BZRK by Michael Grant

If the emotions you feel in response to what you see, hear, feel and taste are caused by connections in your brain -- what would happen if someone was able to get inside and change those connections?  Say, connect the areas in the brain responsible for discomfort to chocolate? Or associate memories of your mother with the area responsible for fear? Or connect pleasure with the images of violence?

In the world in which Sadie and Noah live, two groups are secretly fighting for the control of minds on the micro scale, in the brains of world leaders. On one side is a group led by the Armstrong twins, brilliant but power-hungry brothers that were born joined at the head, with three eyes and three legs. They claim their goal is the re-wire the brains of as many humans as possible to bring about world peace (which involves killing off any opposing forces). Their group operates under the disguise of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation (AFGC), which has stores all over the world. On the other side is BZRK, a secret organization that tries to ensure fredom of thought by stopping the Armstrong twins.

Technology has allowed for the creation of biots and nanobots -- living microscopic beings made from spider, cobra, jellyfish and human DNA. These biots/nanobots are not robots, but are a detached part of the person whose DNA is included in the biot. The person not only controls his/her biots but also sees, hears, and feels whatever happens to them. (And yes, you can create multiple biots for one person.) These biots are small enough to climb into ears and ears, then burrow to the brain where they can re-wire whatever they want. Unfortunately any damage to the biots are also felt by the "owner" as equivalent pain (e.g. if your biot's leg is ripped off, you feel like your leg is being ripped off). If all the biots are destroyed, the person usually goes insane.

Operating multiple biots that are busy re-wiring someone's brain or fighting off other biots while still going about daily life is not an easy task. Those who are able to do this are usually super gamers or crazy.

Noah is recruited by BZRK after his brother, a previous BZRKer, goes insane. He joins the fight in hopes of escaping his depressed parents and revenging his brother. 

Sadie is familiar with the technology -- her father was the one who came up with it -- and is drawn into the conflict when her father and brother are killed by AFGC.

AFGC is about to infiltrate the brains of the US and Chinese presidents and the Prime Minsters of Britain, Japan and India. Attempts to stop them is suicidal -- but it looks like Sadie and Noah don't have much choice but to join the fight.

It took me a little while to get into this book (probably due to the fact I was reading it sporadically), but once I did, I found it it pretty intriguing and exciting. The beginning is a bit choppy, as Grant tells the story through the perspectives of several different characters (I also find his writing style fragmented at times), but as the story developed, I found the movement smoother and faster.
The whole thing with little nanobots crawling in people's brains had the right amount of creepiness and grossness and I'm sure will appeal to many guy readers. Scientific details are minimal kept simple, so it makes for an easy sci-fi read.

Michael Grant is the author of the Gone and Magnificent 12 series. He also co-authors the well-know kids' series, Animorphs. Visit his website to watch trailers of some of his books.

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