The Brilliance Saga (so Far)–Marcus Sakey

28 November 2014

Brilliance – Marcus Sakey
Genre: Sci Fi, Thriller
My Rating:
In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in - and betray his own kind.

From Marcus Sakey, "a modern master of suspense" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "one of our best storytellers" (Michael Connelly), comes an adventure that’s at once breakneck thriller and shrewd social commentary; a gripping tale of a world fundamentally different and yet horrifyingly similar to our own, where being born gifted can be a terrible curse.
Genre: Sci Fi, Thriller
My Rating:
The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.
Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.
Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose—because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.
And to reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.
From Marcus Sakey, “the master of the mindful page turner” (Gillian Flynn) and “one of our best storytellers” (Michael Connelly), Book Two of the Brilliance Saga is a relentless thrill ride that will change the way you look at your world—and the people around you.
I read Brilliance and it’s sequel a few weeks back and I felt I should write a few words about them since I’ve never heard anything mentioned about them before and they were such enjoyable books.

I first heard about the book, Brilliance, after seeing something about it on Buzzfeed, I think they did an interview with the author or something, and it sounded crazy interesting so when I saw it on Amazon on offer for 99p I immediately bought it. It then was left to gather electronic dust on my kindle shelf. I attempted to read this book a few times, but was never in the right frame of mind for it, so I began to write it of a bit. Anyway, long story short, I read this book a couple of weeks ago and I am so glad I did. I powered through this book and it’s sequel and I can’t wait for the third one to come out so I can find out how things work out for the brilliants.

I suppose I should tell you a bit about these books, the premise is that in the 80s kids started being born who were brilliant, these children were completely normal apart from they had one extraordinary skill. It’s bit like the X-Men in that there are people with extraordinary abilities being the minority in a population of normal people, except everyone knows about brilliants and they are sort of accepted, if a bit controlled. It’s probably what X-Men would have been like if the Mutant Registration Act had been enforced. Children are tested for being a brilliant, it is required, and if they are a particularly powerful they are taken from their parents, but I won’t spoil the rest. Anyway, there are brilliants and normals in the world, and the books are about the struggles for them to coexist with all their differences. It’s all about different people and their views, some believing Brilliants deserve control due to their superiority and others believing that brilliants need to be controlled and monitored because if they are allowed freedom than normal people become inferior and redundant as an inevitability.

These books play out a bit like a movie, they are so complex and exciting. There is a lot going on at all times, which isn’t surprising considering you can see a war brewing between brilliants and normal people.These books were amazing because they were as absorbing as a film and filled with so much detail that you always want from films but can’t get because of the limited time. They were filled with action and were exciting and they kept me hooked throughout, which is a rarity in books. It might be because they remind me a bit of X-Men, one of my favourite comic books series, and it could also be because of the thriller part of the books that kept them so exciting.

The characters felt real and I cared about them. I also shouted at them for all their ridiculous decisions when they were stupid. I also understood why characters acted like they did even when I didn't agree with them, you learnt their motivations and you could understand their flawed logic. It was nice for once to be annoyed at characters actions whilst understanding them.

I would strongly recommend these books to anyone. If you like action good characterisations and an intriguing story then get reading. I am a huge fan of alternate histories where a divergence in events leads to a different world. ‘why I am such a huge fan of the sci fi show fringe and was upset when it ended. That’s not the point, though, these books are awesome, that is what all this rambling is about. Buy them, read them, tell all your friends about them.

Anyone else read these books, what did you think? Are there any books you’ve read which have surprised you as you enjoyed them even though they are completely out of your normal reading zone?

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