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Brilliance (The Brilliance Saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Sakey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)

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Book 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.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description

    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:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,035 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    83 of 91 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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    43 of 47 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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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars not so brilliant 9 Oct. 2014
    By ian
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Well, it seemed an interesting premise, if you'd missed the entire superhero genre, which evidently from the cover quote, Lee Child has. The protagonist is a 'brilliant' whose special power is, erm, 'pattern recognition,' which is possibly one of the duller superpowers, like being able to dry paint merely by looking at it for several hours. But hey, let's run with the idea, it could be useful. If he were any good at it, but since he seems unable to use his special power to foresee any of the blazingly obvious twists, you have to wonder if he's been misled. Plot developments pretty much have to typed up and handed to him in triplicate and then explained slowly and carefully.

    The entire 'brilliants' premise is dropped quietly and quickly and the book turns into formulaic chase-thriller-with-terrorists which has been done often and better. The lead gets so smug you start to hope an asteroid lands on him, certainly his ego has enough gravity to attract one, and – of course – the lead female character just swoons over him, despite the fact that not so many pages ago he was sworn to kill her. She could have been delivered in a box and inflated with a foot pump. The wooden dialogue reflects this. Men and women don't interact that, not in real life. People don't. Character motivations are also very odd and contrived. Many of the decisions are 'really?' There's no sense that people would really make those choices and there's only so much disbelief you can suspend before you qualify as a trapeze act.

    Half way through I started to stare avidly at the time-left-in-book. It become the most fascinating thing about this book. There's probably a long compound word in German for the feeling that comes from having to finish a dull book, but this summed it up.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant! 30 July 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Excellent read, had to get up early this morning to finish it and am ordering the second instalment this evening. Well written. Gripping story line. And whereas I do agree with other reviewers that it is at times a bit derivative, it is none the worse for that. So if at times it is a cross between Die hard and X-Men with a touch of JD Robb's In Death novels thrown in for good measure - that's ok and please, keep doing it!!
    Great Read!!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner! 1 Sept. 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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, just wow.
    Interesting thing is: after reading it think about developing advanced AI :)
    Published 7 days ago by Adam Lesniak
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    not really my kind of thing
    Published 12 days ago by sand
    3.0 out of 5 stars Plodding
    Starts of with a lot of potential, but an unimaginative storyline makes it plod for too long.
    Published 20 days ago by Got-it
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
    This is a good paced with lots of twists. A can't put down , edge of seat , believable story.really enjoyed , can't wait to read the next one.
    Published 24 days ago by readaholic
    4.0 out of 5 stars It's like a Lee Child book but it's not!
    This novel reminds me a little of the Reacher books by Lee Child, not the subject matter but the way it's written quite thought out scenes, very logical format of working through... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Tony Bendall
    4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
    Totally different from my usual read and though I wasn't sure at first I quickly got hooked and struggled to put it down can't wait to start book 2.
    Published 1 month ago by Mimi
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I enjoyed it.
    Published 1 month ago by CarolM
    3.0 out of 5 stars Setting a good and interesting premise
    Good twist, good premise, but I didn't click with some of it and I felt the pace left it at moments.

    Like most people, you might be surprised by the ending... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by HF or SF
    5.0 out of 5 stars superb
    A fantastic addition to the sci fi genre. I constantly marvel at the creativity and imagination of the top writers. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Lews Therin
    5.0 out of 5 stars great book
    Very good very interesting and thrilling to read
    Can't wait for the next one to come out .
    Published 2 months ago by jonathan rosen
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