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

Marcus Sakey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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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
    • ASIN: B00AESRRQS
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,118 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A decent if flawed action/conspiracy thriller 14 July 2013
    By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
    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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    15 of 17 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 Brilliance is right!
    Absolutely superb story; believable characters, well plotted, great twists and a thought provoking storyline. Read second one immediately and cannot wait for number three.
    Published 20 hours ago by kevin chapman
    4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
    Well thought out twist to "the next-generation" plot. No super powers, but enough to worry the masses.
    Looking forward to the next book.
    Published 4 days ago by sarje@talk21.com
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Loved this book
    Published 5 days ago by Eleanor Guthrie
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Strange but interesting.
    Published 11 days ago by Sofia Machado
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very good.
    Published 20 days ago by Countryfan
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    ok
    Published 29 days ago by Diana Lumsden
    4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Read
    Not a bad read but clearly a taster as just seems to end.
    Published 1 month ago by Alan
    5.0 out of 5 stars WOW WOW and WOW!
    A gripping non stop delight.
    This is my first read from this authors collection of novels, however it won't be the last. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by M.A.Malik
    5.0 out of 5 stars .
    Loved this book so much had to buy the next one straight away. When does the nex tone come out? Not my usual type of book as I am a sci fy and fantasy fan but this book really... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by D A James
    5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!
    Not my usual read but really enjoyed from start to finish, looking forward to book 2. Will recommend to friends.
    Published 1 month ago by Dilys
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