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God isn’t measured in big things measured in miles, he’s down there. Down there in a flea’s antennae like a hairy tree trunk twitching for blood, and a macrophage slithering along like a shell-less snail come to eat you up, and the cells you see splitting beneath your feet, and landscapes of seething bacteria, and yeah, right there, you want to see God up close and personal? Come with me into the nano…

"BZRK presents a sober realization of what may happen if people start thinking they can play God."

Nano technology, microscopic robots, has been in development for years. But what promise does it actually hold? Proponents claim that Nano technology will allow us to explore parts of the world we’ve never seen before and allow for amazing breakthroughs in health and the human body. If the brain was more accessible than ever, then Nanos could treat strokes, aneurisms, and other neurological disorders. With this great possibility also comes great danger. If it’s easy to treat the brain, then it also means it’s easy to control the brain --- and ultimately control people.

That is exactly what a small group of dedicated Nanobot hackers, called BZRK, are trying to prevent. The Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, headed by the creepy Siamese twins Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, have a plan to infiltrate the most powerful people in the world. Once they’ve entered the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and other foreign dignitaries, the rewiring will begin. Once complete, the Armstrong brothers will have total control to introduce Nano technology to the world and ultimately eliminate people’s free will. That’s exactly what BZRK fights for: the right to choose even if it those choices seem crazy to others.

This war, though, exists on two different levels. The macro level, or the surface level, contains regular, everyday dangers. Loud noises, tripping and falling, and not to mention the prospect of death all affect what is happening on the micro level. At the micro level, Nanobots have their own types of battles to fight. These include fighting one another, fighting natural human obstacles like earwax and sweat, and let’s not even get started on the immune system. Regardless of the danger, these two levels exist simultaneously, and although everything may appear normal on the surface, what is happening down in the “meat” may change the outcome of everything.

Microscopes have revealed what the human body looks like on a cellular level, but what if you were looking at it as though it was life size? Something as simple as the eardrum would be mammoth. These details and more are explored as Michael Grant does an excellent job of crafting this unique world throughout BZRK. Then there are the action sequences. It is no small task to describe what is happening on the macro and micro level concurrently, and the action never seems forced or bogged down by the two different battles being waged. Nano technology is where the future is headed, for better or for worse, and it is time that people start thinking about what that means. BZRK presents a sober realization of what may happen if people start thinking they can play God.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on February 29, 2012

by Michael Grant