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Brilliance (The Brilliance Saga, Book One)

Brilliance (The Brilliance Saga, Book One) [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Sakey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A 2013 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original

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.

About the Author

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Time's Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novels Good People and Brilliance are both in development as feature films. Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2470 KB
  • Print Length: 453 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (16 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #151 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't know what it is 2 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book starts with an interesting premise about the birth of gifted, or 'abnorm' children. What differentiates this from X Men is that they have extreme human, but not superhuman, powers; to read body language, understand patterns, etc. The main protagonist is charged with tracking down those who go astray.

So far, so Blade Runner, but then the book suddenly morphs into a post 9/11 allegory, and then just as suddenly channels the last half of any early John Grisham novel, where the goodies are trying to keep one step ahead of the baddies by moving from hotel to hotel. Then Sakey seems to tire of writing that, so we get three days travel dismissed in a sentence, and we're plunged into another Philip K Dick plot line, from The Man In the High Castle.

And so it goes on. Like other reviewers, very few of the plot twists surprised me, and by two thirds of the way through I just wanted it to end.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent if flawed action/conspiracy thriller 14 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a decent action-thriller in many ways. It is well written and based on an interesting premise which the author uses reasonably well but I do have some quite strong reservations.

Brilliance is set in a parallel version of the present day in which a group of people born with exceptional abilities ("Brilliants") are making "normals" feel threatened and have also created some remarkable advances in technology, among other things. It's a good, if not terribly original, idea which Marcus Sakey uses pretty well. It develops into a long, convoluted conspiracy thriller with plenty of action as the protagonist, Nick Cooper, pursues his quest as a Government agent in hunting down Brilliant terrorists. Needless to say, there are major plot twists, plenty of Not Knowing Whom To Trust and so on. For about half the book's 500 pages I found this an easy and exciting read, but it did begin to pall. The book is far too long and although I finished it, I did so in the spirit of wanting to know what happens now I've got this far, rather than being gripped by the plot which, by the last quarter of the book had got to the point where I met each supposedly gut-wrenching twist with "yep, I was waiting for that one."

Call me Mr Cynical, but I strongly suspect Marcus Sakey wrote this hoping for a big film deal. It has all the action set pieces expected of a Die Hard film, an oh-so-admirable central character who is amicably (and quite inexplicably) divorced so that he can be both a strong Family Man but also available for romantic attachments elsewhere, and the book's fundamental message is pretty much Motherhood, Apple Pie and God Bless America - all just perfect for a blockbuster actor who wants to be liked.

I perhaps shouldn't be quite so grumpy about this book. Marcus Sakey can certainly write and I enjoyed enough of it to (just) round 3.5 stars up to four. It's a decent beach read, but I doubt whether I'll be bothering with the next in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A quote from Lee Child, reproduced on the front cover of this novel, claims that you have never read a story like this before. This assertion is highly unlikely, especially if you're a fan of the X-Men, or any number of novels dealing with an ultra-powerful US Government agency.

Essentially, the back story is that the human race is undergoing an evolutionary leap, with an increasing number of children born who exhibit exceptional abilities that give them an advantage in sports, commerce or computer programming. The description of these talents is similar to those exhibited by Autistic savants, but usually without the accompanying challenges that people with Autism face.

The presence of these special people is accepted by a few, and both resented and feared by others, so an agency is set up to ensure that "normal" society is neither endangered nor disadvantaged by the "Abnorms". Our hero is Nick Cooper, an Abnorm himself, who works for the agency pursuing terrorists trying to advance the gifted agenda through violence.

From that jumping-off point develops a chase thriller in which our hero learns more than he wants to, and as a result faces danger from numerous directions. As with most books of this genre, we have double-crosses, people who are not what they at first seem, and a man on a journey that will forever change his life, sprinkled liberally with action set-pieces and gun battles, and lots of sneaking around.

Behind the main plot, the author has built a fairly plausible world where technology is racing forward because of the work of the Abnorms integrated in society, but where politics struggles to keep up and prejudices are difficult to stamp out.

There's an implication that the author plans an ongoing series of books in this world and I look forward to reading every one of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance is brilliant 3 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose the rating because although it was beyond what we know in the present world it had me sitting on the edge of my seat, I couldn't put it down. I cannot wait now for the next book to be released, 2014 seems a long way away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner! 1 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Action packed to keep the reader engaged. Un-put-down-able. Well drawn characters and complex relationships. Can't wait for the next episode. Bring on the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DAMN FINE READ! 5 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this a compelling mix of sci-fi, thriller and conspiracy. Well written and nicely paced, with characters who aren't just black and white. There seems to be a modern trend of demonising the American law enforcement agencies, and this book is no exception, all the more unsettling because their actions seem so credible. I gather a film could be in the offing, as well as a sequel - I can't wait!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this was an excellent book, a really great storyline
I thought this was an excellent book, a really great storyline, with great characters and well written. Can't wait for more!!
Published 7 hours ago by xyz
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved every page
Twists and turns. Never know what is to happen next. I loved every page.
Published 9 hours ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars pot boiler thriller
Much in the vein of Dan Brown, Sakey keeps his chapters short & has a few twists and turns every few pages. A semi dystopian future with a confused secret agent. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Connor2nz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Roller coaster of a story
Published 1 day ago by Andy Robbo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 1 day ago by John Laird
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant(no pun intended)
I bought this book as it seemed interesting, as someone who has aspergers.I related to it in a big way. Unlike most books I read I took my time with this book. Read more
Published 2 days ago by jinxy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good read but probably 25% science fiction/75% thriller.
Published 2 days ago by anthony mcgreavy
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance is brilliant
Brilliant read, thoroughly enjoyed it couldn't put it down. Can't wait to start the second in the Saga.
Published 2 days ago by Dave Launchbury
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This book is an all out action epic, i loved it. Cant wait to read book two, this would make an excellent film.
Well done Marcus.
Published 2 days ago by Diane Johns
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance
This is a superb novel if a worrying possibility for the future. What if more and more children are born with. Abnormally heightened abilities. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Mrs Janet S Howard
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