I thoroughly enjoyed this series and plan to re-read it. Nanotechnology, mind control, global domination, wheels within wheels, double crosses and the grotesque reality of the human body as ecosystem.
BZRK is set in the near future. We start with Sadie and Noah, two kids from totally different worlds. Noah is hand-to-mouth in London, reeling from the loss of his big brother to mental illness. Sadie is wealthy in New York, on a date at Big Sporting Event. In one of the most interesting and disturbing sequences I’ve read, we watch as her father’s plane crashes into the stadium she’s currently sitting in, with her brother and father aboard.
Sadie survives and is now the heir to her father’s company and fortune. We learn that she is kind of a bad ass, and shortly she is recruited into BZRK, a group of misfits (never thought I’d use that one seriously) brought together by the mysterious ‘Lear’ to stop the Armstrong Twins from reprogramming the world with their evil nanobots.
I know, but go with it.
The members of BZRK use biots, which are created using their DNA and technology developed by Sadie’s Dad’s company, and are an intimate part of the user. They do battle with the nanobots ‘down in the meat’, and here is where some readers may be seriously turned off. Grant’s descriptions of the human body at the nano level are disgusting and fascinating. We go inside the human brain mostly, facing microphages, lymphocytes, aneurysms, and, of course, the enemy nanobots.
These nanobots are controlled remotely by employees of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, run by the conjoined Armstrong Twins, who are bent on world domination through mind control. In the first installment both teams want to get bots into several of the world’s leaders during a gathering in Washington DC. BZRK’s de facto leader Vincent goes to battle with Armstrong’s ace Bug Man inside the President’s brain, and at the end of this book the good guys do not win.
BZRK: Reloaded starts with the aftermath of that loss, and the wiring of the President leading to some very disturbing consequences. We get an idea of what a world controlled by the Armstrong Twins would look like, and Sadie steps into a leadership position.
BZRK: Apocalypse toys with the ‘gray goo’ scenario, nanobots that have been given the ability to reproduce unchecked, resulting in the destruction of everything. In this installment we’re not sure who’s manipulating whom.
I highly recommend this series for scifi nerds, the descriptions of the ‘meat’ can get a bit tedious and gross, but just skim those parts. Well-paced thriller with a bit of YA romance sprinkled in.