Top critical review
Difficult to Follow
on 10 April 2014
A few minor spoilers lie within if you haven't read the first instalment, BZRK.
A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book
BZRK is left shaken after their last battle against Bug Man and the Armstrong Twins. Vincent is crazy and Ophelia is even worse. How will BZRK face up against Bug Man without their best twitcher and leader, Vincent? And how can Plath face that she didn't kill the evil Armstrong twins while she had the chance?
I was wary when I picked this up. I felt that the original BZRK was a really tough read. It's very sciencey and techy and I'm not. So just like in the first instalment, I just switched off when there was description about how things were working and about the body down in the meat. Because of this, I found it really difficult to picture a lot of things that were going on. I also found it difficult to follow in places. But this would be a proper geek's dream, but that's just not me. I imagine these books are phenomenal if you can follow Grant's tech speak, which I couldn't.
I found BZRK Reloaded even harder to follow because at first I couldn't remember who anyone was. I was reading and wondering who was good and who was bad and who was new and who was from the original BZRK. I hardly remembered anything. The confusing names that I couldn't pronounce made it even harder for me to recall who was who. And when new characters were introduced I got even more confused. I thought I'd get over this in a couple of chapters but no. I struggled the entire way through.
I also didn't care for the characters, but I think that's because I couldn't remember who they were. The very main ones I worked out and understood but I can't say I really cared for them. There was nothing pulling me to them, nothing making me want to read about them. I think this is why I found BZRK Reloaded so hard to pick up. There was nothing driving me to read it. But the weirdest thing is that while I was reading it I was enjoying it.
This, I believe, is down to Grant's style. I loved Grant's other novels. I've read the entire GONE series and Eve and Adam and I couldn't fault them, they were amazing. Because I've read so much Grant, his writing style has become so comfortable. The sentences within themselves, even if they're techy and sciencey, are so easy to read. I might not understand what's being said but I can read over it no problem. Grant's sentences flow so perfectly. It's so ridiculous, but I love how he constructs a sentence.
However, I did constantly compare BZRK Reloaded to the GONE series and Eve and Adam and it just wasn't on that level. I don't think that's Grant's fault though. I don't think I'm the target reader for BZRK where I am for his other books I've read.
What annoyed me the most was the ending. It seemed to be over awfully quickly and I hadn't felt any distress or concern or anything. I got to the end and was like oh, what was the point? Everything had been saved for book 3 which I feel like I have to read now even though I don't want to.
Plot - 5/10 - It was too similar to the first one
Way Plot Was Pursued - 5/10 - I found it hard to follow
Characters - 6/10 - they were fine and made sense but I felt nothing for them
Style - 10/10 - I can't fault Grant's writing style
Pace - 8/10 - the pace was fine apart from the end
Would I recommend it? Yes, but only to a very techy sciencey 11-17 year-olds.
Would I look up the author? Yes, of course, I still love Michael Grant's work, I'm sure there are others of his works I'll like better.
BZRK Reloaded was pretty much what I expected all round.