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A Better World (The Brilliance Saga Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Sakey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The highly-anticipated sequel to the Edgar nominated Brilliance

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.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description

    About the Author

    Marcus Sakey’s novels have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, including the Edgar and two ITW Thriller Awards. His book Good People was adapted as a feature film starring James Franco and Kate Hudson. Three of his other novels have been optioned for film, including Brilliance.

    To research his work, Marcus has shadowed gang cops, trained with snipers, toured the morgue, flown planes, rappelled with SWAT teams, hung out with spies, and learned to pick a deadbolt. He is the host and writer of the acclaimed television show Hidden City on Travel Channel, for which he is routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs.

    Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

    His website is, or follow him on Facebook ( or Twitter, where he posts under the clever handle @MarcusSakey.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 4866 KB
    • Print Length: 392 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (17 Jun. 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00IA7N7C8
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,256 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Improves On Part 1 25 Jun. 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    My review of 'Brilliance', part 1 of Marcus Sakey's Brilliance series, described it as 'original' but also 'predictably plotted'. The alternative reality the author had created was both believable and fresh (I'd dismiss the comparisons with X-Men; Sakey's Brilliants are not mutants and are not superhuman in the traditional comic book sense. There are no psychics or telekinetics on display here). However, the book was let down by a plot that felt derivative and pedestrian.

    There was enough promise though, to make me pick up part 2 to see where Sakey took the wider story next and whether he managed to iron out the kinks present in part 1. The answer to the first question is that he takes the story somewhere I really hadn't seen it going and the answer to the second is yes, plot & predictability-wise this is a great improvement on its predecessor.

    Like most opening chapters in an ongoing series, Brilliance had relied on a relatively straight forward, narrow, linear plot to establish the world in which it was set; in its particular case the all-too-familiar 'cop goes undercover to catch bad-guys and discovers hidden conspiracy' trope. In this respect it wasn't too different to the likes of Star Wars: A New Hope (a simple rescue the princess from the dark fortress plot) or The Hunger Games (basically 'girl must compete in fight to the death').

    As with both the Star Wars and Hunger Games series, with the world successfully established in part 1 and the readership invested in the setting and characters, 'A Better World' allows Sakey the opportunities to broaden that world and offer up a more complex plot. They are ones that he takes.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 27 July 2014
    By CathyR
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The second book in the Brilliance saga picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first, throwing the reader/listener straight into the ongoing conspiracy and opening with a chilling scenario….

    Chapter one begins three weeks before that terrible incident. Tension and suspense build again gradually and consistently as we meet old and new characters. The most notable of the latter is Dr Ethan Park who, along with Abe Cousen and their team, have made an unimaginable discovery.

    Nick Cooper continues to fascinate as the strong and utterly determined main protagonist, complex and extremely resourceful, and although he doubts the wisdom of his previous actions based on their outcome he is still, now more than ever, committed to sorting through the backlash, figuring out what is going on and preventing a national catastrophe.

    There’s so much incredible depth and detail to this and the previous story I was glad to have the recap of events from Brilliance woven into A Better Story and in such a way that it wasn’t a straight rehash. The tension between ‘normals’ and ‘brilliants’ is escalating and a terrorist group, The Children of Darwin, are set on provoking a war. It’s quite harrowing listening to accounts of the devastation as America goes crazy and cities are taken over and their populations left without food and utilities.

    The writing, gripping story telling and alternate reality world building are exceptional as are the well-developed and believable characters. I enjoyed the interspersed flashes of newscasts and ads, I especially like the personal ones, as they continue, in a fantastic way, to update the narrative. There are some unexpected, moving and breathtaking twists in what is an excellent second instalment.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 doesn't disappoint! 8 July 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Wow! I am so pleased I stumbled across this book one when looking for a thriller to sink my teeth into. The premise doesn't sound that original but don't let that fool you - it's utterly gripping and at the same time very thought provoking. Marcus Sakey is a brilliant writer who has crafted engaging characters and a very clever plot.
    I actually read the book one and book two in three days! I just couldn't stop myself. Cannot wait until Book 3!

    Book 2 takes right up where Book 1 left off and things get very dark... I won't spoil it for anyone but you won't have any nails left by the time you read the last page. Loved it!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars The unremarkable rise of the mutant nation 18 Jun. 2014
    By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Imagine a world of mostly mundanes, and a minority of talented mutants. Set them into conflict with each other. Have the 'good' mutants try to integrate themselves into a society which regards them with suspicion. Have the 'bad' mutants start a new civil war so that they can take their rightful place as the leaders of the new world, a superior race.
    That’s pretty much the backdrop to A Better World… and it feels an awful lot like X-men to me, too.

    This is the second book in a series, and maybe I would’ve engaged with it better if I’d started with the first. However it wasn’t too tricky to catch up with the general plot – there’s a sizeable chunk of recap in the opening chapters – and the conflicting factions and their representative characters soon take shape.
    The best parts are undoubtedly those where the Brilliants – the new breed who all have different talents, ranging from Tier One uberhumans to almost-normal lower Tiers – flex their talents. The best of the Brilliants is the bad guy who functions at super-speed or, rather, he perceives normal time at a snail’s pace. This gives him huge advantages in action against even other Brilliants, but means he’s numbingingly handicapped in every other aspect of life. He’s one of the few character in the book I would have liked to spend more time with. (There's more thoughts on the plot and characters at
    So A Better World does include some fascinating, original concepts which I’d have enjoyed exploring at the author’s leisure. However, the plot which serves them is considerably less fulfilling, and the sequences where ‘an ordinary guy’ comes to terms with martial law and the collapse of society are pretty humdrum, more ‘so what?’ than ‘what if?’.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars An OK book
    I liked this book. I was glad I bought it and enjoyed reading it.
    Published 7 days ago by Peter Reviewer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Twist
    Great concept with a twist that I didn't think would happen. Enjoyed and would Dec read more in the saga and will be checking out the authors other works
    Published 1 month ago by Ian Thomas
    5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!!
    Very clever writing. Bought both books for holiday and I must of read then at least 4 times. Looking forward to #3. Cooper, Quinn and Shannon Brilliant!!!
    Published 1 month ago by John Stocker
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book which I really enjoyed
    Published 1 month ago by Mrs Christine Wood
    4.0 out of 5 stars holiday read
    an easy rread,nothing startling but still a bit of fun
    Published 1 month ago by d j gallup
    3.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous Sequel.
    Well I loved Book 1 and this one is written in much the same style but sadly it failed to grip. After the rush of ideas in Book 1 there is only really one new concept introduced... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Nick66
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    A good, interesting read. I will read the next in the series.
    Published 2 months ago by Gary Oaten
    4.0 out of 5 stars good sequel
    The second book in the Brilliance Saga. There wasn't much of a drop off in quality which is often a concern. Not in this case. I am eagerly awaiting the next offering
    Published 2 months ago by Lews Therin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this book
    Absolutely loved this book, really kicks on from the first and builds up to a really dramatic ending, cannot wait for the last book to come out
    Published 2 months ago by Gareth Richards
    Published 2 months ago by RITA
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