Author: Michael Grant.
There’s a trailer for the first book, BZRK, which you can watch by clicking here.
Okay, so I’ve read the entire Gone series, and I have come to believe that Michael Grant has one of the sickest minds I have ever known a book come out of. He legit creates the absolute worst kind of villains: megalomaniacs, schizos, sadists, you name it, he’s got one of the worst in SOME book.
Now about the BZRK series: these weird, ugly twins who share a body (three legs, three eyes, a shared mouth etc) have a plan to rewire the brains of human beings to make them cooperate and be “sustainably happy”. Sounds like a not-so-bad idea, right? A brain conditioned to be permanently at ease? How is that evil?
But heck, I was against it as soon as I read about it and its weird zombie cult called Nexus Humanus. I was immediately on the side of BZRK. What BZRK does is basically oppose the Twins’ agenda. When asked what they are fighting for, they will say they are fighting for freedom: the freedom to choose (whether to be happy or not/to control their own emotions). For any who haven’t read BZRK or BZRK Reloaded, I’m not going to spoil or anything, but once someone gets tangled up in the affairs of BZRK or their opposition, their options are basically death or madness.
Now, I’m not going to say I fell in love with the book, or any of the characters, although I will admit that Michael Grant has done a good job of focusing more on the plot and matter of the story than the characters (except for one or two villains, whose inner workings you’ll get to know very well). But I will say that the whole essence of the book is really very philosophical. (This is why I love YA dystopian fiction – enough to do my IGCSE English Coursework on it) and made me think quite a lot about issues raised in the book. Among them:
1. Would conditioned happiness really be a bad thing, even if it means one’s free will being taken away? I, personally would like to be happy, but if someone offered to put a nanobot in my brain to “wire” me, I’d totally refuse. But…would it be a bad thing? [Related thought: zombies.]
2. How noble/worthwhile is it to keep fighting a war you know you’re basically destined to lose? When you know the only possible outcomes are madness or death and that victory is a dream? Would it be sensible to risk your life/sanity for something you believe in, instead of sit down, face reality and let it happen to you?
3. Can isolation/rejection as a result of appearance, no, scratch that – ugliness, drive a person so much off the edge that they’d want to do something as mad as to condition everyone’s brain so that they can be loved?
4. Is there really such a definite distinction between good and evil? Or should decisions rather be fueled by say, necessity? (This is a train of thought I actually began to develop after reading Blue Sea Burning, by Geoff Rodkey…But I’ll write more on that later.)
Definitely, the BZRK series is a good one, albeit a bit nightmare-inducing, but I’m eagerly waiting to see what happens next. Also, Michael Grant, if you ever read this, I want you to know that I think you are an absolute psycho, who is perfectly matched with another absolute psycho, Katherine Applegate. That is all.
“Has there been a shortage of madmen in human history?”
The answer to this question is a bit obvious, isn’t it?
“They said what didn’t kill you made you stronger. No, it left you with holes blown through your soul.”
My thoughts exactly. Sorry, Kelly Clarkson. Catchy song, though.
“We take the names of madmen, because madness is our fate.”
It’s so melodramatic, but I like it! 😀
“A middle-aged woman made a vague gesture, as if she was going to get in the middle of it, but thoughtbetter of it and instead yelled, “Someone needs to help this man!””
This struck me because it’s such an accurately hilarious example of how humans behave! You won’t do anything, but you’re going to yell at people to do what everyone should actually be doing?
“Oldest game in history: idealist and patriots turned into vengeful killers.”
“Soldiers don’t fight for king and country. They fight for each other. They fight for the poor, deluded bastard in the next foxhole.”
Read on, yo!