’t gush, like, at all). And because a comparison between arguably this author’s most popular series is inevitable, I’m gonna have to mention the differences.
Possibly the biggest one is how the style is used. Michael Grant has a very fluid style. It’s a lot like Kylie Chan’s, actually, in the way that you can flit in and out of action sequences which are stuffed like filling between important dramatic plot points. However, in Gone the style is used like a high-school freshman uses a highlighter on the day before an exam. Liberally, and as if the many flashing colours and dancing sentence structure will make the content any more interesting. BZRK uses this style like butter on bread. If any other author wrote this novel, using the same plot, ideas and theories, the book would be a resoundingly good novel. When Michael Grant applies his trademark secret special-family-recipe writing style, the book comes alive.
On this blog I have sworn to remain steadfast in my rules of no numerical data. However this book is among one of the few which are able to cross that massive divide between books I like and the hallowed halls of my favourite books of all time, standing proudly between Harry Potter, the Emma Donahoe Saga and Percy Jackson novels. And if I am able to introduce another unofficial rule about this blog, it is that all books shall be taken at face value, with the book itself standing on its own, irrelevant of the “prestige” of the author or how it is perceived among other readers, because BZRK is a book which should be recognised as better than it’s more well-known counterpart, and isn’t. And that really pisses me off.
BZRK was published in 2012 by EgmontUSA. It can be found on Amazon here.
Yours: J.M. Pear