Freedom fighters BZRK may have lost the first battle, but the war is far from over.
New York’s BZRK cell took heavy losses in series opener BZRK (2012), including one of team leader Vincent’s biots, genetically engineered, microscopic organisms controlled via psychic link. It was killed in battle with Bug Man’s nanos, the technological counterpart to the biological biots. Experiencing death over the psychic link plays havoc with Vincent’s sanity, which forces reluctant Nijinsky to step into leadership. But BZRK has no recovery time: Bug Man’s nanos are in the U.S. president, allowing him to rewire her brain and control her behavior on behalf of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corp. in their bid for world domination via enforced happiness. Meanwhile, on the AFGC side, holding the dominant position is harder than expected—Bug Man struggles to control the president, Burnofsky has his own agenda, the Anonymous hacker group sniffs for leaks, and some of the conjoined Armstrong Twins’ past scientific indiscretions start attracting notice. Through all of this, Plath comes into her inheritance and toys with running from BZRK and its morally dubious tactics, even though if the Armstrongs win, free will loses. With the worldbuilding’s heavy lifting taken care of in BZRK, plots upon plots race forward, almost every character is sympathetic to some degree, and microscopic world descriptions from the biots’ views are oddly beautiful.
High-octane; high stakes; high cool-quotient. (Science fiction. 14 & up)